Understanding School Performance Scores with the ESSA

ESSA Fact Sheets en Español

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires that both SEAs (states) and LEAs (local districts) receiving Title I, Part A funds prepare and widely disseminate an annual report. State and local report cards must include information about public schools related to student subgroups and school performance metrics, accountability, per-pupil expenditures, and educator qualifications, as well as any other information that the SEA or LEA deems relevant.

State and local report cards must be:

  • Developed along with parents.
  • Concise and presented in an understandable and uniform format accessible to persons with disabilities.
  • Provided in a language that parents can understand (to the extent practicable).
  • Posted annually on state and LEA websites on or before December 31 for the preceding school year (e.g., by December 31, 2018, for the 2017-2018 school year.

Under ESSA, state and LEA report cards must include: (1) an overview section and (2) a detail section.

The overview section includes:

  • The number and percentage of students at each achievement level (at least 3) on each of the state’s academic assessments in mathematics, reading/language arts, and science.
  • The English language proficiency of English learners.
  • The performance on each measure within the state’s academic progress indicator (such as growth) for schools that are not high schools.
  • High school graduation rates (four-year cohort and extended-year, if state is using).
  • The performance on each measure of school quality or student success.

The detail section includes:

  • The minimum number of students (N-size) necessary to be included in each of the student subgroups for use in the accountability system.
  • Progress toward the long-term goals and measurements of interim progress for academic achievement, graduations rates, and English learners achieving English proficiency for all students and for each student subgroup.
  • The state’s system of meaningful differentiation including the indicators, the weight of each indicator, and the methodology used to determine consistently under-performing for any subgroup of students.
  • The number and names of all schools identified for comprehensive or targeted support and improvement.
  • The percentage of students assessed and not assessed, for all students and each subgroup of students.
  • Information submitted to the Civil Rights Data Collection regarding such measures as suspensions, expulsions, chronic absenteeism, bullying and harassment, preschool enrollment, and teacher qualifications.
  • Per-pupil expenditures of federal, state, and local funds for each school district and each school for the preceding year (beginning with 2018-2019 SY).
  • Number and percentages of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities who take the alternate assessment on alternate academic achievement standards by grade and subject.
  • Results of the state on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in reading and math in grades 4 and 8 compared to the national average of NAEP results.
  • Enrollment in public and private postsecondary education, where available, by each student subgroup.
  • Educator qualifications.
  • Information on school improvement funds, by LEA and school.
  • Any additional information the state believes is important to parents, students, and other members of the public.

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