California School News — November 2017
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Get Ready For The New California School Dashboard Release

The California Department of Education is set to release an updated version of the California School Dashboard in early December. This will be the first version that will include all eight Local Control Funding Formula priority areas (10 for county offices of education). CSBA has released a new governance brief, “The California Dashboard: What Boards Need to Know for 2017–18,” that provides guidance and assistance to governing board members in their interpretation of the Dashboard data. CSBA will continue to advocate for improvements to the Dashboard to increase its effectiveness as a communication and accountability tool that supports local educational agencies, informs local communities and advances efforts to improve student achievement, including closing opportunity and achievement gaps.

The California School Dashboard is a key component of the state’s new education accountability system, replacing the Academic Performance Index, which was suspended in 2015. While the API rated the state’s schools and districts using a single number that focused primarily on standardized test scores and graduation rates, the Dashboard aligns its accountability criteria to the educational priorities outlined in the LCFF: basic services, implementation of state standards, parental involvement, pupil achievement, pupil engagement, school climate, access to a broad course of study and pupil outcomes within a broad course of study. County offices of education are responsible for two additional priority areas: coordination of instruction for expelled students and coordination of services for foster youth.

The CDE will populate the Dashboard with state indicators that measure progress on LCFF priorities using data that California collects. These include English Language Arts and Mathematics Smarter Balanced Assessment scores, English learner progress, graduation rates, chronic absenteeism rates, suspension rates, and college and career readiness. LEAs collect local indicator data on basic conditions at school, school climate, implementation of academic standards and parent engagement. District s upload local indicat or data directly. Local indicators must be posted by Dec. 1 — after being reported at a regularly scheduled board meeting. LEAs that have not uploaded their local indicator information by the deadline will automatically be classified as having not met those standards on their Dashboards.

There i s also a n optional narrative section on the Dashboard that allows LEAs to explain relevant circumstances and local activities related to performance across any local and L CFF priorities. The additional summary can include results of self-assessments for local indicators.

The Dashboard displays an LEA’s or school’s most recent reported performance on five indicators (student achievement, pupil engagement, school climate, access to a broad course of study and outcomes from a broad course of study) and tracks changes over time. The state refers to these as Stat us and Change indicators, respectively. Together (current performance coupled with performance growth or decline), they a re used t o calculate an overall performance level for several indicators.

Communicating the Dashboard

School and county boards play a central role in goal setting and allocating resources. Once LEA s have their data, governance teams should review local student performance and dis cuss strategies for making improvements. Governance teams also play a key role in explaining the Dashboard to their communities. They should collaborate with central office staff to develop a communications strategy for sharing school and LEA results , including ongoing progress on the factors reflected i n the Dashboard data.

The CDE has released several resources to help LE As understand, contribute to and use the Dashboard, such as a technical guide and a Dashboard webinar series (both can be found at www.cde.ca.gov) .

CS BA’s new governance brief shares further details about understanding the Status and Change Reports, 5x5 performance gr ids and the color-coding system, along with other key details. It also provide s fundamental quest ions t hat governance teams can ask to dig into the data and use that data to improve student achievement. Read the full brief at www.csba.org/CADashboard Brief.
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