School Quality Profiles
Help parents access data to advocate for their student(s) and school community.
Student Growth Assessments are standard state tests help identify where students are in their learning and provide students, parents, and teachers with data that can be used personalize classroom instruction and improve outcomes for students. The Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs), developed in the mid-1990s, are taken by students in grades 3-12 at the end of the school year to measure student progress according to the Virginia state standards for reading, math, science, social studies and writing. Legislation passed in the 2021 Virginia General Assembly session (HB2027 and SB1357) changed the way student progress is measured in Virginia to a model that provides a more personalized data and allows students to be inspired to take charge of their own learning.
School Quality ‘Report Cards’ or ‘Profiles’ are an important tool that families can use to understand if their school is meeting the academic and social emotional needs of their student. Through interactive graphs, Virginia’s School Quality Profiles provide data about student achievement, college and career readiness, program completion, school safety, teacher quality and other topics of interest to parents. Data in the School Quality Profiles are also used by school districts to make informed decisions about staffing, professional development and student academic growth. So, while it’s important to understand your student’s individual academic progress by monitoring classroom performance as well as formal Student Growth Assessments, it’s also important to review your school’s overall progress each year. Your local school PTA meeting is a great forum for reviewing your School’s School Quality Profile as a community and collaborating with your principal to improve academic achievement in your school.
Virginia’s School Quality Profiles Meet Federal Reporting Requirements
Virginia’s School Quality Profiles or report cards are prepared by the Virginia Department of Education according to federal and state law. These official School Quality Profiles should be your “go-to” resource for school data! Do not rely on ranking websites that are compiled by real-estate companies and other private entities. In 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) re-authorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and replaced No Child Left Behind. ESSA requires states and districts to prepare and widely disseminate an annual school report card. In 2015, the Virginia General Assembly also directed the Virginia Board of Education to prepare on-line reports that would effectively communicate the status and achievements of Virginia’s public schools. Virginia’s School Quality Profiles were rolled out in 2017 and per federal law under ESSA they must:
- Present information in a concise, understandable and uniform format;
- Provide information in a language that parents can understand;
- Be updated annually on or before December 31 for the preceding school year;
- Protect student privacy by displaying data in the aggregate and not disclosing personally identifiable data.
HOW DOES YOUR SCHOOL COMPARE?
QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT WHEN YOU REVIEW YOUR SCHOOL’S REPORT CARD
- What is an area of strength at this school?
- What is something for the school to work on improving over the next year?
- How can I use this data to support my student’s academic growth?
QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT REGARDING STUDENT DATA PRIVACY
- What type of data is being collected about my student?
- How can I access the student data and how is it used?
- How is the school protecting my student’s data?
- What data is being used in apps?
OVERVIEW OF STUDENT ASSESSMENT TYPES
OVERVIEW OF SCHOOL ACCREDITATION
HOW DOES VIRGINIA RANK?
VIRGINIA PTA’s ADVOCACY ASK
The Virginia PTA urges the Virginia Board of Education to enhance Virginia’s School Quality Profiles to include the following important data about teacher diversity, cultural sensitivity, mental health programs, inclusivity and school climate.
- DIVERSITY REPORTING IMPROVEMENTS State assessments show a significant achievement gap of 20% or more for Hispanic, African American, economically disadvantaged and English language learner students compared to white students. This is a nation-wide and decades-old problem. However, research shows that academic achievement increases when teachers reflect the same race, gender, cultural or linguistic background as their students. To focus on closing the achievement gap, the following reporting improvements are needed:
- Translation of School Profiles into multiple languages
- Ethnic diversity of teachers as a ratio to students
- Languages spoken by teachers as a ratio to students While thirteen other states already provide teacher diversity data to parents on their ESSA report cards, this data is not readily available to parents in Virginia. Since 2020 Virginia PTA has actively supported bills that would make this basic data available to parents through the School Quality Profiles. Follow our Take Action page each session to help advocate for improved data transparency for all Virginia parents.
- MENTAL HEALTH REPORTING IMPROVEMENTS Suicide is the second leading cause of death among persons aged 10-34. Odds show that every classroom in every school has at least one student with a mental health concern. The majority of young people who do receive mental health treatment do so at school. It’s important to reflect the prevalence and use of mental health supports and positive behavior intervention programs to provide insight into whether or not staffing (counselors, social workers, psychologists) and programing meets student needs.
- Mental health threat assessments conducted
- Use of restraint and seclusion
- Practices related to using trauma informed care and/or Muti-Tiered Systems of Support
- SCHOOL CLIMATE REPORTING IMPROVEMENTS
- Identification of parent groups (PTA/PTO/Band Boosters etc)
- Project Based Learning connected to the community
- Annual Principal notification to parents announcing the new data is published with required personal reflection on school performance and plans in place to sustain positive growth or remediate areas of weakness.
- NOTE: School Safety Audit and School Based Surveys are maintained separately by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services. Parents should be provided with a link to this data directly from the Virginia School Quality Profiles.
SOCIAL MEDIA HASHTAGS
FLYERS & ARTICLES ABOUT STUDENT DATA
Student Privacy 101 for Parents (lots of videos)
Guide to Student Growth Data
Reporting Student Group Data
State Report Card Data Requirements
Teacher Data Literacy
What is Student Data Infographic
2019 Education Data Legislative Review
State Student Privacy Laws