NC SCHOOL REPORT CARDS

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


What are the Report Cards?
The Report Cards provide parents and others who are interested in the public schools in North Carolina with information about school- and state-level data in a number of areas. These include student performance and academic growth, school and student characteristics, and many other details.

All this information is in one easy-to-use website, NC School Report Cards.

Why is the state releasing Report Cards?
North Carolina is committed to providing transparency regarding our public schools. We know that parental involvement is a key factor for student success, and Report Cards provide one way for parents and other caretakers to learn about their child’s school and other public schools in the state.

Who will receive the Report Card?
Every principal in the state should print out the Report Card for his/her school and distribute it to parents. Some principals are mailing the Report Card to parents at home, others are including it in newsletters, and still others are holding meetings with parents to distribute the Report Card and to talk about questions parents may have. Of course, any parent or citizen can look at the Report Cards via the Internet at NC School Report Cards. Public libraries and other locations with Internet access are available if parents do not have access to the Internet at home or at work.

Is there a difference between the Report Card online and the printed Report Card snapshot?
The Report Card available online contains additional data and information about the indicators that were difficult to capture in a printed document.
The school snapshots may be printed from the "View Downloadable Report" link in the school profile section of the School Report Card.

What information do the Report Cards include?
School Report Card information includes the following types of information: School Information; Overall Performance (Performance Grade Score, student performance percentages and grades, academic growth measures); Student Characteristics (student readiness, percentage of students economically disadvantaged); Career and Technical Education (concentrations completed, credentials earned); Student Performance (performance on end-of-course or end-of-grade exams, graduation rate, ACT performance); Teachers and Qualifications (number of teachers, license status of teachers, years of teaching experience, teacher turnover rate); School Environment (attendance, behavior, students per device, number of books per student).

The Report Cards for school districts contain additional information, such as district financial information and principal qualifications and credentials.

What is Student Readiness and why is it included in the Report Card?
The Student Readiness indicator shows the percentage of students entering a school (at the lowest grade level of the school) who were proficient in both reading and math at the end of the previous year. This means, for example, the percentage of 6th graders entering a middle school who were proficient in reading and math at the end of their 5th grade year. This is the “starting point” from which educators at this school begin their work with students.

In general, a school may face more challenges in attaining proficiency or growth if students are entering below grade level for that grade.

The Student Readiness indicator is displayed on middle and high school Report Cards for the 2016-17 school year, and will be added to elementary schools’ Report Cards for subsequent years.

How can I learn more about what's included?
The information icons (a lower-case “i” in a circle) provide more detail about the attributes included in the report card. Click on the icon for a description of the information displayed on the Report Card.

Do schools get letter grades, A-F, on their Report Cards?
Every district and charter school receives an A-F letter grade based 80 percent on the school's achievement score (calculated using a composite method based on the sum of points earned by a school on all of the indicators measured for that school), and 20 percent on students' academic growth (compares the actual performance of the school's students to their expected performance based on a statewide statistical model). The letter grades are computed on a 15-point scale (85-100=A; 70-84=B; etc.).

What does the Report Card tell me about my school, district, and the state?
The Report Card provides nuts-and-bolts kind of items such as the grade range, the average class size, and the number of teachers. It also provides information on the school environment, the qualifications and experience of the teaching staff, the resources available in the school library, and other statistics. It does not provide information about special programs or initiatives at a school or the unique qualifications of its staff.

Can I use the Report Card to compare schools?
Yes. In the school profile at the top of the web-based Report Card, click on “Compare to Other Schools.” Up to three comparison entities are available, and the default is set to compare the school with its district and all public schools, e.g., “_ County Schools” and “North Carolina.” To choose new comparisons for the charts, first remove the current selection(s) by clicking the “x” next to the name(s). Then select a school or district to compare using the drop-down menus provided (only schools of comparable grade levels are shown).

Can I use the Report Cards to rank schools?
No. Because schools can be structured quite differently from one another – in their sizes, the grades they teach, and the programs they offer – Report Cards are not a useful tool for ranking schools. It would be incorrect to determine that one school is better than another based on slight differences between data points.

My child goes to a new school that just opened in the 2017-18 school year. Is there a Report Card for our school?
No, the Report Card is for schools that were open during the 2016-17 school year. New schools this year will have Report Cards when the next Report Card is issued in the fall of 2018.

Who can answer my questions about the information in the Report Card?
If you have a specific question about your child's performance or the material your child is studying, consider first contacting your child's teacher. The school's main office can direct your call or provide you with additional contact information for your child's teacher. If you have general questions about the school's performance or the educational priorities at your school, please contact your school principal.