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New School Dashboard Provides Increased Transparency

00:00 AM - February 22, 2017

California’s future success depends on tapping into the potential of all students, so they graduate ready for college, careers, and life. For schools to reach this goal, teachers, parents and the community need clear and useful measures of progress. The new California School Dashboard is a key part of California’s commitment to transparency and continuous improvement. As an accountability tool, the Dashboard will help the state identify schools (including charter schools) and districts needing targeted assistance.

California is field testing this web-based tool designed to help communities across the state access important information about K-12 districts and schools. 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. 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 Dashboard will become live in March, and it is important to remember that the data shown is preliminary and won’t be fully complete for several years.

A body of 11 educators was assembled last year, called the California Practitioners Advisory Group, which met regularly and provided recommendations to the State Board of Education that helped shape the system. El Dorado County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Ed Manansala, was appointed to co-chair this group and provided local input at the state level.

To learn more about California’s accountability and continuous improvement efforts.

What’s different?

In the past, accountability systems for districts and schools 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.

Think of it this way: You can’t drive a car by only watching the speedometer. You also keep your eye on the road, check the mirrors, monitor the gas tank and pay attention if the engine light comes on. Similarly, the Dashboard provides information on different aspects of student performance, which will give a more complete picture of a school’s progress. The Dashboard also reports on growth to show a school’s trajectory over time. 

What’s next?

The Dashboard is deliberately designed to be a work in progress: Metrics and reports will be added over time. During the field testing phase, the state will be gathering feedback to make additional modifications. 

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