Report card

The 2015 federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) includes a requirement intended to keep parents informed about the quality of the schools their children attend: States must produce “report cards” on their performance at the state, district, and local levels. The ESSA lists the data that must be included, so in theory, parents and other stakeholders can learn where a school or district is doing well and where improvement is needed.

In this report, we compare the report cards issued by Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to the specific requirements listed in the ESSA to see if the state is meeting its obligations. Unfortunately, we find that not all of the required information is included in the report cards, and some of the data that can be found is couched in jargon and confusing language, making the report cards far less useful than they could be to parents.

Click on the link below to read the complete report.

Check out a recent episode of The Show-Me Institute Podcast on this subject featuring Dr. Susan Pendergrass and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Aisha Sultan.

Listen on SoundCloud:

Listen on Apple Podcasts:


About the Author

Abigail Burrola

Abigail Burrola graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2018.

Susan Pendergrass
Director of Research and Education Policy

Susan Pendergrass was Vice President of Research and Evaluation for the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools before joining the Show-Me Institute. Prior to coming to the National Alliance, Susan was a senior policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Education during the Bush administration and a senior research scientist at the National Center for Education Statistics during the Obama administration. She earned a Ph.D. in Public Policy from George Mason University.