School transparency checklist
Read more about the project and the basic checklist applied during this research here.
|Transparency grading process|
Ranking school transparency
An ideal school transparency checklist should meet at least two criteria: inclusion of relevant information and interpretation of data whose meaning or importance is not self-evident. Bonus points might be awarded for trend data (e.g., on tax increases in recent years) or benchmarks and cross-district patterns (e.g., tax and salary data for nearby districts or test scores from districts with similar demographics.
Are the following documents available online and readable with widely available software?
- Annual budget
- Check registers
- Property tax rates (millage)
- Income or other tax rates
- Scheduled board meetings (including committees)
- Board meeting agendas (including committees)
- Minutes of meetings
- Board policies
- Board contact data
- Administration contact data
Key budget components
- Superintendent salary
- Salary schedule, teachers
- Union contract(s)
- Formal board and union proposals in current negotiations
Academic performance documents
- District "Report Card"
- Test scores
- Dropout/graduation rates
Requesting an evaluation
Transparency evaluations are conducted once per quarter, as requested. Please email us to request an evaluation. We do not conduct comprehensive, annual evaluations for all municipalities or school districts.
In your request please include the following:
- a link to the website
- links to where the information that will be evaluated (see below list) can be found on the website
Comments or questions
If you find that any of the information that is posted on your government entity's website is false, not up-to-date, or has been taken down please send an email to let us know. We will review the information and evaluate if the government entity's score needs to be adjusted.
- Sunlight Foundation, List of transparency websites
- Center for Fiscal Accountability, Government spending websites
- Measuring transparency
- Useful websites for state government transparency
- Checklists, eptitude(sic), how to get things right