submitted by Deb Strauss, Illinois PTA Past President

October 2014 will mark the second time in two years that the Illinois State Board of Education will release the new Illinois State Report Card. The Illinois Report Card goes beyond test scores to give you, parents and/or community members, a complete view of your school. This report card was designed to help readers to understand a school’s performance and to help improve schools.

Now to the celebration… The Education Commission of the States (ECS) has published a report based on three key questions they asked of researchers, parents, and experts. Researchers were asked, “Are the report cards easy to read?”, parents were asked, “Are the report cards easy to understand?” and the experts were asked “What indicators are essential for measuring school and district performance?” Researchers identified eight of the state report cards as easy-to-find, informative, and readable, and Illinois was one of the eight. Parents identified six state report cards as the best of the 50 states, based on ease of reading, providing sufficient data, and overall usefulness. Illinois was in their top three picks. Also, “Illinois was the only state whose school report cards were selected in the top three by both researchers and parents.”

The entire report is available here.

Also, visit where you can search and read your schools report card from 2013.

A little background on the ECS. The Education Commission of States was created in 1965, by states, for states, and is a non-partisan group who does not take sides but instead, tracks state policy trends, translates academic research, and provides unbiased advice at all levels of education.