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California Accountability Model & School Dashboard

California’s new accountability and continuous improvement system provides information about how local educational agencies and schools are meeting the needs of California’s diverse student population based on a concise set of measures.

Upcoming Webinars

Fall 2017 California School Dashboard Webinar Series
This link provides information on the six-part Webinar series regarding the Fall 2017 California School Dashboard release.

Reports

California School Dashboard Report External link opens in new window or tab.
The Dashboard contains reports that display the performance of local educational agencies (LEAs), schools, and student groups on a set of state and local measures to assist in identifying strengths, weaknesses, and areas in need of improvement.

California Model Five-by-Five Grid Placement Reports
California's new accountability and continuous improvement system is based on a five-by-five colored table that produces 25 results using five colors. The reports display the schools' (by district) and student groups' placement on the five-by-five colored tables.

Overview

California School Dashboard Video External link opens in new window or tab. (Video; 5:25)
This video provides an overview of California's new multiple measures accountability system. It describes the measures in the new Dashboard Report and how performance and improvement are used to determine the performance colors.

Background

Based on the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), which was passed in 2013, California has a new accountability system that is based on multiple measures. These measures are used to determine local educational agency (LEA) and school progress toward meeting the needs of their students. The measures are based on factors that contribute to a quality education, including high school graduation rates, college/career readiness, student test scores, English learner (EL) progress, suspension rates, and parent engagement.

The sweeping overhaul of California's Accountability and Continuous Improvement System, ushered in with the 2013 passage of the LCFF, not only gives California a chance to address historical inequities, but provides the CDE an opportunity to address and update the way we engage and work with one another to better support California's schools and the students they serve.

Performance on these multiple measures will be reported through the new California School Dashboard External link opens in new window or tab. (Dashboard). The new accountability system reflects a clear expectation that all LEAs and schools can and should improve and emphasizes equity by focusing on student group performance. This new multiple measures system replaces the former Academic Performance Index (API), which was based solely on testing results, and the federal requirement to calculate Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).

LEA and school performance in the ten LCFF priority areas are measured using a combination of state and local indicators.

State Indicators in the New State and Federal Accountability System

The criteria established for state indicators include: (1) being valid and reliable measures, (2) having comparable, state-level data, and (3) the ability to disaggregate data by student groups. These criteria ensure a common and comparable way of measuring performance on the indicators across the state.

The state indicators apply to all LEAs, schools, student groups (e.g., race/ethnicity, socioeconomically disadvantaged, ELs, and students with disabilities [SWD]), and progress on the indicators is reported through the Dashboard.

Local Indicators in the New State and Federal Accountability System

There are several LCFF priority areas that do not meet the criteria established for the state indicators. These remaining priority areas are considered local indicators and will require LEAs to determine whether they have Met, Not Met, or Not Met for Two or More Years for each applicable local indicator. The local indicators only apply at the LEA level. LEAs will use the local indicators to evaluate and report their progress on priority areas. The local indicators will only appear on the LEA Dashboard.

Table 1 lists each priority area and its corresponding state and/or local indicator.

Table 1: The State and Local Indicators for Each Local Control Funding Formula Priority Area
Local Control Funding Formula Priority Area State Indicators Local Indicators
Basic Services and Conditions at schools (Priority 1) N/A Access to textbook, adequate facilities, and appropriately assigned teachers
Implementation of State Academic Standards (Priority 2) N/A Annual report on progress in implementing the standards for all content areas

Parent Engagement (Priority 3)

N/A Annual report on progress toward: (1) seeking input from parents/guardians in decision making; and (2) promoting parental participation in programs
Student Achievement (Priority 4) Academic Indicator N/A
Student Achievement (Priority 4) English Learner Progress Indicator N/A
Student Engagement (Priority 5) Graduation Rate Indicator N/A
Student Engagement (Priority 5) Chronic Absenteeism Indicator (not available until Fall 2018) N/A
School Climate (Priority 6) Suspension Rate Indicator Administer a Local Climate Survey every other year
Access to a Broad Course of Study (Priority 7) N/A College/Career Indicator (Status Only) for the initial release
Outcomes in a Broad Course of Study (Priority 8) N/A College/Career Indicator (Status Only) for the initial release

Table 2: The Following Indicators are for County Offices of Education (COEs) Only
Local Control Funding Formula Priority Area State Indicators Local Indicators
Coordination of Services for Expelled Students (Priority 9) N/A Annual survey that measures progress in coordinating instruction for expelled students

Coordination of Services for Foster Youth (Priority 10)

N/A Annual survey that measures progress in coordinating services for foster youth

The California Way

California's integrated accountability system meets both state and federal requirements. The multiple measures system for state indicators is based on percentiles to create a five-by-five grid that produces 25 results and 5 performance levels (Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, and Red). This five-by-five grid combines Status and Change to make an overall determination for each indicator and provides equal weight to both Status and Change.

