State and Local Report Card Guidance Letter

February 14, 2013

Dear Colleague:

I am pleased to share a revised and expanded version of the State and Local Report Cards Non-Regulatory Guidance under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended. The U.S. Department of Education is committed to supporting States’ efforts to improve transparency, accountability, and parental engagement, and is issuing this guidance to provide States and local educational agencies (LEAs) with a useful tool to achieve those goals.

A report card is a critical tool both for promoting State, local, and school accountability, and for engaging parents and communities in meaningful discussions about the academic challenges and opportunities facing their schools. In the same way that data enable educators to make informed decisions about teaching and learning, data can also help parents and other community members work more effectively with educators and local school officials. Additionally, when parents and community members are equipped with information about the academic achievement and education quality of their children and their schools, they can make informed decisions concerning their children’s educational pathways and become more effective advocates for their children’s schools.

The guidance in this document replaces previous Title I report card guidance issued on September 12, 2003. It addresses Title I requirements in the ESEA and several changes in reporting requirements related to graduation rates and data on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) required under the Title I regulations issued on October 29, 2008. Where applicable, the guidance also addresses modifications to the reporting requirements for States that have received ESEA flexibility and LEAs in those States.

This revised guidance contains answers to many of the questions from the field about State and local responsibilities for preparing and disseminating report cards. Throughout the document, we have included illustrations that describe the data elements that must be included in State and local report cards. We hope you find this information helpful as you work toward implementing the report card requirements.

To further support your efforts, in the near future we will conduct a webinar entitled, “Overview of Report Card Guidance” on February 28, 2013 at 1pm (ET) to assist in reviewing the guidance. Additionally, our staff is available to provide technical assistance and answer questions about the guidance. If you need additional information or have questions that are not answered here, please email:, using the subject “State and Local Report Card Guidance” or contact Dr. Carlos Martinez, Group Leader, Standards and Assessment, at 202-260-1440 or

Thank you for your continued work to advance education for all of America’s children.



Deborah S. Delisle

Enclosed [download files] Guidance (807K)

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Last Modified: 02/21/2013