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School report cards released

By Staff
Special to The Standard
The state Board of Education released its all-new edition of the 2002-2003 School Accountability State Report Card. It summarizes details from public schools during the previous school year. The comprehensive state summary also marks the release of all school system and individual school report cards.
This year's edition contains even more valuable information on the progress of the state's K-12 public schools and is easier to understand.
New features were added, including an expanded Career and Technical Education section and information about school transfer option availability.
The 2002-2003 School Accountability State Report Card is a comprehensive state summary that includes statewide results as well as breakout information for each of Alabama's 129 school systems. Report card items grade schools across the state from an A to F on more than 30 indicators ranging from academic achievement to financial support. Additionally, charts, tables, and graphs measure how well students, schools, and school systems perform.
Each version of Alabama's School Accountability Report Cards is divided into three basic components: General School Information, Academic Performance and a Taxpayers' Report. As with last year's report, revisions continue to be made to better meet requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind law. A new online companion to the printed report cards provides even more useful, easy-to-understand information for each of Alabama's public schools.
The Alabama Department of Education began producing school accountability report cards in 1996. Four years later, Alabama became the first state in the nation to require public schools to send easy-to-read report cards with letter grades home to parents. In addition to the comprehensive state summary, there are multiple versions of report cards. Elementary, Middle, High and K-12 schools each receive customized report cards. Many results compare the individual school to the combined performance of schools within the local system and state.
Additionally, a report card is prepared for each school system. It shows the combined results for all the schools in the local system and compares those results to the state.
More than 800,000 school and system report cards are being printed.
Distribution to school systems across the state begins this week.
Governor Riley and the state Board of Education are requesting every principal to send school report cards home the next time students receive their individual report cards.
Complete report cards for the state, each school system, and public schools are available on the Department of Education's Web site at www.alsde.edu/html/reports_menu.asp.