November 8, 2011
State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Restores
Time-Saving Web Tool for School Districts
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today that the California Department of Education (CDE) has restored a time-saving Web tool to make it easier for school districts to create state-mandated School Accountability Report Cards (SARCs).
"The few dollars the state saved by eliminating this service were clearly outweighed by the time and trouble being shifted to California's more than a 1,000 school districts," Torlakson said. "I'm glad we've found a creative way to restore this tool, and I'm grateful to Ed-Data for stepping up to the plate to help us meet this need."
SARCs contain valuable accountability information on schools to help parents and the public evaluate and compare their progress in achieving goals.
Deep budget cuts to the CDE forced the department to discontinue its SARC Web tool in 2010. The SARC Web tool conveniently provided districts with templates pre-populated with data on each of their schools. As a result of the cuts, local educational agencies were forced to fill out the forms manually—increasing the workloads at districts.
CDE responded to widespread concerns from around the state and found a solution by working with the Ed-Data Web site to restore the pre-populated SARC templates.
"The reintroduction of the SARC Web tool will help school districts save personnel time and money, and we're capitalizing on our existing partnership with Ed-Data to provide this much-needed service," Torlakson said.
For many years, Ed-Data had already reported much of the state-generated data that are required for the SARC. The Ed-Data Web site is a 15-year collaboration between the CDE, the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team, and EdSource.
The SARC Web tool and templates on the Ed-Data Web site are free options local educational agencies may use to help them prepare their SARCs. They are provided in English and several other languages. After downloading the pre-populated templates, school officials complete them with local data, and may then publish them in print or online.
For a sample SARC template, please visit the CDE Web site at 2010-11 School Accountability Report Card Template (DOC). School districts may access the SARC Web tool to download the pre-populated templates at Ed-Data Website [http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us/App_Resx/EdDataClassic/fsTwoPanel.aspx#!bottom=/_layouts/EdDataClassic/Articles/Article.asp?title=SARC Updates] . To find your existing local SARC, please visit County List - School Accountability Report Card.
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Tom Torlakson —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5206, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100