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California School Dashboard

California School Dashboard

Parents and educators have a new way to learn about the performance of local schools and districts that goes far beyond what was California Dashboard Equity Report previously available.  The California School Dashboard is a new website that uses multiple indicators to give a more complete picture of how schools are serving students.
The Dashboard is a work in progress with full implementation slated for the 2017-18 school year.  According to California Department of Education, it will be a more valuable tool one to three years from now when more data comes online, feedback is incorporated and improvements are made.
The Dashboard gives a snapshot of several indicators, including high school graduation rates, career and college readiness, English learner progress and suspension rates, while still looking at test scores. It replaces the Academic Performance Index (API), which relied on test scores to produce a single number that offered a limited view of school performance. 

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson called it a historic milestone in preparing students for success in 21st century college and careers.  “The California School Dashboard is a resource unlike anything we’ve ever had before. I think of it as a high-tech report card for our schools. Just as our children receive report cards with multiple grades in multiple subject areas, the California School Dashboard provides us with many different measures of a school’s performance—where it’s strong, where it needs to improve, how it’s doing over time."

The Dashboard is the next step in a series of major shifts in public education in California that have raised the bar for student learning, transformed testing and placed the focus on equity for all students. It is part of the state’s new school accountability system based on 2013’s Local Control Funding Formula. It supports the educational goals that all school districts set in their annually updated Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs).
The Dashboard also reflects California’s commitment to transparency and continuous improvement. The new system places greater emphasis on changes in performance from year to year. This will highlight programs that are making positive change and allow schools and districts to learn from each other’s success. It will also make it easier to identify areas where schools need assistance to improve performance.
While the old system emphasized punishing under-performing schools, the Dashboard shifts the focus from what has been done to how schools can improve.   Having this information will help districts better align resources to address the achievement gap and give all students the opportunity to succeed. 

Key Advantages of the California School Dashboard

  • More than a single number
  • Focus on equity
  • Supports local decision-making
  • A quality education is defined by more than a single test score
  • Increased focus on addressing disparities among student groups
  • More information to support the local strategic planning process


State and Local Performance Indicators

The Dashboard will feature easy-to-read reports on school and district performance. It provides information on several indicators of school success based on data collected at the state and local levels. Some of the data is from the 2014-15 and 2016-17 school years and may not reflect current performance. Data for some state indicators and all local indicators may not be available until the 2017-18 school year. 

State Indicators

  • Academic Indicator - based on CAASPP test scores for English language arts and math (grades 3-8)
  • English learner progress (K-12)
  • Graduation rate (9-12)
  • Suspension rate (K-12)
  • Chronic Absenteeism* (K-12)
  • College/Career readiness* (9-12)
* Data for these indicators will not be available at launch

Local Indicators

  • Basic services
  • Implementation of state academic standards
  • Parent engagement
  • School climate

Performance Levels for State Indicators

Performance on state indicators for individual schools and districts will be represented in the Dashboard by easy-to-understand color-coded pie pieces. The five performance levels are: blue (highest), green, yellow, orange, and red (lowest). The levels reflect both current performance and changes in performance over time.  

Dashboard Reports rely on visual graphics to show performance and growth

The Dashboard provides four types of reports with detailed performance information:
  • Equity Report – performance level of all students
  • Status and Change Report – current performance and change over time
  • Detailed Reports – year-by-year data for the state and local indicators
  • Student Group Report – performance of various demographic groups
For the state indicators, color-coded pie pieces will represent school and subgroup performance levels. Ranked from least favorable to most favorable, the performance levels are red (one slice), orange (two slices), yellow (three slices), green (four slices) and blue (a full pie).
The colors show how well the school or subgroup performed overall (status) and how much it improved or worsened over a three-year period (change).  Learn more about how each color is assigned by visiting the California Accountability Model & School Dashboard webpage.