California is field testing a new website designed to help communities across the state access important information about K-12 districts and schools. Called the California School Dashboard (http://www.cde.ca.gov/dashboard), the site features easy-to-read reports on multiple measures of school success, including test scores, graduation rates, English learner progress and suspension rates. The Dashboard is part of California’s new school accountability system based on 2013’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). It is the next step in a series of major shifts in public education that have raised the bar for student learning, transformed testing and placed the focus on equity for all students.The California School Dashboard aims to synthesize and make accessible a wealth of state and local data to help schools achieve better outcomes for California’s students. In the past, accountability systems for schools and districts relied solely on test scores. But one test taken on one particular day doesn’t provide a complete picture of all the ways schools are helping students succeed. The Dashboard’s multiple indicators give a fuller picture of a school’s progress. The Dashboard also reports on growth to show a school’s trajectory over time. Looking at different forms of data provides different information to help parents and educators understand all the ways schools and districts keep students on track for success.The Santa Ana Unified School District is pleased with the beginning stages of the California School Dashboard because it provides multiple indicators to give parents, community members and educators a well-balance overview of how school districts are serving their student population.Please use this website - its videos, resources, and answer to common questions - to learn more about the new state website. You can also visit the California Department of Education's Dashboard page by clicking here.
Below are direct links to CDE resources that may be helpful to learn more about the California School Dashboard. They are provided in English and Spanish:
· Getting to Know the California School Dashboard (PDF, 2 pages): http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/cm/documents/dashboardflyer.pdf
· Guía para entender el Tablero de Escuelas de Ca (PDF, 2 pages): http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/cm/documents/dashboardflyerspanish.pdf
Five things you need to know about the California School Dashboard
(Courtesy of Orange County Department of Education)
State education officials have just unveiled a brand new accountability and improvement system to show how California’s public schools are performing — and to track their progress over time.
It’s called the California School Dashboard, and you can access it now at www.caschooldashboard.org. Here are five things you need to know.
1. The new dashboard is aligned with California’s academic standards, but it goes way beyond test scores.
Published online, the California School Dashboard features an array of data to help parents, educators and the public evaluate the strengths and challenges of their schools and districts. The dashboard will also help determine which schools and districts require special assistance.
You might remember the old Academic Performance Index, which annually assigned each school a triple-digit score based largely on its standardized test scores. The California School Dashboard uses color-coded pie pieces and other gauges to present a more comprehensive set of metrics. While it will likely take a little more time to grasp, it’s expected to be more useful than the API to parents, educators and the public.
2. The dashboard is based on state and local performance indicators that might look familiar.
Rather than relying on a single number, the California School Dashboard displays scores based on about a dozen state and local indicators. These indicators are specifically aligned with 10 priority areas spelled out in the state’s overhauled funding formula. (The same priority areas are also embedded in the local accountability plans that are updated annually by districts and charter schools.)
The state indicators are:
- Chronic absenteeism
- Suspension rate
- English learner progress
- Graduation rate
- College and career
- Academic (English language arts and math)
State indicator results are based on how schools or subgroups performed overall (known as their “status”), as well as how much they improved or declined over a three-year period (referred to as “change”).
The local indicators are:
- Appropriately assigned teachers, access to curriculum-aligned instructional materials and safe, clean and functional school facilities
- Implementation of academic standards
- Parent engagement
- School climate
- Coordination of services for expelled students (This applies to county offices of education only.)
- Coordination of services for foster youth (Again, this is just for county offices of education.)
Unlike the state indicators, local indicators are self-reported by schools, districts and county offices based on locally available data.
3. The California School Dashboard relies on visual graphics to show performance and growth.
For the state indicators, color-coded pie pieces represent school and subgroup performance levels. Ranked from least favorable to most favorable, the performance levels are red (one slice), orange (two slices), yellow (three slices), green (four slices) and blue (a full pie).
You can learn more about how each color is assigned by visiting the California Accountability Model & School Dashboard webpage, but the general idea is that the colors are gauges that show how well the school or subgroup performed overall (status) and how much it improved or worsened over a three-year period (change).
4. It’s not just a tool for parents and the public. The California School Dashboard also serves as the basis for technical assistance.
Under the provisions of the Local Control Funding Formula — that’s the state’s K-12 funding mechanism — schools and districts will be eligible for technical assistance from their county office of education if certain performance benchmarks are not met over time. To learn more, refer to page 70 of the CDE’s Technical Guide for New Accountability System (PDF).
5. The state has published guides and other resources for those who want to dive a little deeper — and additional resources are coming.
Again, there’s a lot to digest here, and we’ve just covered a few of the basics. For those seeking more information, the California Department of Education has compiled a variety of resources, including:
- California School Dashboard homepage
- California Accountability Model & School Dashboard overview
- California School Dashboard video (produced by the California Department of Education)
- Technical Guide for New Accountability System (PDF)
- Quick Reference Guide for California’s New Accountability System (Word doc)
- Frequently asked questions