California's New Dashboard

The California Department of Education is field testing a new accountability tool called California Dashboard. This dashboard will allow users to view district and school progress across a variety of measures of student success. This tool is scheduled to be implemented fully in the Fall of 2017. In the past, stakeholders only had access to hard-copy and online versions of the School Accountability Report Card. This new dashboard allows for access to a broader set of data on more key indicators of success for students and schools.

The report includes how a school performed on standardized tests in English and math; the progress English-language learners are making toward proficiency; suspension rates; and graduation rates. Links let people find out more about each area, including how particular groups of students are doing.

Down the road, more information will be added, including measures of school climate and how prepared students are for college, and potentially scores on science tests.

A school will receive a color for each of these areas. Blue is the best, red is the worst. The color will appear in a ball next to each category, with the degree of shading meant to convey the level of achievement. Schools will not receive overall colors.
— Los Angeles Times, 3/13/2017

Now, parents, community members, and educators can search for data on a particular school, school district, or county office of education. Some indicators the dashboard will look at are graduation and suspension rates, academic achievement, parent engagement, and college and career readiness.

Searches will generate reports for users, providing an overview of schools' progress. These reports are cumulative, user-friendly, and show data across a variety of showing performance levels with state and local indicators. Colored pie charts show performance levels of state indicators and based on local indicators. Additionally, each report will feature a description of the report and a narrative where LEA's can submit narratives to support the data being shown, especially when highlighting progress. There is also a feature that allows users to view change data. One of the newer reports is the equity report, which will show data related to specific student groups.

The current data available on the dashboard is derived from 2016 reports. When fully implemented, information will be updated each fall as reports are released annually. Versions of the dashboard are updated as feedback from users is gathered from the field. The goal of these field tests is to ensure accurate data and ease of use. So far, the response to the California Dashboard has been positive. However, some districts have requested a way for data on some indicators to be updated and released in real-time.