Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group


First Advisor

Abby Reisman


From the passing of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) through to the signing of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), all states receiving federal funds must have been required to publicly report on the quality of their schools. In this article, I look at the role of these reports in the broader system of public school accountability, specifically working to untangle the complex interaction between content and form. Drawing on an interdisciplinary body of work in education policy and data visualization and design, I argue that these reports – and more importantly, their visual design – serve as a lynchpin of contemporary school accountability and deserve considerably more attention from both policymakers and practitioners.

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