Report Cards Community of Practice Summary

Since 2016, state educational agencies (SEAs) have implemented several changes to their state report cards in conjunction with their approved Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) consolidated state plans. Generally, states have sought to improve the quality, clarity, and utility of state report card data as they incorporated new required data elements. They have also sought to ensure that report cards clearly communicate complex data to various internal and external stakeholders.

As states identify target audiences and develop effective strategies for communicating with those audiences, they can benefit from opportunities to learn from one another and from experts in the field.

This community of practice offers opportunities for members to address the following cross-cutting issues:

  • Overview of report card communications strategies for a variety of external stakeholder audiences, including parents and families, community members, and advocacy groups as well as internal audiences including SEA divisions and LEAs
  • Opportunities to learn from SEAs and partners who have identified or developed promising strategies that SEAs can use (or have used) to communicate effectively with stakeholders and to gauge the effectiveness of those communications
  • Communication opportunities and challenges with regard to data-reporting requirements as described in ED’s updated non-regulatory guidance
  • Opportunities to share state communication strategies and resources and to receive feedback from other CoP participants, including activities that identify common issues across participants and sharing of practices/solutions that peer participants have used to address those issues
  • Opportunities to create or refine an action plan for improving report card communications

Members will focus on strategies that are promising, doable with current staff and resources, and sensitive to the communication needs and styles of various stakeholder audiences. Participants will have opportunities to discuss common issues and receive information on best practices and strategies. They will also have opportunities to explore other topics or challenges raised by CoP members, such as coordination with the SEA’s communications director and implementation of key report card communication strategies at the state and local levels.