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California School Dashboard

DashboardCalifornia is focused on having a responsive K-12 public education system that serves the needs of students and families. To monitor and support this goal, California has established a set of accountability metrics through the California School Dashboard.  The California School Dashboard is updated every Fall with new information about each public school’s performance. This blog post previews changes to metrics in the 2018 California School Dashboard. It is important that school leaders are aware of these changes as they develop plans to guide work for the 2018-19 school year. 

The Dashboard features easy-to-read reports on multiple measures of school success, that include pupil achievement, school climate, student engagement and access to a broad course of study. It contains measures to see how districts, schools, and student groups are performing and areas where improvement is needed. The Dashboard is an essential component in  California’s new accountability system. Looking ahead to the Fall release of the 2018 California School Dashboard, there are some new state indicators that will be present along with changes to existing ones that districts and schools should be ready for.


Chronic Absenteeism Districts and schools will obtain a performance level and color indicator examining student attendance for grades K-8.  Chronic absenteeism seeks to inform the area of student engagement looking at the percentage of students who are absent more than 10% of the school year. It quantifies school attendance data over a two year period to gauge status (2017-18 attendance) and change (comparison to attendance from 2016-17). Cut scores for the five by five Chronic Absenteeism indicator will be determined at the November 2018 State Board of Education meeting. District and school attendance data for 2016-17 can be found through DataQuest

College & Career Indicator– Districts and schools with high schools will obtain a performance level and color indicator gauging student access and outcomes to a broad course of study through the College & Career Indicator.  Status will be based on the graduating class of 2018 looking at the following areas:

  • Students with Career Technical Education (CTE) Pathway Completion
  • Students who have earned a Level 3 (Standard Met) or better on both ELA and Mathematics on Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments
  • Students who earned a score of 3 on two Advanced Placement (AP) Exams or a score of 4 on two International Baccalaureate (IB) Exams
  • Students who completed two semesters of community college dual enrollment with a grade of C minus or better
  • Students who completed of courses that meet the University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU) a–g criteria with a grade of C- or better

The class of 2018 will be compared to the class of 2017 for the College & Career Indicator change. College & Career data for the class of 2017 found here:

Alternative Schools 2018 will include measures for alternative schools. Metrics for these schools are modified because they serve mobile high-risk students. The Dashboard Alternative School Status (DASS) program replaces the previously administered Alternative Schools Accountability Model (ASAM) and holds alternative schools accountable for modified methods of measurement with accountability indicators. At the May 2018 meeting, the State Board of Education approved a one-year graduation rate for DASS schools.

Student Growth Model– California Education Code Section 52052.5(d) asks the State Superintendent of Schools to: “… work with the State Board of Education to make recommendations to the Legislature and the Governor on the establishment of an individual academic performance growth model by utilizing individual pupil results from a longitudinally valid achievement assessment system.”  Work has been taking place in this area and the Board has tentatively chosen a method known as the residual gain modelfor inclusion in the 2018 Dashboard. The board selected this model because it had strong correlations to predict a student’s current-year score in either mathematics or ELA using the student’s prior-year mathematics and ELA scores with Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium tests. The Board is continuing study of this indicator.  The timeline for examination of the student growth model over the next few months is shown here:

  • June 2018 Technical Design Group Meeting: Review Residual Growth model for needed technical refinements
  • July 2018 SBE Meeting: Present growth model simulation results and any recommended refinements and discussion around expected metrics and indicator placement.
  • September 2018 SBE Meeting: SBE approval of final model and methodology for possible inclusion in the 2018 Dashboard.


Negotiations between the California Department of Education and the US Department of Education about the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan continue.  Some of the demands from the US Department of Education involve changes to the Academic Indicator and the English Learner Progress indicators of the California School Dashboard.

  • Academic Indicator– the US Department of Education has told California that participation rate must be factored into the Academic Indicator. Specifically, for schools and student groups that did not test 95% on the 2018 SBAC/CAASPP tests for ELA and mathematics, the number of students needed to bring the school and/or student group up to 95% need to be included in the Academic Indicator algorithm. Calculations will be made to determine the percentage points the school or student group is below the 95 percent participation rate target. Reductions will be made in “Distance from Met” points to reflect any gaps.
  • English Learner Performance Indicator– the US Department of Education has told California it needs to remove Reclassified Fluent English Proficient (RFEP) and Long-term English Learner (LTELs) groups from their English Learner Progress Indicator (ELPI). In response, the California Department of Education submitted a waiver letter to reinstate RFEP students in the calculation as well as retain the extra weighting for LTEL students who advance at least one level in the English Language assessment and anticipates hearing back from the US Department of Education soon.  Changes from not including RFEP students in the ELPI may not be readily apparent, as 2018 will be the first year of reporting scores for the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC). Status information will be different because no comparative ELPAC scores are present to gauge growth. However, the percentage of students scoring in different performance bands on the ELPAC will be reported this fall.  No performance level or color will be present for the ELPI. Districts and schools should consider additional methods to gauge and report English language development.

Graduation Rate– the California State Board of Education is adjusting the ‘change’ factor for graduation rates.  The 2017 formula for change used a three-year average of graduation rates for districts and schools.  The change factor for Graduation Rate in the 2018 Dashboard will look at the previous year’s graduation rate only. The Board believes this modification makes the graduation indicator more consistent with other Dashboard metrics. In addition to this element, the Board is also considering the incorporation of a five-year cohort rate for districts and schools at their September 2018 meeting.