Parents and school community leaders who have seen the new DCPS scorecards had generally positive things to say about them Wednesday, but also expressed the hope that future data reports offer more detail.
“I think it’s a good step that [Chancellor] Kaya [Henderson] is taking in terms of giving parents something beyond whether a school met AYP,” said Monica Warren-Jones, a D.C. State Board of Education member and parent at Watkins Elementary and Stuart Hobson Middle School.
But Warren-Jones also said that the scorecards need to provide more information about school facilities, an important issue for parents. “My sense is that it doesn’t speak to things like the age of the physical plant, which is important, or if a school has a working science lab.”
Lisa Kilpatrick, head of the parent organization at Seaton Elementary in Ward 2, called the scorecards “very useful for parents who are looking for placement” but said they were missing other key indicators that could sway their decisions. “There was nothing about before or after-care,” said Kilpatrick, who also works as Seaton’s after-school coordinator. “That would be a nice piece to put in the future.”
Others expressed concern about the lack of history to explain certain data points. SHAPPE (Senior High Alliance of Parents, Principals and Educators) Chair Cathy Reilly said, for example, that Cardozo High School’s mid-year move into swing space could well impact academic performance and would be important to note on future scorecards.
“Overall I certainly applaud schools being able to be seen through a wider lens than the DC CAS data,” Reilly said in an e-mail. “I do wish the document provided a way to give more of a context.”