San Mateo County, CA — The California Department of Education released the 2023 California School Dashboard today. The Dashboard provides educators and parents with information on school and district progress in improving student learning and outcomes.

After a couple of years of incomplete results due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Dashboard includes a more robust set of data and once again reflects both current-year results and progress over the previous year. These data are reflected in a series of indicators for several student groups across multiple measures, such as chronic absenteeism, graduation rate, and suspension rate. In addition to these state indicators, the Dashboard also includes local indicators, which are based on information collected locally, such as school climate and parent and family engagement.

School districts use the Dashboard to inform their efforts to improve their services for students and engage their communities in planning. The San Mateo County Office of Education and California Department of Education provide tools and other resources to help schools and districts engage parents in conversations about the Dashboard and the development of Local Control and Accountability Plans.

The greatest progress in San Mateo County has been in the area of reducing chronic absenteeism. The Dashboard’s chronic absenteeism indicator represents the percentage of students in kindergarten through eighth grade who were absent for 10 percent or more instructional days. Every student group in San Mateo County saw a decline (improvement) in chronic absenteeism, with the most significant improvements being observed for students who are in foster care, socioeconomically disadvantaged, or identified as English Learners.

This year also marks the return of the College and Career Indicator. This indicator is a multi-dimensional measure that seeks to describe how well schools are preparing students for their future after K-12 schooling. Students can meet the standard through a combination of test scores on a variety of tests (including Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate assessments), coursework completion, completion of Career Technical Educational pathways, and other methods. Twenty of San Mateo County’s 29 high schools had College and Career rates higher than the state average, with 62 percent of schools meeting “High” or “Very High” status. Next year, the College and Career Indicator will also reflect change over time, giving it a color gauge similar to other measures on the Dashboard.

The California Department of Education uses the data included on the Dashboard to determine which districts may be eligible for Differentiated Assistance, or more individualized support to address a specific performance issue in the school district. The County Office of Education provides support based on the identified areas of need as well as the local context of the districts. These supports may include needs assessments, root cause analysis, and support in monitoring progress toward improved outcomes.

One of the highlights for San Mateo County this year is the high number of districts that no longer qualify for Differentiated Assistance. These districts are more successfully serving students in the specific areas that had originally qualified them for Differentiated Assistance, and that progress is reflected on the Dashboard. This year, only one district and three charter schools were newly identified for Differentiated Assistance, down from 14 districts in 2022. This is also the first year since 2019 that charter schools have been eligible for Differentiated Assistance.

The San Mateo County Office of Education has been working closely with districts identified for Differentiated Assistance due to high levels of chronic absenteeism to help them understand the root causes of the absenteeism and develop and implement effective strategies to get students back in class.

“School districts in San Mateo County have been making significant progress in understanding and addressing challenges in their systems so that all students can thrive. For example, the concerted efforts of districts to identify and address the root causes of chronic absenteeism are paying off – more students are in school, where they need to be. There is much work to do, but our educators are moving the needle,” shared San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools Nancy Magee.  

The California Dashboard is not set up to allow easy comparisons between districts nor does it allow for aggregation of data on all students in the county. Rather, it is best used by districts, schools, and their communities to understand how their students are doing across multiple measures and identify opportunities to improve student outcomes. Districts will engage with their communities in this process and reflect the new understandings and priorities in the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP).

Explore the California School Dashboard website and frequently asked questions for more information.


The San Mateo County Office of Education is committed to ensuring excellence and equity in education by inspiring students, investing in educators, invigorating leaders, and involving communities.