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Redesigned School Report Cards to Be Released Thursday

10/29/2013

5Essentials survey data available in online version only

The Illinois State Board of Education will be releasing new School, District and State Report Cards on Thursday, October 31, which are designed to be more transparent and include easy-to-understand metrics. The report card will be available at illinoisreportcard.com in two formats:
  • A full Online Report Card, searchable by school or district name, with an interactive tool for exploring school performance data; and
  • A two-page At-a-Glance Report Card, found in each school’s online Report Card. This version can be easily downloaded, printed, and distributed.
Among the key new metrics on this year’s Report Card is student academic growth by elementary school and district. The IFT has developed a helpful fact sheet that explains this new “value table” metric.

The complete online version of this year’s Report Card includes raw data from the 5Essentials Survey of Learning conditions, an idea originated by the IFT and included in Senate Bill 7 education reform legislation. The survey of teachers and students in grades 6-12 was designed to provide information to help improve schools and learning and was intended to be included in this year’s Report Card with useful contextual data. Instead, the Report Card includes only questions and answers. IFT President Dan Montgomery commented on this concern in a recent article in the Chicago Tribune. The 5Essentials survey response data is not available in the At-a-Glance version of the Report Card.

The IFT believes that to provide a complete picture of each school, explanatory information must be provided with the raw survey data to help teachers, administrators, parents, and the public understand how effectively their schools are functioning overall.

Indicators on teacher retention and teacher proficiency ratings will not be included in this year’s Report Card. The IFT continues to be involved in discussions about how to best meet the requirements of the law relating to those indicators on future Report Cards.  

Our union and our members have played a key role in the development of the new, more user friendly Report Card from the early stages. The IFT has worked for nearly three years to conduct focus groups of teachers, advocate for legislation to improve the Report Card, and ensure that members had a voice in its development so it provides fair, meaningful data for all stakeholders.

The IFT will continue to advocate for teachers and parents in this process to ensure that future Report Cards have complete access to Report Card data, including explanatory, contextual information about the 5Essentials survey results.
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