No Child Left Behind

School Report Cards

The NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND (NCLB) ACT of 2001 is a federal law to improve education for all children. It holds schools responsible for results, gives parents greater choices, and promotes teaching methods that work. This fact sheet will point out a part of the law that is important for parents to know.

Every term, your child gets a report card that tells you how your child is doing in school. Under the NCLB law, your child’s school and school district will get a report card every year. You will be able to learn how well your child’s school and school district did in meeting New York State’s academic achievement goals. The school report card should be provided in a language you understand.

Your child’s School Report Card contains important information. It will tell you—

  • How well your child’s school is doing compared to all the other schools in your school district.
  • How many students in your child’s school are working at high levels of academic achievement and how many are working at lower levels.
  • How different groups did on the state tests—
    • boys and girls,
    • students from different racial and ethnic groups,
    • students from different economic backgrounds,
    • students with limited English proficiency, and
    • students with disabilities (special education students).
  • How well your child’s school is meeting New York State’s academic achievement goals or
  • If the school is in need of improvement. (If it has failed to make adequate yearly progress in meeting New York State’s academic achievement goals in the same subject and grade for at least two years in a row.)
  • How many students in your district completed high school and how many students dropped out.
  • How many teachers are highly qualified (that is, certified) to teach what they are teaching. (A small percentage of charter school teachers do not need to be certified to be considered highly qualified.)
  • How many students did not take the statewide tests.

If your child’s school or district is not meeting the state goals, school officials must take steps to improve the school and help all students learn better.

Review your child’s School Report Card each year.

  • Ask the school principal or a leader of the school’s parent group for a copy of the School Report Card or find a copy on the New York State Education Department website at
  • If the report card is hard to understand, ask as many questions as you need to understand what it says about your child’s school and district. You can ask your child’s teacher, the principal, the district superintendent, or parent leaders. You can also ask for a translator to help you.
  • If your child’s school is listed as in need of improvement, ask what steps the school is taking to improve, what new options are open to parents, and how parents can help the school improve.

This is one of a series of NY parent information sheets about the federal education law No Child Left Behind, Section 1111 (h) (1) of No Child Left Behind covers School and District Report Cards.

For more “…Facts”:

Last Updated: September 21, 2009