Status is based on the most recent year of data for that indicator. The five Status levels are:

  • Very high
  • High
  • Medium
  • Low
  • Very low

Change is the difference between performance from the most recent year of data and the prior year data. The five Change levels are:

  • Increased significantly
  • Increased
  • Maintained
  • Declined
  • Declined significantly

The performance levels (i.e., the cut scores for Status and Change) serve as the performance standards for the state indicators. The California State Board of Education (SBE) approved separate performance standards for each state indicator based on the current distribution of statewide performance for Status and Change (much like grading on a curve). Therefore, the performance standards are different for each indicator. The performance standards will generally remain fixed for several years.

Combining Status and Change results in a color-coded performance level for each state indicator for LEAs, schools, and student groups with 30 or more students. The five color-coded performance levels in order are: blue (highest), green, yellow, orange, and red (lowest). The circles on the left-hand side of the chart are used in the Dashboard to graphically display the performance levels for LEAs, schools, and student groups. Each circle has a different number of segments that corresponds to a specific color. For example, the red performance level has one colored segment and the blue performance level has five colored segments. Having different numbers of colored segments allows the viewer to distinguish the performance levels, or colors, if the report is printed in black and white.

A picture of the five performance levels in the California School Dashboard. There are five circles on the left side. Each circle has five segments. From top to bottom, the first circle has all five segments that are colored blue. The second circle has four of the five segments that are colored green. The third circle has three of the five segments that are colored yellow. The fourth circle has two of the five segments that are colored orange. The fifth circle has one of the five segments that are colored red. There are five rectangles in the middle. From top to bottom, the first rectangle is blue and corresponds to the circle with all five segments colored blue. The second row is green and corresponds to the circle with four of the five segments colored green. The third row is yellow and corresponds to the circle with three of the five segments colored yellow. The fourth row is orange and corresponds to the circle with two of the five segments colored orange. The fifth row is red and corresponds to the circle with one of the five segments colored red. On the right side, the text at the top and reads 'highest' corresponding to the circle with all five segments colored blue and second text at bottom reads 'lowest' pertaining to the circle with one section of red.

Table 3 provides an example of how the Status and Change are combined on the five-by-five color table to determine the performance level.

Table 3: Five-by-Five Color Coded Table
Level Declined Significantly
(Change)
Declined
(Change)
Maintained
(Change)
Increased
(Change)
Increased Significantly
(Change)
Very High
(Status)
Yellow Green Blue Blue Blue
High
(Status)
Orange Yellow Green Green Blue
Medium
(Status)
Orange Orange Yellow Green Green
Low
(Status)
Red Orange Orange Yellow Yellow
Very Low
(Status)
Red Red Red Orange Yellow

Calculation of State Indicators

Suspension Rate Indicator (Priority 6)

Multiple data simulations revealed that suspension data varies widely among LEA and school type. For example, suspension rates were higher at the middle school level than the elementary school level. As a result, the Suspension Rate Indicator has a distribution for each LEA type (elementary, high, and unified) and each school type (elementary, middle, and high). Therefore, multiple suspension cut scores were set for both LEAs and schools, based on their type. This resulted in six different sets of cut scores for Status and Change:

  • Three sets based on LEA type distributions
  • Three sets based on school type distributions

Another difference between the Suspension Rate Indicator and other state indicators is that the goal is reversed. For all other state indicators, the desired outcome and goal is to achieve a high percent in Status and Change. However, for the Suspension Rate Indicator, the desired outcome and goal is to have a low suspension rate and, thus, a low percent for Status and Change.

The Suspension Rate Indicator calculations are based on the unduplicated number of students suspended in an academic year. The formulas below are used to calculate the suspension rate for Status and Change:

Suspension Rate Status Formula:

Number of Students Suspended divided by Cumulative Enrollment Multiplied by 100.

