The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015, replaces the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act and affords states greater flexibility. ESSA encourages schools and educators to innovate and create systems that address local needs. As a part of this work, the Oregon Department of Education will redesign the School and District report cards to engage and inform families about their school’s approach to learning, academic and extracurricular offerings, and student performance. Reports cards also serve as an important tool for continuous improvement planning by local and state policymakers, in conjunction with the communities they serve.
Background and Goals
The Oregon Department first produced report cards in 2000, and has had to revise these several times in the ensuing years. The first major redesign was in 2002 to meet the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Only incremental changes resulted until 2013, when a major revision accompanied the approval of Oregon’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Waiver, which allowed the state to implement a new accountability system for schools. The 2013 revision was accomplished under the direction of an external stakeholder committee and marked a significant step forward in design. However, the redesigned report cards contained features that made them less accessible than they could be to our parents and families. ESSA provides us with an opportunity to take the next step in design improvement for our reports, and to make them more relevant to parents, especially parents from historically underserved communities.
The redesign project has the following goals:
- Design a report card that is more accessible and meaningful to parents, especially parents from historically underserved communities.
- Create a two-page “at-a-glance” report designed specifically for parents.
- Supplement the “at-a-glance” report with a web-based “dashboard” that contains additional data on schools, including all of the data required by law.
To achieve these goals, ODE staff prioritized engagement opportunities that allowed the redesign team to hear directly from parents and families who represent students and student groups who are historically underserved.
School At-A-Glance Reports
The ODE report card redesign team held several rounds of parent and community engagement with a focus on hearing the voices of parents of students from historically underserved communities. The ODE report on the first round of engagement can be found through the following links:
Themes from the first round of engagement:
- A desire to know more about how a school or district creates a welcoming, safe, and inclusive environment for all students and their families;
- A design that is simple, multi-colored, and easy to read and understand; and
- A report card that emphasizes progress through relevant and actionable, school-specific data.
Several prototypes were developed based on this input, and during January and February, staff conducted a second round of parent and stakeholder engagement. This included eight parent and family focus groups, including return visits to five groups. ODE staff also presented the prototypes at conferences and to ODE advisory groups.
Results from the second round of parent engagement can be found in the following report:
District At-A-Glance Report
The design of the district at-a-glance was based on the school at-a-glance prototypes. The information presented on the district at-a-glance is based on the final report of the District & School Improvement & Accountability Taskforce in 2014.
Sample At-A-Glance Prototypes
Redesign Timeline and Next Steps
- August-October 2017: conduct parent focus groups and statewide survey.
- November-December 2017: analyze results of engagement and prepare a final report. Begin to design the new reports.
- December 2017: present results of initial stakeholder outreach to the State Board of Education.
- January 2018: begin second round of stakeholder engagement. Present update to State Board.
- February 2018: continue second round of stakeholder engagement.
- March 2018: Finalize design and present “at-a-glance” reports to the State Board. ODE staff begin implementation.
- April 2018: First Reading of Report Card OAR update by State Board.
- May 2018: State Board approval of OAR update.
- October 2018: ODE releases new “At-A-Glance” profiles.
- TBD (October 2019?): ODE releases online dashboard.
Following the conclusion of this second round of feedback, staff worked with our graphic designer to develop the final versions that will be presented at the State Board meeting on March 22, 2018.