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Reports offer Hoosiers snapshot of how well their schools perform

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By The Staff

Each year, the Indiana Department of Education, schools and newspapers across the state work together to publish education report cards for our local communities.

The annual performance reports are one part of a continuing effort to encourage Hoosiers to become more knowledgeable about their schools and for schools to become more accountable to the public they serve.

The reports include the most recent data available on test scores, attendance and graduation rates, school safety, teacher salaries, expenditures and more.

To provide an even clearer picture about Indiana schools, our Department of Education makes even more detailed information available year-round online at www.doe.in.gov/ schooldata. The Web site goes beyond what is possible on the printed page, allowing anyone to access a multitude of data, graphically display the results, and even compare schools based on a variety of characteristics.

I encourage every Hoosier to review the performance reports for the schools in your community, and then take the time to visit your local school to find out what you can do to help make a difference.

We are setting high expectations in Indiana, and these efforts are producing results. However, our students cannot do it alone and neither can our schools.

There is no doubt that education is a critical investment for our future. Using this information to identify our schools' strengths and weaknesses and to make informed decisions ensures that we receive the best return on that investment.

Our citizens demand it, our economic well-being depends upon it and our students deserve nothing less than a world-class education.

Reed is Indiana's superintendent of public instruction.