They will evaluate schools on more than just academics.
Baltimore, Md. (KM). It will be report card time for schools next week.. But this time, a new format for the report cards will be unveiled. “This looks nothing like the report card we used to have. And it’s in response to the Every Student Succeeds Act—ESSA–which has ruled the life of public education for the past two years,” says Bill Reinhard, spokesman for the Maryland State Department of Education.
The Every Student Succeeds Act was signed into law in 2015 by then-President Obama. It replaced the No Child Left Behind Act.
In addition judging student scores on English Language Arts and math, Reinhard says it goes beyond that. “The report card will use results not just from the state test, but also other factors like chronic absenteeism, access to a well-rounded curriculum, graduation rate, English learners success. That sort of thing will all be factored in,” says Reinhard.
The State Department of Education says the report card will expanded in the future to include science and social studies achievement, and a student and faculty survey.
The information will be on line, and users can view the performance of their child’s school, and other schools in the state. “We think the public is going to be thrilled with this quite frankly,” says Reinhard. “They have never had this transparency when it came to schools on a statewide basis.”
Reinhard made his comments to the news media on Thursday during a conference call. He said these new report cards will be released on Tuesday during the Maryland State Board of Education meeting.
Under this new report card, schools will receive a STARR rating which highlights the tally of a school’s total earned points percent. They will also get a Percentile Rating which measures how a school performed compared to other schools. Finally, they will receive a Total Earned Points Percent. That’s the total number of points earned by the school, divided by the total possible points.
“Will there be some growing pains? Sure. But we believe we’re giving the public more information than they’ve ever had. And this is really historic from that standpoint that we’ve never done anything quite like this,” he says.
By Kevin McManus