Promoting Transparency Through Information: A Global Review of School Report Cards
When ensuring a quality education for all, promoting transparency can be challenging. FHI 360’s study on school report card initiatives in 14 countries was commissioned by the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning to help practitioners and policymakers understand how they can best use school report cards to hold schools accountable for providing students with a high-quality education.
FHI 360 explored how school-level information can promote transparency and accountability within education systems and which school report card practices mobilize parents, improve education outcomes and combat corruption.
Researchers found that the information in report cards appears to be more comprehensive than ever. Model report cards that aim to promote accountability include measures of outputs (such as test scores and promotion and graduation rates) and measures of parent perception. The research revealed, however, that most report card initiatives are missing clear, effective accountability measures and direct reporting to those individuals capable of making changes. The study also showed that there is still a need to create mechanisms for public discussion of measurements that hold educators accountable.
The report, published as an installment in the institute’s Ethics and Corruption in Education series, includes:
- A review of the literature
- A descriptive summary of report card practices in countries across Asia, Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa
- A set of new indicators that integrate accountability and anti-corruption effectiveness in the interpretation of report cards
- Suggestions for improvement
As a part of the study, FHI 360 developed an index that clearly identifies which elements of school-level information can lead to increased accountability and transparency.