California Dashboard Results
By Adam Bonilla, Research and Systems Improvement Analyst
ON THURSDAY, DECEMBER 12th, the 2019 California School Dashboard was released, designed to highlight multiple measures of school success, including test scores, graduation rates, college and career readiness rates, chronic absenteeism, and suspension rates. On the Dashboard, a school, local educational agency (LEA), or student group’s performance on a state measure is graphically displayed by a gauge, that is broken into five different colored segments, to represent the five levels of performance. An arrow points to the color that corresponds to the performance for that measure. The colors read from top to bottom: Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, and Red. Blue represents the highest performance level while Red represents the lowest performance level. A needle indicates the performance level for the measure. New this year is the availability of a mobile App that allows parents and educators an easier way to access their school and district Dashboards, all at their fingertips. You can download the App at https://www.cde.ca.gov/re/mo/cadashboard.asp.
The Dashboard was created to give parents and the public a better idea of what is happening in California schools and districts, and to identify districts and schools that need extra help. The Dashboard is a component of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) law, passed in 2013, that significantly changed how California provides funding to public schools and holds local educational agencies accountable for student performance.
The Dashboard is made up of easy-to-use reports that show LEA or school performance, on seven state indicators and five local indicators, which were drawn up from the ten priority areas of the LCFF. Users can search to see the reports for any local educational agency or school at http://www.caschooldashboard.org. For state measures, performance is based on two factors: 1. Current year results, and 2. Whether results improved from the prior year. State measures include chronic absenteeism, graduation rate, suspension rate, and academic (which includes performance in English language arts/literacy and mathematics). Future state measures will include performance on the California Science Test.
Local measures are reported by school districts based on data available only at the local level. These measures include clean and safe buildings, school climate, parent engagement, and access to a broad course of study. This information is not available for individual schools or student groups. Based on performance on state and local measures, schools and districts may be identified for support to improve student outcomes.
The California School Dashboard identifies performance gaps among student groups through its equity reports, which are available for each state measure. These reports shine a light on both the successes and challenges that county offices, districts, and schools are experiencing in addressing disparities. They also highlight those schools that are implementing promising practices in narrowing gaps between student groups.
California’s system of support includes three levels of support to LEAs and schools. Support for All LEAs and Schools (Level 1), Differentiated Assistance (Level 2), and Intensive Intervention (Level 3). County superintendents are responsible for providing differentiated assistance to their local school districts in response to needs identified on the Dashboard beginning in fall 2017. As a reminder, the goal of the system of support is to assist LEAs and their schools to meet the needs of each student served, with a focus on building capacity to sustain improvement and effectively address inequities in student opportunities and outcomes. This means that the outcomes for this work include improvement not only on the end of the year goals reflected on the Dashboard, but also on interim progress measurements.
During the 2017-18 school year, Madera Unified partnered with WestEd, a non-profit research development service agency, resulting in WestEd’s comprehensive report evaluating Madera Unified Special Education programs. The report evaluation includes a number of recommendations which Madera Unified will be prioritizing for implementation. During the 2018-19 school year, Madera Unified, working with WestEd completed a comprehensive report to evaluate Madera Unified’s culture and climate to provide support on the development of an action plan to improve African American student achievement.
Additionally, Madera Unified continues to work with California Youth Connection, a youth-lead organization created to improve conditions for our students in the Foster Youth programs. The collaborative work Madera Unified is doing with WestEd and the California Youth Connection, in addition to working with the State’s System of Support will be key for district improvements to be made for these student subgroups.