Suspension Rate Change Formula:

Status (2014–15 suspension rate) minus 2013–14 suspension rate.

Find out more about the six different five-by-five color tables for Suspension rates by LEA and school in the Resources section.

Graduation Rate Indicator (Priority 5)

This indicator is based on the four-year cohort graduation rates. It applies to LEAs and schools that have 30 or more students in the four-year cohort. A graduation cohort is a group of high school students who could potentially graduate with a regular high school diploma within four years of entering grade nine. Students who earn a Special Education Certificate of Completion or a California High School Equivalency Certificate are not counted as receiving a regular high school diploma.

The formulas below are used to calculate the graduation rate for Status and Change.

Graduation Rate Status Formula (Class of 2015):

Number of cohort members who can earn a regular high school diploma by the end of 2014–15 divided by number of first-time grade nine students in 2011–12 plus students who transfer in, minus students who transfer out, emigrate, or die during schools years 2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14, and 2014–15.

Graduation Rate Change Formula:

Current Year Status minus Three-Year Weighted Average*

*If three years of data are not available, then two years or one year of data are used.

Get more information on the Graduation rate Indicator five-by-five color table in the Resources section.

English Learner Progress Indicator

The English Learner Progress Indicator measures the percent of EL students who are making progress toward language proficiency from one year to the next on the California English Language Development Test (CELDT) and the number of ELs who were reclassified from EL to fluent English proficient in the prior year.

The CELDT has five performance levels:

  • Beginning
  • Early Intermediate
  • Intermediate
  • Early Advanced
  • Advanced

For purposes of the English Learner Progress Indicator, the Intermediate performance level is divided into two levels, Intermediate and High Intermediate.

ELs who advance at least one CELDT performance level from prior year to current year (e.g., Early Intermediate to Intermediate; High Intermediate to Advanced) will be included in the numerator of the English Learner Progress Indicator calculation. ELs who performed Early Advanced/Advanced English Proficient in the prior year and scores Early Advanced/Advanced English Proficient in the current year will also be included in the numerator of the English Learner Progress Indicator calculation.

The formulas below are used to calculate the English Learner Progress Indicator for Status and Change.

English Learner Progress Indicator Status Formula:

The numerator is the annual CELDT test takers who increased at least one CELDT level plus the annual CELDT test takers who maintained Early Advanced/Advanced English Proficient on the CELDT plus the ELs who were reclassified fluent English proficient (RFEP) in the prior year.

The denominator is the total number of annual CELDT test takers in the current year plus the ELs who were RFEP in the prior year.

The numerator is divided by the denominator to obtain the status of the English Learner Progress Indicator.

English Learner Progress Indicator Change Formula:

Current Year Status minus Prior Year Status

Find out more about the English Learner Progress Indicator five-by-five color table in the Resources section.

College/Career Indicator (Priority 7 and 8)

The College/Career Indicator (CCI) measures the percentage of students in the four-year graduation cohort who are "Prepared", "Approaching Prepared", and "Not Prepared" for postsecondary education.

The data used in the initial released is from the 2013–14 school year, prior to the administration of the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment. As a result, for the initial release of the Dashboard, the CCI will be reported as a local indicator and only the Status level will be reported. The Dashboard will report data on the percentage of students who are "Prepared", "Approaching Prepared", and "Not Prepared" for postsecondary education.

When the updated Dashboard is released in fall 2017, the CCI will be reported as a state indicator using the first year of Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment data and only the Status level will be reported. The first time both Status and Change will be reported is in the fall of 2018.

The CCI is calculated using the following measures:

  • The Early Assessment Program results for the initial release and the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment results for the fall 2017 release
  • Test results from the Advanced Placement (AP) exams
  • Test results from the International Baccalaureate (IB) exams
  • Completion of courses that meet the University of California admissions requirements (e.g., a-g)
  • Completion of a Career Technical Education (CTE) pathway
  • Completion of dual enrollment courses

Find out more detailed information regarding the criteria for the three performance levels of the CCI can be found in the Resources section.

Academic Indicator (Priority 4)

The Academic Indicator is based on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics results and applies to LEAs and schools with grades three through eight. Performance will be calculated and reported separately for ELA and mathematics. (Note: Grade 11 assessment results are included in the CCI.)

