Understanding School Performance Scores with the ESSA

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    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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