School Ratings

How to access your state and local school ratings information

Finding a school can be a cumbersome process for parents when we want to make sure that our kids attend a well-rounded school. How do we know which schools are good, bad, or excellent? There are different ways parents can find out about school ratings.

Some parents decide on a school by word of mouth or by what they hear from others. However, you will be surprised to find out that schools have report cards of their own. How a school is rated is an indication of how good or bad a school’s academic performance is. Most states provide parents with K-12 School performance data.

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A school report card is basically a way to communicate a schools’ performance. Some items that are usually reported are attendance, discipline, academic performance in English language arts and mathematics, and college and career readiness. 

You will find that school ratings exist for private schools, public schools, or even charter schools. If you have questions about school ratings, contact the state department of education or the school. School administrators can also answer school rating questions such as school graduation rates and accountability reports. School performance scores have an explanation that you should inquire about when you have questions.


Attendance in a school report provides an overview of school attendance. Schools employ social workers to assist students that may need assistance attending school. Attendance is part of the learning environment in schools.


In schools, discipline is reported to communicate the number of incidents a school may have experienced during a specific school year. This data may also include the number of suspensions and expulsions a school had. Discipline can provide parents an idea of how orderly or disruptive the learning environment may be.

Academic performance

Most parents search for school ratings to know how well a school may be preparing its students. Academic performance is mostly reported for English language arts and mathematics, but some schools might also report science and social studies. Most academic performance is reported as a percentage for each subject area.

Pay close attention to each subject area, as some schools may reflect the highest performance in English language arts than mathematics or vice versa.

College and career readiness

Another area of focus is college and career readiness. How well is a school preparing students to be ready for college? In this case, a school measure reflects how ready have students shown to be to handle college-level courses. In some states, this may include how frequently students are taking higher-level courses, such as AP courses.

Finding school ratings can be a challenge when you move to a different state or when you move to another school district. However, a close look at your options can help you make an informed decision when your child has to switch schools. School ratings can also help you choose schools when switching from elementary to middle or middle to high school.

The below list provides you with a link to each state website. The links will take you to each state department of education search page where you’ll be able to search for a school or even multiple schools. Some websites allow you to compare schools Aide by side within a state.

How to use school ratings

  • Use school ratings information to compare choices when making decisions about your child’s school. alphabetical order.
  • Search and compare schools during school choice selection period
  • Moving? Access a states website when moving to another state

Each link provides access to state-reported data within their state department of education websites. these are organized in alphabetical order by state name. Looking for state performance data? Click here to view a state report card published by the Nations Report Card (NAEP).

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