At the January 2017 SBE meeting, the SBE approved the "Distance from Level 3 (DF3)" methodology which measures how far (or the distance) each student is from the Level 3 (i.e., Standard Met) Smarter Balanced performance level. All the "distances" are then used to calculate the average distance for each LEA, school, or student group. Once all students' scores are compared to Level 3, the distance results are averaged to produce a school-level average scale score and an average scale score for each student group. The results will show, on average, the needed improvement to bring the average student score to Level 3 or the extent to which the average student score exceeds Level 3.

Using scale scores, rather than a percentage of students performing at or above Standard Met, provides a more precise measure on how far students are from Level 3 on the Smarter Balanced scale.

More information regarding the DF3 methodology is provided in the California School Dashboard Technical Guide (PDF) on pages 44 through 51.

The formulas below are used to calculate the Academic Indicator for Status and Change.

Academic Indicator Status Formula:

Sum of All Students' Distance from Level 3 on the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments divided by Total Number of Test Takers minus ELs Enrolled in a U.S. School for Less than One Year minus Students Not Continuously Enrolled.

Academic Indicator Change Formula

Status (2016) minus prior year status (2015) for Smarter Balanced Assessment Results for Grades 3–8).

Find out more about the Academic Indicator (ELA and mathematics) five-by-five colored tables in the Resources section.

Local Indicators

This section provides additional details regarding the local indicators.

Methodology for Measuring Performance

The SBE approved standards for the local indicators that support LEAs in measuring and reporting their progress within the appropriate priority area. For each local indicator, the approved standard includes:

  1. Measuring LEA progress on the local indicator based on locally available information, and

  2. Reporting the results to the LEA's local governing board at a regularly scheduled meeting of the local governing board and to stakeholders and the public through the Dashboard.

For each applicable local indicator, LEAs assign one of three performance levels:

  • Met
  • Not Met
  • Not Met for Two or More Years

LEAs make the determination for each applicable local indicator by using self-reflection tools to measure and report their progress through the Dashboard. The collection and reflection on locally available information relevant to progress on local priority areas will support LEAs in local planning and improvement efforts.

Self-Reflection Tools

LEAs determine if they meet the adopted performance standards using self-reflection tools. This section provides a brief overview of the self-reflection tools available to LEAs.

Basic Services and Conditions (Appropriately Assigned Teachers, Access to Curriculum-Aligned Instructional Materials, and Safe, Clean and Functional School Facilities) (Priority 1):

Information is already collected through the School Accountability Report Card (SARC). If LEAs use the SARC template, their data will automatically be loaded into the Dashboard. LEAs that do not use the SARC template will use locally available information, including data reported through the SARC, to provide evidence of progress on this local indicator.

Implementation of State Academic Standards (Priority 2):

LEAs have two options for the self-reflection tool. The first option allows LEAs to provide a narrative summary of their progress in the implementation of state academic standards based on locally selected measures or tools. The second option is to complete the SBE approved self-reflection tool survey.

Parent Engagement (Priority 3):

LEAs provide a narrative summary of their progress toward: (1) seeking input from parents/guardians in school and district decision making; and (2) promoting parental participation in programs.

The summary of progress must be based either on information collected through surveys of parents/guardians or other local measures. Under either option, the LEA briefly describes why it chose the selected measures, including whether the LEA expects that progress on the selected measure is related to goals it has established for other priorities in its Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP).

School Climate (Priority 6):

LEAs provide a narrative summary of the local administration and analysis of a local climate survey that captures a valid measure of student perceptions of school safety and connectedness in at least one grade within the grade span (e.g., K–5, 6–8, 9–12). Specifically, LEAs will have an opportunity to include differences among student groups, and for surveys that provide an overall score, such as the California Healthy Kids Survey, report the overall score for all students and student groups. This summary may also include an analysis of a subset of specific items on a local survey that is particularly relevant to school safety and connectedness.

Coordination of Services of Expelled Students (Priority 9, for COEs only):

LEAs assess the degree of implementation of coordinated services for expelled students in their county using the self-reflection tool adopted by the SBE.

Coordination of Services for Foster Youth (Priority 10, for COEs only):

LEAs assess the degree of implementation of coordinated services for foster youth in their county using the self-reflection tool adopted by the SBE.

