How to Read Your School Report Card

by Sandra Foyt on February 23, 2011

in Uncategorized

busLast week, New York State released the 2009-2010 School Report Card, two months earlier than last year. Interestingly, they did so while many New Yorkers were packing their bags for Winter Break. Perfect timing or pure coincidence? I’ll let you decide.

It’s just numbers, I know, but I like to know how kids are faring in my school district, especially in light of budget cuts and the upcoming school budget vote. Looking over the report for my district high school, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the drop out rate has dropped dramatically; but, sadly, there are fewer students planning to attend 4-year colleges.

What does your school report card say?

How to Read a New York School Report Card

New York State released its 2009-10 School Report Cards with detailed statistics on local and statewide performance.  Want to check on your school district?  It’s easy.  You will need Adobe Acrobat or another PDF reader installed on your computer / web browser to read the reports.  (Hat tip to NYS Teaching Jobs for detailed instructions.)

1.  Visit the State Report Card page and select your county.

2.  As an example, I picked Rensselaer County and was presented with a list of all the school districts in Rensselaer County.

3.  I clicked on my home district (East Greenbush CSD) and was brought to this screen.  I can read the District Wide Accountability and Overview Report and the Comprehensive Information Report here.

4.  To narrow my search to focus on the information from a particular school, I clicked the school’s name – Columbia High School – and the website offered me the Accountability and Overview Report and the Comprehensive Information Report for Columbia High School.

Is there another way to see this data?  Of course!  You can download the entire database of State Report Cards and flip through the data at your leisure. 

If you would like to see data from years past, click here.  Go back in time to compare reports from academic year 1998-1999 to Present.

Want to see an interview with State Regent Robert Bennett of Buffalo?  Check out the story on The article highlights new data available on this year’s report card, including: percentage of “highly qualified” teachers teaching core classes, and new regents exam results.

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| Sandra Foyt is a storyteller, photographer, and road trip junkie. A veteran of six cross-country road trips, she drove Route 66, the Lincoln Highway, the fossil freeway, the extraterrestrial highway, and even “the loneliest road in America.” Find her on, an award-winning destination guide to extraordinary travel in and from Northeast USA, on her portfolio site at, and in freelance gigs on Family Travel 411, Minitime, Huffington Post, and Matador Network. Email:, Twitter @SandraFoyt.

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