Report Cards and Accountability in Decentralized Education Systems
Education providers may be more directly accountable to parents, community members, and students in decentralized education systems. But transparent and public information, easily accessible and understood, is essential to ensuring this accountability. Such information appears in report cards. It may vary widely, from simple reporting of student test scores to comprehensive descriptions of academic performance, socioeconomic characteristics of staff and students, and financing. Because reports cards support clear, quantitative statements of goals and the annual monitoring of goals, report cards can also create greater accountability upward, to managers of educational systems and sources of finance. The combination of decentralization and well-executed report cards could be revolutionary in developing countries.