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Bush Institute Releases Mayors’ Report Card on Education

January 21, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C.

The Bush Institute at the George W. Bush Presidential Center today released the Mayors’ Report Card on Education, a straightforward collection of comparable data at the district and city level to help mayors better engage in their city’s education landscape. The report card, part of the Bush Institute’s 2015 focus on the need for strong accountability for increased student achievement, was presented at the U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting in Washington.

Though education data is frequently collected and aggregated at the state level, data is rarely synthesized across cities. The Mayors’ Report Card, based on key topics in education and compiled by the Bush Institute’s Education Reform Initiative, looks at 33 cities across the nation and presents the information for mayors and members of the public in an easy-to-use and illustrated format.

“What gets measured, gets done,” said Margaret Spellings, President of the George W. Bush Presidential Center and former U.S. Secretary of Education. “We’re thrilled to complete this project as part of the Bush Institute’s commitment to advance accountability of our nation’s schools, which starts with making sure schools, parents, policymakers, and -- now our mayors -- have a rich amount of data.”

The data describes indicators including: a high-quality education for every student; supported pathways to college and career; early childhood education that prepares students for the classroom; and effective educators and principals. Armed with these observations and data as a starting point, mayors can work with their communities to address important needs or accelerate change.

“I’d particularly like to thank Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings for asking that we bring information like this to his fellow mayors and for his interest in this project,” said Spellings. “Our country needs an education system that will well serve all students, and we agree that sharing better data is a first step in getting there.”

The Mayors’ Report Card is presented as a starting point for compiling available data from multiple sources, understanding what is found in the data, and helping inform mayors and city leaders about what is needed to help prepare all students for success in college and the workforce.

The spotlighted cities were chosen based on the availability of comparable student achievement data and information of interest to mayors. The majority of the data in the report came from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the Office of Civil Rights’ (OCR) Civil Rights Data Collection, and ACT.

The project is part of a series of efforts by the Bush Institute in 2015 to help ensure all students are on a path to success. The Bush Institute also released this week a document, "Every Student Matters," which explains why policymakers of all stripes should retain yearly, objective exams.

As part of the efforts on school accountability, the Bush Institute recently welcomed Tracy Young as the Director of the Education Reform Initiative. Tracy previously served as the Vice President of Public & Government Affairs at the Texas Charter Schools Association. She worked as Special Assistant for Education at the White House during the 2007 No Child Left Behind reauthorization efforts. In 2005, she was named Deputy Assistant Secretary for Communications and Outreach at the U.S. Department of Education where she directed the Strategic Communications team. Prior to her work at the U.S. Department of Education, Tracy served as the Associate Director of Communications at the White House, focused on the Domestic Policy Council.

The Bush Institute Education Reform team includes its 2015 Fellows: Robert Balfanz, Beth Ann Bryan, Jacquelyn Davis, Mark Dynarski, Sandy Kress, and Sharon Vaughn.

 “I’m delighted to join the team and help shape the education reform efforts and the important policy work coming out of the Bush Institute, “ said Young. “Our focus is on student achievement for all students, and the Mayors’ Report Card is an important step – and a vital tool – in making objective information available for parents and policymakers.”

To view the Mayors’ Report card, visit: www.bushcenter.org/mayorsreportcard