Parent Dashboard Questions and Answers
- What is the Parent Data Dashboard for New York State Schools?
The Parent Dashboard is a user-friendly website created by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to increase transparency and make it easier for parents to find essential information about the schools their children attend. The purpose of the dashboard is to make school data, such as performance indicators and general enrollment details, easy to find and understand. Statistics such as enrollment numbers, average class size, test scores, graduation rates, school climate, demographics, and accountability designations will afford parents a transparent account of all New York State public schools. Designed with input from parents and other stakeholders, the dashboard provides information that is both illustrative and useful and serves the unique needs of parents and the public of New York State.
The Parent Dashboard provides easy access to the following school-level data elements:
- Student Enrollment and Ethnicity
- Average Class Size
- School Climate
- Accountability Status
- Assessment Results
- Financial Transparency
- Graduation Rate
- College, Career, and Civic Readiness
- School/District Location and Contact Information
New York State’s ESSA plan emphasizes equity in education for all students and expands measures of school accountability and student success. One element of the State’s ESSA plan is the creation of the Parent Dashboard. In addition to providing easy access to data on all NYS public schools, the Parent Dashboard also provides resources for parents such as fact sheets; videos; information about school climate; supporting English language learners and students with disabilities; transparency; school and district accountability designations; the Next Generation Learning Standards; Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education; high school graduation requirements; data privacy and security; and more.
NYSED seeks ongoing feedback via a survey to help make continuous improvements to the dashboard.
- What are the Grades 3-8 English Language Arts (ELA), Mathematics and Science tests and why do students take them?
Every spring, the Grades 3-8 English Language Arts (ELA),Mathematics and science Tests are administered to students across New York State. These annual ELA, math and science tests for students in grades 3-8 are required by the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015. (Note: Administration of the 2020 elementary- and intermediate-level State assessments was suspended due to school closures as a result of COVID-19.)
Although assessments represent only a small part of the total picture, the tests are designed to measure how well students are mastering the learning standards that guide classroom instruction and help to ensure that students are on track to graduate from high school with the critical thinking, problem solving, and reasoning skills needed for success in college and the workplace. The tests also show how schools and districts are progressing with the learning standards and can be used to support professional development for teachers.
Additional information about the 3-8 testing program:
- 2020 Grades 3-8 New York State Assessments: What Parents Need to Know
- Parents' Frequently Asked Questions About New York State's Annual Grades 3-8 English Language Arts and Mathematics Tests
- Things Every Parent Should Know About Student Participation in Statewide Assessments Under ESSA
- Additional Information for Stakeholders About Student Participation in Statewide Assessments Under ESSA
- NYSED’s State Assessment website
- Where can I find out how many students did not take (or opted out of) the 3-8 state assessments at my child’s school?
A test refusal file by school district is available on NYSED’s Information and Reporting Services website.
In 2019 (the last time the 3-8 assessments were administered), the statewide test refusal rate was approximately 16 percent, a decline of two percentage points from the 2018 refusal rate of approximately 18 percent, and a decline of three percentage points from the 2017 refusal rate of approximately 19 percent.
Statewide, the vast majority of students who refused the tests were from average or low-need school districts. Long Island remains the geographic area with the highest percentage of test refusals in both mathematics and ELA. Charter schools and schools in the Big 5 city school districts had the lowest refusal rates in the State. Eighth grade saw the highest percentage of test refusals while third grade had the lowest.
- What are the diploma requirements in New York State?
New York State’s general education regulations and diploma requirements are available on our Curriculum & Instruction website.
In addition, the Board of Regents and NYSED have undertaken a thoughtful and inclusive review of the New York State high school graduation measures. Our ultimate goal is to explore what it means to obtain a diploma in New York State and what that diploma should signify to ensure educational excellence and equity for all students in New York State.
- What is the difference between the 4-, 5-, and 6-year graduation rates?
Graduation Rate is determined at the secondary level using the four-year, five-year, and six-year graduation rate total cohorts as of June 30th of the year preceding the reporting year. Students in the cohorts are considered graduates if they earned a local or Regents diploma as of August 31st of the year preceding the reporting year.
Cohort year is determined by the student’s first date of entry into grade 9. The cohort graduation rates are a calculation of the percentage of students who have graduated with a high school diploma within a designated number of years since the student first entered high school. The rate is calculated for a cohort of students who have all entered high school for the first time during the same school year, for example:
- Students in a 4-year cohort all entered high school for the first time during the school year that is four years prior to the end of August of the graduation reporting year.
- Students in a 5-year cohort all entered high school for the first time during the school year that is five years prior to the end of August of the graduation reporting year, and
- Students in a 6-year cohort all entered high school for the first time during the school year that is six year prior to the end of August of the graduation reporting year.
