The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides a framework for reporting data on how students are being served and identifying what data states and districts should report. The law also provides substantial flexibility to states regarding how to report that data. Public reporting is a powerful tool for equipping families and communities with the information they need – and have a right to know – about how their schools are serving children. That’s why All4Ed, in partnership with 21 civil rights and education equity organizations, provided public comments on the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed guidance interpreting the Opportunities and Responsibilities for State and Local Report Cards under the Elementary and Secondary Education (ESEA) Act of 1965, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015.
While the Department’s proposed guidance provides some clarity to states and districts on what data to report and how to report the data, changes are needed to ensure families and communities have the information necessary to see how well students are being served, to easily identify areas for school improvement, and to push for change when needed. To make information more useful, the following three concerns must be addressed in the proposed guidance:
- require disaggregation by student group;
- provide more guidance on how to report per-pupil expenditure data; and
- ensure report cards are practical, informational tools for families and communities.