The California Department of Education has released updated statewide results on its new, online accountability and improvement system – the California School Dashboard. This accountability system was first unveiled to the public last spring and provides a wealth of new information to assist parents, educators, and the public in evaluating schools and districts.
The California School Dashboard is designed to help communities across the state access important information about K–12 districts and schools. The Dashboard website features easy-to-read reports on multiple measures of school success, including test scores, graduation rates, English learner progress, suspension rates and two new state measures – chronic absenteeism and a college and career indicator.
Local indicators include school climate, parent engagement, basic services, and implementation of the new state curriculum standards. It is important to note that chronic absenteeism and the college and career indicator will not have a color associated with it until fall 2018, at which time will include 2017-18 school data.
There are three key concepts to the development of the Dashboard. First, the California School Dashboard is comprised of multiple measures and does not rely exclusively on test scores. Second, the dashboard focuses on equity and includes detailed data about student and school performance broken down in to sub-groups of students. And third, the Dashboard supports local decision-making by making data easy to understand for schools and communities and support the existing Local Control Funding Formula and Local Control Accountability Plans for each school district.
Humboldt County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Chris Hartley, agrees that the Dashboard is a useful tool. “This Dashboard is rich with data for Humboldt County schools and parents to gauge areas of strength and opportunities for the future and provides a framework for the general public to more easily measure growth and achievement across a variety of metrics.”
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, changes that have raised the bar for student learning, transformed testing and put the focus on equity.
Distribution of test scores and changes from prior year across the county mirrors that of the state for grades 3-8 for the general population. Some achievement gaps exist which are also similar to those across the state and these gaps will help districts zero in on opportunities for improvement.
An important consideration to note is that small school and district sizes in Humboldt County add a layer of difficulty in viewing the data since the impact of just one student is magnified in comparison to a large district.
Locally, Humboldt County is showing a graduation rate two percent higher than the state rate.
Additional information can be found at the California Department of Education’s California Accountability Model and School Dashboard website.