- What is CCCR, and what can I do if my school has a low score?
College, Career, and Civic Readiness (CCCR) is an indication of how well the school has prepared its students for life beyond high school, including how well they are prepared to be involved in activities important to being a productive citizen and whether they plan to attend college or get a job after high school. A school is awarded a level of 1-4 for how well it prepares its students for life beyond high school, with 4 being the highest level a school can earn.
Visit our accountability website for more information, including fact sheets, about school ratings under the new accountability system. You can also contact your school’s principal to learn how you can be involved in building a stronger school.
- What does a school’s Accountability Status mean?
The Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, the main federal law for K-12 public education, aims to ensure all children get a quality education. The law requires that states hold public schools accountable for how students achieve. To help accomplish this, New York State has created a new accountability system that classifies schools into one of three categories: In Good Standing, a Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) school, or a Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) school. Accountability systems provide opportunities to learn from high-performing schools and direct funds and resources to districts and schools that need to improve.
Parents and families should know how their child’s school is performing in many areas, not just academic subjects. Schools and districts are measured annually on multiple indicators in order to provide parents and families with a more complete picture of their child’s school.
We encourage all parents to reach out to their child’s school for more information about programming, opportunities, and additional ways to get involved.
To learn more about these designations and our accountability system, read our resources for parents available on our Accountability website:
- What does a District’s Accountability Status mean?
A District can either be in Good Standing or a Target District. Districts in Good Standing do not have any schools identified for Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) or Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) and have not been identified for the low performance of an accountability group by a set of identification criteria.
A Target District is a district that has at least one school identified as CSI or TSI or that have been identified for the low performance of one or more accountability groups at the district level.
Districts may be removed from Target District identification upon a finding by the Commissioner of extenuating or extraordinary circumstances.
To learn more about these designation and our accountability system, please read more about “Understanding New York State Accountability under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) 2020-21 Accountability Statuses.”
- Why do class sizes at my child’s school appear to be significantly larger than at other schools?
In previous years, some schools and districts inconsistently reported course sections. In some instances, a district may have reported all sections of a course as one class resulting in inflated course counts.
If you encounter class sizes that appear to be larger than what you would expect, please reach out to the school or district for further information.
- I am a parent of a student with disabilities. Where can I find more information about special programming at my child’s school?
Parents of students with disabilities should begin by reviewing our Parent’s Guide for Special Education in New York State.
Parents should work with their district’s Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) and/or the Committee on Special Education (CSE).
Parents can also reach out to our Special Education Quality Assurance team to address specific questions related to their school district or child. Find your Special Education Quality Assurance regional office.
In addition, a Special Education School District Data Profile is available for each school district in New York State. Each profile is prepared in accordance with the requirement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Each State must have a State Performance Plan (SPP) to evaluate the State's efforts to meet the requirements and purposes of the implementation of IDEA. Find your school district’s Special Education Data Profile by clicking “Special Education Data” at the bottom of the school district’s Parent Dashboard profile page.
Please visit NYSED’s Special Education website for information about the provision of services to students with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- I am a parent of an English language learner. Where can I find more information about special programming at my child’s school?
Parents should work with their district’s teachers and administration responsible for oversight of their English language learner (ELL) programming. Parents of English Language Learners/Multilingual Learners should begin by reviewing our ELL/ML Parent Bill of Rights or contacting the ELL/ML Parent Hotline.
The U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Right Division provides a free Parent Fact Sheet to answer common questions about the rights of parents and guardians who do not speak, listen, read, or write English proficiently because it is not their primary language.
The Every Student Succeeds Act includes provisions and resources geared towards helping states support all student populations, including English Learners.
- The U.S. Department of Education's Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) provides leadership to help ensure that English Learners and immigrant students attain English proficiency and achieve academic success.
- The National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition (NCELA) collects, analyzes, synthesizes, and disseminates information about language instruction education programs for English language learners and related programs.
- Anti-discrimination: Laws enforced by the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) requires public schools to take steps to ensure that English Language Learners (ELLs) can meaningfully participate in educational programs and services and to communicate information to parents in a language they can understand. OCR offers ELL Resources for students, parents, and education officials.
- Where can I find information about mental health education and social emotional learning initiatives?
NYSED continues to promote initiatives to foster student engagement and thereby increase student achievement, safety, and wellness. NYSED’s Social Emotional Learning materials support the state's ESSA plan priorities and promote a positive school climate. The resources outline benchmarks and frameworks for educators to implement Social Emotional Learning practices in their schools and classrooms. Mental health education can also assist young people and their families and result in positive decision-making and life-long success. Learn more on NYSED’s School Climate web page.
