Looking for a school or district report card?

You and your family are moving to a new state, and you have some idea of where you are moving – a metropolitan area, for example – but before you make any firm commitments, you want to get some sense of the schools in that general area, as finding the right school for your kids is a priority. Sure, you can go to GreatSchools and get their ratings, but you actually want to go to the source, the state’s education department, and look for the school’s annual report card, even the report cards of the school districts you are looking at. (Many parents think that the school district will have these report cards on its site, and while some do, the state education agency is the fount of this information.)

As part of some research, I’ve been doing just that: Combing the websites of state departments of education for their report cards on school buildings and school districts and discovering that – duh – not all state education websites are equal. You’d hope that these reports would be front and center on the homepage, allowing people to access them with just one or two mouse clicks. At the Colorado Department of Education website, for example, a tab at the top identifies its SchoolVIEW portal; a quick click and you can access all kinds of performance data for that state’s schools and school districts. Well done, Mississippi: At the state agency’s home page, click on “State, District, & School Report Cards,” which comes under “Frequently-Visited Agency Links.” Or better yet at Washington State’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, see on the right side – “State Report Card.” Could not be easier.

See below. Each state is hyper-linked to the school and district report card page for that state. I also write out the steps of going from the state agency’s home page to that report card page and give a thoroughly unscientific rating for each state of that process: very easy, easy, so-so, hard, and impossible, of which there were none. I liked it when state agencies actually used the phrase “report card,” and I’m not a big fan of scrolling. Here goes:

  • Alabama: So-so – click on “Accountability Reporting” on the right menu and then on the button that reads “Click Here to begin Accountability Reporting System”
  • Alaska: Easy – scroll down to “Report Card to the Public” – click on “Report Card to the Public” at that new page
  • Arizona: Easy – “School Reports/School Results” on the left side – “Find a Report Card”
  • Arkansas: Easy – scroll down to the “School Performance” button – click on “NORMES School Performance”
  • California: So-so – hover over “Testing and Accountability” at the top and go to “Adequate Yearly Progress” – then “AYP Reports” (I mark California down a notch, for its actual report card link is no help whatsoever – a dead end.)
  • Colorado: Very easy – click on “SchoolVIEW”
  • Connecticut: Easy – scroll down to “Quick Links” – “Connecticut Education Data & Research”
  • Delaware: Very easy – at the home page click on “District & Charter School Profiles” under “Schools”
  • District of Columbia: So-so – “Adequate Yearly Progress” under “Popular Links” – then click on “No Child Left Behind”
  • Florida: Hard – “Data & Statistics” on the left – then “Assessment & School Performance” on the left – scroll down to “FCAT – Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test” and then scroll down to “Interactive Search by School & District”
  • Georgia: Very easy – “School Reports” on the home page
  • Hawaii: Hard – “Reports” on the left to “Student Performance” – “NCLB 2011 Final Results” – “Final AYP Reports by School” (And the reports are embedded in a 289-page PDF. No slicing and dicing with that monster doc.)
  • Idaho: Easy – “Programs” at the top – “Report Card”
  • Illinois: Very easy – “Interactive Report Card” under “A-Z Index”
  • Indiana: Very easy – “Find My School”
  • Iowa: Easy – “Data & Statistics” to “District & AEA Reports” – then click on “Iowa School Profiles – NCLB Requirements Report”
  • Kansas: So-so – “Data, Media, & Reports” at the top – “Building Report Card” on the right
  • Kentucky: Easy – “About Schools and Districts” and then “School Report Cards” on the left
  • Louisiana: Very easy – click on “School/District Performance” at the top – on the right you will see links to go to reports for schools and for districts
  • Maine: So-so – click on “No Child Left Behind” under “Featured Links” – then “State Report Card” on the left
  • Maryland: Easy – under “Testing,” click on “Maryland School Assessment” and then the report card URL
  • Massachusetts: Very easy – “Massachusetts School & District Profiles/Directory”
  • Michigan: Very easy – under “Hot Topics A-Z,” click on “School Report Cards” – search is on the left side of the page
  • Minnesota: Very easy – on the right “School Report Cards”
  • Mississippi: Very easy – “State, District, & School Report Cards” under “Frequently-Visited Agency Links”
  • Missouri: So-so – “MCDS Portal” – “State Assessment” button – “State Assessment Dashboards” – click on “Student MAP Proficiency”
  • Montana: Easy – “Reports & Data” and then “NCLB Report Card” – click on “Generate NCLB Reports”
  • Nebraska: Easy – under quick links, “State of the Schools Report” – then click on 2009-2010 data and see the buttons at the top for school and district reports
  • Nevada: So-so – “Assessments, Program Accountability, & Curriculum” – then AYP “by Counties”
  • New Hampshire: Very easy – “NH Profiles & Report Cards”
  • New Jersey: Very easy – see “School Report Card”
  • New Mexico: So-so – go to the A-Z directory and then “AYP 2011” – scroll down to “Detailed AYP Reports”
  • New York: So-so – “School Report Cards” from “Quick Links” – select a school year – and click on “Accountability & Overview Report & Comprehensive Information Report”
  • North Carolina: Very easy – on left “NC School Report Cards”
  • North Dakota: Very easy – called “School District Profile”
  • Ohio: Very easy – under “Families,” called “School Performance”
  • Oklahoma: Hard – click on “Parents” and then scroll down to “Accountability & Assessment” and click on “Site Report Cards” (Oklahoma wins the “Smallest Font Size and Most Links on One Page” award at this page for parents)
  • Oregon: Very easy – on the right side – “Report Card”
  • Pennsylvania: Very easy – “Academic Data & School Report Cards”
  • Rhode Island: Very easy – “School Report Cards”
  • South Carolina: Very easy – “Report Cards” on the right
  • South Dakota: Very easy – “State Report Card” on the right
  • Tennessee: Very easy – “Report Card” on the left and then on the “TDOE Report Card” button
  • Texas: So-so – on the left click on “Testing/Accountability” and then scroll down to “State Accountability Ratings” – click on “2011 Accountability Ratings”
  • Utah: Easy – “Data & Statistics” to “Educational Data” to “Accountability/School Performance” on the left side to “U-Pass School Reports”
  • Vermont: So-so – under “Families & Communities,” click on “School Data & Reports” – then “Public School & District Reports” and then “Assessment Report”
  • Virginia: Very easy – “VA School Report Card” to “School, division, and state online report cards”
  • Washington: Very easy – on the right side – “State Report Card”
  • West Virginia: Very easy – “Data” on the left column and “School & District Data”
  • Wisconsin: Very easy – “Wisconsin Information Network for Successful Schools” and then “Data Analysis”
  • Wyoming: Easy – the “Data, Information, & Reports” button on the right side and then scroll to “Every Student Counts – State Report Card”

What have I missed or got awry?

I got the US map at this page.

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