On March 15, California is launching a field test of the California School Dashboard, an online tool designed to help communities across the state access important information about K-12 districts and schools. The Dashboard is the next step in series of major shifts in public education, changes that have raised the bar for student learning, transformed testing, and put the focus on equity.
California is leading the nation in developing a system for evaluating schools and districts that includes multiple measures of student success. The new California School Dashboard is an easy-to-use online tool to access this wealth of information, giving parents, teachers, and community members a fuller picture of a school’s progress. Instead of relying exclusively on test scores as the previous accountability system did, this new system gives a snapshot of a manageable set of indicators, including high school graduation rates, career and college readiness, English learner progress, and suspension rates, while still looking at test scores.
Focus on Equity
California’s future success depends on preparing every student at every school to meet the challenges of tomorrow. The additional information in the California School Dashboard can help improve equity among student groups by revealing where disparities exist. Having access to relevant information helps schools and districts understand where students are struggling and ensures staff can respond with appropriate resources. Under the previous system, data about student groups was too focused on test scores. The new system provides student group information on a variety of helpful indicators and puts it in one location.
Supporting Local Decision-Making
The Dashboard supports California’s groundbreaking Local Control Funding Formula, which gives districts and schools more flexibility in using state resources. Districts and schools have access to the information they need to make the best local decisions about the education of children. New information will help principals, teachers, parents and community members pinpoint specific areas where schools are underperforming and need help. It will also help identify schools that are excelling and can help others by sharing their methods and practices.
Important Note Regarding San Carlos School District Dashboard Data Reports
You may or may not be aware of this, but it is highly likely that your San Carlos school is a charter school, as 5 of the 7 schools in San Carlos are in fact charter schools. Central Middle School and Arroyo Upper Elementary School are our only non-charter schools. This is relevant as charter schools are treated as individual LEAs (Local Education Agency) under the LCFF. As such, charter schools’ data are not “rolled up” or included in the charter authorizing agency’s results. Therefore, the Dashboard data reported for San Carlos School District only includes data from Central Middle School, our only non-charter last year. The data presented actually closely matches an analysis completed by our own District staff taking all schools into account. However, we want to be clear that the data represented in the communication from the CDE is not a comprehensive summary of our district data but rather Central’s data alone. To access Dashboard data for Arundel, Brittan Acres, Heather, Tierra Linda, and White Oaks, you will need to search for the school individually. This being Arroyo’s first year, there are no Dashboard data reports available for the 2015-16 school year.
Dr. Craig Baker
CA School Accountability: The CA School Dashboard https://youtu.be/-Y1mgcWIEEM
Five Things You Need to Know About the California School Dashboard http://newsroom.ocde.us/five-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-california-school-dashboard/