California School Dashboard Raises Bar for Student Learning
REDWOOD CITY, CALIF. – The California Department of Education (CDE) has unveiled a groundbreaking new accountability system, known as the California School Dashboard (www.caschooldashboard.org), that will use multiple measures to give parents, educators and community members a more complete picture of how schools are serving diverse student populations.
Instead of relying exclusively on test scores, as the previous accountability system did, the Dashboard will provide a snapshot of a wide range of performance indicators, including high school graduation rates, English learner progress and suspension rates. Having access to this information will allow schools and districts to make the best possible decisions about how to help students who are struggling. The Dashboard will not provide school rankings and is instead intended to hold schools and districts accountable for the performance of their own student groups.
The Dashboard is meant to support other innovative practices the state has implemented over the past six years, including new academic standards that focus on 21st-century teaching and learning, innovative online assessments that more accurately measure student progress, and a new funding formula that gives districts and schools more flexibility in the use of state resources.
The Dashboard also reflects the state's commitment to transparency and continuous improvement. Districts will be able to use the Dashboard as they develop their Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs), especially with regard to the needs of English learners, students who are socioeconomically disadvantaged and foster youth. The new reports will also emphasize changes in performance, highlighting programs that are having positive effects for student subgroups, as well as identifying areas where schools may need targeted assistance to improve student outcomes.
"This is a big step forward for all of us," said Anne E. Campbell, San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools. "California's new accountability system provides a pathway for every school—even those deemed historically high performing—to dig deeply into their data and find better ways to serve all students, but especially those who are struggling."
It's important to note that this year's launch is considered a field test of the Dashboard. Data for two of the state indicators—chronic absenteeism and college/career readiness—will be added over time as it is collected, and additional adjustments will be made prior to full implementation at the start of the 2017–18 school year.
The San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE) will continue to offer ongoing support to school districts as needed. This includes data analysis and support services from SMCOE's Center for Learning Analytics, as well as ongoing professional development opportunities provided by SMCOE's Instructional Services Division.
For more information about the Dashboard, visit the California Department of Education's California Accountability Model and School Dashboard website at www.cde.ca.gov/dashboard.