Last fall, the Oregon Department of Education released completely redesigned school and district report cards. On Thursday, the Open Books Project relaunched as the online home of this report card data.
The report cards are intended to help families and the greater community understand how their schools and districts are performing
In 2013, the Oregon Community Foundation funded a community engagement process to design new report card templates that would allow a school or district to tell a more complete story about the experience of students in that location.
The new report cards include a much greater focus on improvement over time, an enhanced school/district profile with demographic charts, information on the curriculum and learning environment, and, at the high school level, additional outcome data including a five-year completer rate, percent of freshmen on track to graduate, and percent of students going on to college.
Open Books has existed since 2004 as a tool to learn more about Oregon’s education system. It began with a focus on school district spending and evolved to include student demographics, census data, and school performance measures.
Now available in English and Spanish, the website hosts all of the information included in the report cards, as well as district financial data. The site also allows users to compare like schools and districts on a range of measures including languages spoken, math achievement, and graduation rates.
“Oregonians want to know more about their schools and Open Books makes that easier to do. We are thrilled to see this platform offer even more information to citizens through the Oregon Report Card,” said Sue Hildick, Chalkboard Project president.
“The site maintains the original purpose of Open Books, which was to simplify financial information about school districts and make it comparable between communities. It is now the go-to place for the most critical school indicators.”
Prior to the re-launch of Open Books, individual school and district report cards had to be downloaded one at a time on the Oregon Department of Education website.
Rob Saxton, Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction, commented, “The Department of Education is pleased to partner with the Chalkboard Project to present the report card data through Open Books. The more accessible and transparent we can make this data the more likely we are to improve student outcomes around the state.”
The school and district report cards, as well as Open Books, will continue to evolve over the coming years as new data points are added or changed.
Visit the Open Books Project: openbooksproject.org
About the Chalkboard Project
The Chalkboard Project is an independent education transformation organization dedicated to making Oregon’s K-12 public schools among the best in the country. We are funded by a consortium of Oregon’s leading philanthropic foundations that share a central belief that research and on-the-ground expert knowledge is essential to identifying policies and practices that improve outcomes for students. In 2011, Chalkboard was awarded $24.4M in federal funding to accelerate CLASS, a revolutionary initiative that is transforming the teaching profession by creating new career pathways that lead to higher achievement in the classroom.
Launched in 2004, Chalkboard is the first initiative of Foundations for a Better Oregon (FBO). FBO partners include: Meyer Memorial Trust, The Oregon Community Foundation, The Collins Foundation, The Ford Family Foundation, JELD-WEN Foundation, and The James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation.