By Brianna McAdoo, AFRO Staff Writer, [email protected]
“District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) will now follow a new report card for young learners attending public schools.” This new and improved report card includes a five-star system which allows parents access to their child’s performance in school and gives more information about the status of the school.
District Mayor Muriel Bowser launched the new five-star report card system at Harriet Tubman Elementary School.
The new report card was spearheaded by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) and was created in order to implement the mandates of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), an education law signed by President Barack Obama in December 2015.
Families can now find in depth data and information about their learner’s school programs, extra-curricular activities, school logistics (hours of operation, uniform requirements, closest transportation), student populace and the school’s rating on a five-star scale.
Councilmember David Grosso (I-At Large), chair of the Committee on Education, shared his optimism about the benefits of the new report card system. “The STAR ratings are just one way to assess our schools at-a-glance. Behind those ratings is detailed data on academic growth, achievement, environment and other important information – such as course and extra-curricular offerings – that provide a more complete picture to education stakeholders,” Grosso said in a statement.
Though the report cards provide information that will be of great use to parents, another benefit of the five-star system is access to data allowing educators and policy makers to see where improvements in schools can be made and how funds should be allocated for those improvements. “School communities on the lowest end of the scale will now be able to access federal education funding and be given the latitude to address their areas of improvement in a manner most appropriate for them,” Grosso said.
According to Grosso there is a minimum of one “four-star” school in every ward but Grosso is adamant that the work for equal and equitable education for all learners in the District is not done. “We can not rest until every student has access to a top-quality educational experience no matter where in the city they reside,” said Grosso.
State Superintendent Hanseul Kang shared that the report cards were constructed in partnership with families in the District. Superintendent Hanseul Kang said, “OSSE worked with thousands of parents, families and community members to create a tool that presented material in a clear, consistent and meaningful way. The report cards will not only allow us to better support our schools, but they will also allow us to celebrate them.”
The report cards are available in English and Spanish, but can also be accessed in Amharic, Chinese, French, Korean and Vietnamese. The new report cards can be found on https://dcschoolreportcard.org.