Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Why aren't parents receiving school report cards?

In the comments to an earlier post, a reader asked "As a parent, I'm concerned that I did not get a school report card this year. Can you tell me why?"

A school report card is a summary of key data on a school, including test performance, teacher qualifications, student safety, awards, parent involvement, and other factors. In the past, parents have received copies for their children's schools by mail. In the state budget bill for 2008-2010, though, districts got another option:
Notwithstanding KRS 158.6453(7), 160.463, and 424.220, public availability of the school district's complete annual financial statement and the school report card shall be made by publishing the documents in the newspaper of the largest general circulation in the county, electronically on the Internet, or by printed copy at a prearranged site at the main branch of the public library within the school district. If publication on the Internet or by printed copy at the public library is chosen, the superintendent shall be directed to publish notification in the newspaper of the largest circulation in the county as to the location where the document can be viewed by the public. The notification shall include the address of the library or the electronic address of the Web site on the Internet where the documents can be viewed.
All school report cards from 2003-04 through 2007-08 are available here, but I do understand that web access still requires parents to look for the document, rather than letting the document come to their doorstep. It's a big reduction in parent access to information about schools.

For what it's worth, the language above expires in 2010. If they don't put it in the next budget (or amend the report card law), the mailing requirement will spring back to life.

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