Updated Dashboard Provides San Mateo County School Districts with Rich Data
REDWOOD CITY, CA. – The California Department of Education launched today an update of the California School Dashboard, a key element of the State’s new school accountability system. The updated Dashboard includes new data for chronic absenteeism and college and career readiness as well as indicators on suspension and graduation rates, standardized assessment results, and English learner progress. The Dashboard also includes local indicators that school districts can develop and report themselves, reflecting a move to greater local control.
First unveiled in March 2017, the Dashboard provides parents, educators, and the public with important information about schools in an easy-to-understand format. Unlike the previous accountability system, which relied exclusively on test scores and gave schools a single performance number, the Dashboard includes several measures of success to provide a more an in-depth picture of how students are doing over time. School districts may now dive deep into an extensive set of data to ensure that overall progress is not masking setbacks to individual student groups. The data also helps districts develop Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs) and programs based on solid information about student needs.
San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools Anne E. Campbell stated, “The Dashboard provides a wealth of information that allows school districts to make informed decisions. Districts, parents, and the public can also see whether progress is shared among student groups, which is a powerful tool in ensuring that our education system is equitable.”
While the Dashboard provides a rich set of data to understand individual school districts, it is now not as easy to compare school districts since the indicators on the Dashboard are reported as composites of both current status and change. For example, an indicator could reflect a district that is low status but that experienced a positive change or a district with higher status that experienced a decline. The rich data the Dashboard provides districts is considerably more helpful in addressing student needs and assessing district performance than the single, more easily compared number of the State’s former accountability system.
For San Mateo County, the Dashboard data reveal areas of strength and weakness as well as a persistent gap in performance among student groups. A positive note is that some student groups that have traditionally performed below standard are starting to make significant progress. For example, 80 percent of districts showed significant improvement in graduation rates for English Learners. Fifty-two percent of districts made significant improvement in lowering suspension rates for students in several student groups. The gap, however, is quite noticeable in College and Career Readiness, with no districts showing high or very high percentages of students from groups that have traditionally performed below standard prepared for college or career.
“We continue to have a lot of work to do to help all of our students succeed,” explained Superintendent Campbell, “however, we now have the data to understand the specific needs and develop appropriate programs and tools to address them.”
The San Mateo County Office of Education is committed to ensuring excellence and equity in education by inspiring students, investing in teachers, invigorating leaders, and involving communities.