School Accountability Report Card (SARC)
What is a School Accountability Report Card (SARC)?
Since November 1988, state law has required all public schoolsreceiving state funding to prepare and distribute a SARC. A similarrequirement is also contained in the federal No Child Left Behind Act(NCLB). The purpose of the report card is to provide parents and thecommunity with important information about each public school. A SARCcan be an effective way for a school to report on its progress inachieving goals. The public may also use a SARC to evaluate and compareschools on a variety of indicators.
What information does the SARC contain?
Although there is great variation in the design of school reportcards, they generally begin with a profile that provides backgroundinformation about the school and its students. The profile usuallysummarizes the school's mission, goals, and accomplishments. State lawrequires that the SARC contain all of the following:
In addition, NCLB requires that SARCs contain reports concerning the"adequate yearly progress" of students in achieving state academicachievement standards; Title 1 Program Improvement; graduation rates atthe secondary level; and, starting with the SARCs to be published in2004-05, the extent to which "highly qualified" teachers are teachingcore academic subjects.
How often must a SARC be updated?
School report cards must be updated annually.
How are schools required to distribute the SARC?
State law generally encourages schools to make a concertedeffort to notify parents of the purpose of the report cards and toensure that all parents receive a copy of the report card for theschool their child attends. Specifically, schools are required tonotify all parents about the availability of the SARC and to provideparents with instructions about how the SARC can be obtained boththrough the Internet (if feasible) and on paper (by request). If asufficient number of a school's enrolled students speak a singleprimary language other than English, state law requires that the SARCbe made available to parents in the appropriate primary language.
How can a parent obtain a SARC?
Parents with Internet access can go to Find a School Report Cardon the California Department of Education's Web site. In addition, as aparent of a child attending a public school in California, you shouldreceive a notice from the school or district about how to find theschool's report card on the Internet and how to request a paper copy ofthe report card. You can also contact the school or the district officeto determine the availability of a translated report card.
How can a parent find out more about California's public schools?
If you have questions or need information about a specificschool, you can call or write to the school or the district office. Youcan also schedule an appointment to visit the school and meet with theschool's administrators and staff.
Reprinted from the California Department of Education's "A Parent's Guide to the SARC "