- Where can I find information about school safety?
School Safety indicates the safety of the school’s environment based on reported incidents. In addition to reaching out to your child’s school about safety, the New York State Center for School Safety provides a number of resources for parents on school safety and school climate. Parents can also work with their local chapter of the NYS PTA to become actively engaged in creating a safe and supportive school environment for all children.
- Where can I find information about community schools?
Please reach out to your local school district for information about community schools within the district.
- How can I learn about specialized programs offered at my child’s school (i.e., arts programs, gifted and talented programs, preparatory programs, etc.)?
Parents can contact the principal of their child’s school to learn more about available programming.
- How can I speak with my child’s guidance counselor or college advisor?
Parents can connect with a guidance counselor by contacting their child’s school.
- Where can I find information about school immunization requirements?
School immunization requirements, including important vaccination deadlines, vaccines required for day care, pre-K, and school attendance can be found at the New York State Department of Health website. Additional information is available on NYSED’s School Health Services web page.
- How can parents and families access the information on the dashboard if they lack computer access?
Parents and families can access the information on the dashboard from any device, including a cell phone, that is connected to the internet. If they do not have internet access or a device, they should reach out to their child’s school to see what options are available to them for access to and use of equipment. Parents and families may also take advantage of public libraries, which provide access to computers and the internet.
Sufficient access to computing devices and high-speed internet, both in school and at students’ places of residence, are essential for educational equity. Addressing the inequitable access to technology and internet services is a priority for the Board of Regents and NYSED. The Board of Regents and NYSED are engaged in multiple efforts to address digital equity for P-12 students, teachers, and families:
- Hosting a Digital Equity Webinar Series to establish a shared understanding of the challenges to digital equity to begin to develop a shared vision of how we can work together to achieve digital equity for all New Yorkers.
- Moving forward with plans to convene a Digital Equity Summit, which will bring together key stakeholder groups to identify issues and develop strategies for addressing digital equity in New York.
- Launching the Teaching in Remote Learning Environments (TRLE) program, which will provide educators with tools, resources, and training to facilitate blended/remote instruction to address digital literacy skills of both teachers and students.
- Issuing guidance to schools and districts related to fiscal flexibilities for federal funding sources to assist with technology-related expenses.
- Building on our Continuity of Learning website to provide ideas, resources, and best practices for teachers, schools, and communities.
- How much money does my child’s school spend to educate each student? Where does the money come from?
School-level financial transparency reports outline how much each school is spending per student and the source of the funds: federal, state/local. Find the expenditure reports for your child’s school by clicking “Financial Transparency Report” at the bottom of the school district’s Parent Dashboard profile page.
- Will the New York State Parent Dashboard display data about my individual child? Is my child’s personally identifiable information (PII) secure?
NYSED takes its obligation to secure Personally Identifiable Information (PII) seriously. All information on the New York State Parent Dashboard is displayed at the school or district level. No individual student information will be available on the New York State Parent Dashboard. Find more information about our commitment to ensuring the security and privacy of student data on our Data Privacy and Security web page.
- Where can I find information about my individual child?
Please contact your child’s school to obtain information about your child. Your child’s information will not be available on the New York State Parent Dashboard.
- Have parents been involved in the development of the New York State Parent Dashboard?
NYSED released a Parent Dashboard survey to gather feedback from parents and stakeholders to guide the work of developing the Parent Dashboard. NYSED used this feedback to determine the best way to deliver information to parents and to identify the data that is most useful to parents and the public.
- The information I am looking for is not available on the New York State Parent Dashboard. How can I get more information about my child’s school?
Additional information about your child’s school is available on NYSED’s public data website. You can search for your child’s school by name and find detailed data on enrollment, assessments, graduation rates, and much more. You can also reach out to your child’s school for further information.
- How often will the Parent Dashboard be updated?
After the initial launch of the Parent Dashboard, NYSED will continue to gather feedback from parents and stakeholders to guide the development of the final product. The data on the Parent Dashboard will be updated annually.
- How can I provide feedback about the Parent Dashboard?
You can provide feedback in the following ways:
- Where can I find information about COVID-19 and School Reopening?
Visit NYSED's Reopening Schools web page to access information and resources about school reopening and contact information for sharing questions and feedback. Links to New York State's public school district, school, and BOCES reopening plans are also available on our School Reopening Plans Map.
NYSED has also developed many comprehensive guidance documents and resources in response to COVID-19. All of the guidance, resources, and announcements are available on our dedicated COVID-19 web page. In addition to providing guidance for P-12 schools, the web page provides links to guidance for colleges and universities, adult education programs, and licensed professionals.