ESSA accountability regulations were overturned. What now? We know reform advocates will continue their work to support ESSA engagement and implementation at the state level. At the same time, a complicated landscape just became even more murky for those on the front lines. To help navigate through the complexities, we’re tapping the expertise of eight PIE Network federal-facing partners. The Data Quality Campaign weighs in below.
Ensuring Information is Useful for Those Who Need It Most
Providing information to parents and the public that is easy to find, understand, and use remains central to meeting the goals of ESSA. As advocates, you must lead the effort to ensure information is useful to those who need it most. Push your state to:
- Create high quality, user-friendly report cards. For too long, states’ report cards have been compliance exercises that do little for parents and the public who are trying to understand how schools are serving students. Advocates should press states to engage with parents and other stakeholders to make sure that report cards answer their questions. Keep in mind that report cards are a valuable way to communicate not only the state’s accountability system, but also other information that rounds out the picture of student and school success.
- Include postsecondary enrollment data on report cards. States have the data but it currently lives in separate reports. Push states to include postsecondary enrollment data on report cards side-by-side with other indicators of student and school success.
- Include chronic absence data on report cards. Chronic absence is a valuable indicator that allows leaders to dig into diverse challenges that may be keeping students out of school. Chronic absence rates provide context to student performance.
Ensuring every student succeeds is not going to happen by merely complying with this law.
States must step up and create policies, practices, and new ways of communicating that prioritize meeting every learner’s unique needs.
This isn’t possible without changing how we use, value and communicate information. States can and must provide useful, easy to find information that meets the needs of people. Advocates can and must hold states accountable for transparency and for outcomes.
To learn more about opportunities to make data work for students in ESSA statute, see DQC’s resource.