Module 6: Reporting

Evaluating State Accountability Systems Under ESEA

This webpage is part of the Evaluating State Accountability Systems Under ESEA tool, which is designed to help state educational agency (SEA) staff reflect on how the state’s accountability system achieves its intended purposes and build confidence in the state’s accountability system design decisions and implementation activities. Please visit the tool landing page to learn more about this tool and how to navigate these modules.

All states have developed or revised their state’s accountability systems in response to requirements in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). A state’s accountability system includes multiple indicators, each of which illuminates a different facet of school performance. The primary vehicle for reporting accountability data across these indicators is through annual state and local report cards. The focus of Module 6: Reporting is to explore how an SEA can utilize annual state and local report cards to support communication around the objectives of the state’s accountability system and the design of its system of annual meaningful differentiation (AMD).

As discussed in Module 2A: State’s System of Annual Meaningful Differentiation (AMD), each state has some flexibility under ESEA around how school performance data are reported. Please see Module 2A: State’s System of AMD for more information on reporting school performance data.

The way in which information on a state’s accountability system is presented on state and local report cards should reflect the state’s theory of action and policy objectives of the state’s accountability system.1 This module includes two sets of self-reflection prompts that are intended to address the following concepts around reporting. These two sets of prompts are intended to work together to help you answer questions throughout this module.

Table 1. Overview of Module 6: Reporting

Section What is it? Why is it important? How should it be used?
Articulate the Rationale for the State Support System for Identified Schools A description of why state and local report cards and reporting approaches are designed the way they are Documenting the reasoning behind the state and local report card design helps describe the “what” and “why” behind state and local report cards. The rationale for reporting asks you to describe the expected policy objective, behavioral intent, and expected results associated with access and interpretation of state and local report cards. This rationale can be used as a point of comparison for examining state and local report card approaches. This will also provide a comparison for the next section.
Assess Confidence in Operations and Results of Reporting An examination of your level of confidence that design decisions are sound and evidence supports your assumptions for reporting Determining your overall confidence in the results and presentation of accountability information on state and local report cards can help inform future decisions such as where to make revisions or develop outreach materials. The confidence in operations and results section will assist you in identifying potential evidence that can help confirm your rationale regarding how state and local report cards are designed and delivered.

To get started, click on the link below:

[Begin Module 6: Reporting]

1 For more information, see Establishing Performance Standards for School Accountability Systems (link is external) from the Council of Chief State School Officers. Note: The inclusion of links to resources and examples do not reflect their importance, nor is it intended to represent or be an endorsement by the Department of any views expressed, or materials provided. The U.S. Department of Education does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of any outside information included in this document. [Back].

Module 6: Reporting