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State Exemplars of School Accountability “Report Cards”

August 17, 2014 Comments off

State Exemplars of School Accountability “Report Cards” (PDF)
Source: Education Commission of the States

The profiles provided below link to exemplars of school accountability “report cards” from nine states and the District of Columbia.

  • What you will find:
    A main “report card” page with school and district
    reports
  • A sample elementary report
  • A sample high school report.

Sample elementary and sample high school names are provided — with embedded links — where possible. In those states where it is possible to generate a printable file, we have provided those links. In some states, it is necessary to look for the school by name from the main page. Be sure to click through tabs and/or categories and other areas that allow users to drill further into data.

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Trends in state charter school laws: Authorizers, caps, performance-based closures and virtual schools

August 15, 2014 Comments off

Trends in state charter school laws: Authorizers, caps, performance-based closures and virtual schools (PDF)
Source: Education Commission of the States

Forty-two states and the District of Columbia have enacted charter school legislation. ECS analysts reviewed laws in the 50 states in creating an online database that highlights how state charter school laws vary, particularly in how states establish standards and accountability for charter school authorizers, allow for appeals, provide assistance with start-ups and fund charter schools.

Recently, attention to authorizers — the entities responsible for approving and overseeing charter schools — has increased. A growing number of states are establishing standards and reporting requirements that authorizers must adhere to.

Other rapidly evolving policy areas discussed in this brief are limits or “caps” on the number of charter schools allowed in a state, automatic performance-based closures and virtual or “cyber” charter schools.

Remedial Reporting Steering Committee Calls for Common Method for Remedial Reporting

July 11, 2014 Comments off

Remedial Reporting Steering Committee Calls for Common Method for Remedial Reporting (PDF)
Source: Education Commission of the States

The Education Commission of the States (ECS) today revealed a lack of consistency across the states on how remediation is measured and reported through their new report, A Cure for Remedial Reporting Chaos: Why the U.S. Needs a Standard Method for Measuring Preparedness the First Year of College . The report analyzed how states identify, track and report the number of students referred to remedial instruction in postsecondary school.

Thirty states were found to issue annual reports for all institutions and postsecondary systems that offer remediation, yet, only 13 states of these states provide feedback to high schools on their graduates’ needs for college remedial classes.

+ Full Report (PDF)

States moving from accreditation to accountability

June 13, 2014 Comments off

States moving from accreditation to accountability (PDF)
Source: Education Commission of the States

Accreditation policies vary widely among the states. Since ECS last reviewed public school accreditation policies in 1998, a number of states have seen their legislatures take a stronger role in accountability—resulting in a move from state-administered accreditation systems to outcomes-focused state accountability programs. Even in states maintaining accreditation programs, accreditation is often a component of the larger accountability system that evaluates school, district and state educational performance on a number of indicators.

See: State School Accountability “Report Card” Database

States Grapple With Autism’s Rising Tide

March 21, 2014 Comments off

States Grapple With Autism’s Rising Tide (PDF)
Source: Education Commission of the States

Autism Spectrum Disorders are the fastest-growing developmental disability in the United States. In March 2013, the Centers for Disease Control estimated the prevalence of diagnosed ASD in 2011-12 to be one in 50 based on parent reports for children ages 6 to 17. Six years earlier, the CDC estimated the rate was one in 86.

In recognizing the increasing needs of children affected by ASD, as well as the associated financial implications for local governments, some states are re-assessing their current systems of support and looking for better and more efficient ways to serve individuals with ASD and their families.

As states have struggled to respond to the phenomenon, they have formed task forces, created pilot programs and launched resource and support services.

Career and Technical Education Dual Enrollment: A Strategy for College Completion and Workforce Investment

March 21, 2014 Comments off

Career and Technical Education Dual Enrollment: A Strategy for College Completion and Workforce Investment (PDF)
Source: Education Commission of the States

Dual enrollment programs are expanding – and so are dual enrollment programs with a career and technical education (CTE) focus. The most recent data available from the National Center on Education Statistics show that 82 percent of high schools had students enrolling in dual enrollment coursework in 2010-11. Nearly half of the schools had students participating in dual enrollment with a CTE focus. That translates into roughly 601,500 students enrolled in CTE dual enrollment courses that year.

Who Pays the Tab for K-12 Education?

September 13, 2013 Comments off

Who Pays the Tab for K-12 Education?
Source: Education Commission of the States

Public education in the United States was originally established, run, and financed by local communities. While these local districts initially used several different methods to fund education—including student fees, contributions by community members, and various forms of local taxation—they eventually moved to funding education almost exclusively through local property taxes. This came to fruition because local property taxes are a predictable funding source and relatively easy to collect. In addition, property taxes are based on the value of the taxpayer’s property, which can be used as a proxy, albeit an imperfect one, for an individual’s wealth. The use of property taxes as the primary source of education funding has resulted in a system where students living in property-wealthy communities have received a significantly higher level of educational resources than students living in property-poor areas.

Not only can this situation be unfair to students, it can be and has proven to be unfair to taxpayers in many circumstances. Property owners who live in a property-poor community often face higher tax rates than those living in property-wealthy communities. This is due to the fact that property-poor districts require a higher tax rate to raise the same amount of funding as property-wealthy communities. For example, if the per capita property wealth in District A is $100,000, and in District B it is $300,000, District A would require a tax rate three times higher than District B to raise the same amount of funding.

Since the 1920s, states have become more and more involved in public education funding to address the issue of unequal funding from district to district. State involvement in education funding accelerated in the 1970s due to court decisions, the involvement of activists, and reform-oriented governors and state legislators, along with a relatively healthy economy. This sparked a series of reforms that resulted in major structural changes in the school finance systems of more than 30 states.

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