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State School Accountability "Report Card" Database

The ECS State Accountability Database documents the metrics used by states to measure school performance (what gets measured), the information and metrics schools must report to the public on their report cards (what gets reported), and the type of system used to rate the schools.


  • All states measure student achievement
  • Forty-four states measure graduation rates
  • Fourteen states assign A-F letter grades based on school performance
  • Three states include growth of the highest-achieving students in calculating school performance

That was then. This is now.

In 2002, the Education Commission of the States compiled the metrics that states use to measure school performance. That work provided a baseline from which to consider what has changed between 2002 and 2013.

Number of states
in 2002
What gets measured? Number of states
in 2013
32 Student achievement/test results 50 + DC
21 Growth or improvement 37 + DC
8 Graduation rates 44 + DC
13 Dropout rates 12
17 Attendance 13 (secondary)
23 + DC (elem/middle)
6 Indicators of school safety 3
0 Climate & culture, gauged via student and/or
parent satisfaction surveys
1 Growth of the lowest performing quartile in its calculations
(only Florida in 2002)
4 Education or employment after high school 3
0 # of industry certifications at graduation 4
  What gets reported?  
1 Letter grade ratings (A-F) (only Florida in 2002) 14
Kathy Christie, Vice President, Knowledge/Information Management & Dissemination, Education Commission of the States

About the Data:

In compiling information, ECS searched state statutes and regulations. If no statute or regulation could be found, we relied on current state department of education descriptions, Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA) waivers accepted by the US Department of Education, or current state department of education report cards. In cases where states are currently in the process of phasing in new accountability and/or reporting metrics, ECS included the furthest out phase of changes. It’s important to note that the information is state-level information. Districts may measure or report on additional metrics, which is not reflected in this database.


To create a common language, some metrics were consolidated where it made sense and ECS staff made judgment calls where necessary. For example: Attendance – includes chronic absenteeism and truancy; Assessments – always assumes test participation percentages; Other – any measure used by one to two states (e.g. fitness test results); College readiness might be specified in general terms or laws might add specific measures such as ACT/SAT scores or AP credits earned. In the latter case, all measures were included.

As with any compilation of information across the 50 states, the information is only as good as the information available. We welcome any corrections, additions, or changes. Contacts: Marga Mikulecky (303-299-3672 or or Kathy Christie (303-299-3613 or

State Profiles

50-State Reports

  1. State School Accountability Report Card Database - key items and states
  2. Rating System
  3. What gets measured?
  4. What gets reported?
  5. Statute/Link
  6. Formula - Summary
  7. Formula - Full text



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