Parents

California has a new accountability system reported through the California School Dashboard, or the "Dashboard". This new accountability system is an online tool that reports on multiple measures, including local and state indicators. This Parent Web page provides several resources to help parents understand the new accountability system and access the Dashboard.

Parent Resources

Resources

The Resources Tab includes the following sections:
Data Used for the Spring and Fall 2017 Dashboards

An at-a-glance summary of the data (and data years) used to determine Status and Change for the Spring 2017 Dashboard, as well as the data that will be used for the Fall 2017 Dashboard.

Accountability E-mail Listserv

This listserv is used to notify local educational agencies (LEAs) of information and updates regarding accountability. The listserv is divided into two groups, SECURE and GENERAL. Before signing up for the listserv at Accountability E-mail Listserv External link opens in new window or tab. Web page, please review the information about the difference between the SECURE and GENERAL groups.

Five-by-Five Color Tables

Five-by-Five Color Tables provides the five-by-five color table for each of the state indicators:

Five-by-Five Color Tables (DOC)

State Indicators Quick Reference Guide (PDF)

Local Indicators

Local Indicators identifies the approved performance standards and self-reflection tools that LEAs can use to determine progress on the local indicators:

Local Indicators Quick Reference Guide (PDF)

California School Dashboard: Deeper Dive on Local Indicators Detailed Reports Overview, and Resources Update (PDF; Posted 15-May-2017)

College/Career Indicator

College/Career Indicator provides information on the measures and criteria that are used to determine the three levels (Prepared, Approaching Prepared, Not Prepared) of postsecondary preparedness for the College/Career Indicator.

PowerPoint Presentations

A series of PowerPoints presented by the CDE that reviewed the new California School Dashboard, the state indicators included in the Dashboard, the statements of model practices, and local indicators. The topics covered in each of the PowerPoints are described below:

  1. Overview of the Dashboard and its Impact on Local Control and Accountability Plan Development (PDF)
    An overview of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) Legislation and how the three components (funding formula, the local accountability plan, and the new Dashboard) intersect.
  2. The California Model: Academic Indicator (PDF)
    Provides technical information, such as the data source, calculation methodology, and rules used to calculate the Academic Indicator.
  3. The California Model: Suspension and English Learner Progress Indicators (PDF)
    Provides technical information, such as the data source, calculation methodology, and rules used to calculate the Suspension and English Learner Progress Indicators.
  4. The California Model: Graduation Rate and College/Career Indicators (PDF)
    Provides technical information, such as the data source, calculation methodology, and rules used to calculate the Graduation Rate and College/Career Indicators.
  5. The California Model: Local Indicators, Chronic Absenteeism, and Statements of Model Practices (PDF)
    Provides information on the Local Indicators, Chronic Absenteeism, and the Statements of Model Practices.

Data Files and Guide

Data Files & Record Layouts and Guide

Spring 2017

Guide and Resources

Data Files

Academic Indicator (English Language Arts/Literacy)
Grades 3–8
Grades 11
Academic Indicator (Mathematics)
Grades 3–8
Grade 11
College/Career Indicator
English Language Progress Indicator
Graduation Rate Indicator
Suspension Rate Indicator

Communications Toolkit

The toolkit provides links to key communications about the California School Dashboard.

The California School Dashboard features easy-to-read reports on multiple measures of school success, including test scores, graduation rates, English learner progress, and suspension rates.

The sample materials in the Dashboard Communications Toolkit are designed to support districts and schools with community engagement efforts. The materials can be customized for local needs and use. Items will be added to the Toolkit as they become available.

California School Dashboard Core Messages | DOC
Core messages about the state's new accountability and continuous improvement system.

California School Dashboard Key Points | DOC
Key points about the California School Dashboard.

Getting to Know the California School Dashboard (PDF)
A two page flyer to help communicate the California School Dashboard to stakeholders.

California School Dashboard Fast Start Guide (PDF)
A one page document showing the California School Dashboard's features and design.

California School Dashboard - Orientation Tour (PDF)
A PowerPoint presentation on the background and key features of the new California School Dashboard, state and local indicators, and the Dashboard Interface.

Sample Letter to Parents | DOC
A sample letter to families about the California School Dashboard.

Samples of Digital Media Post | DOC
A sample post about the Dashboard.

Videos from Outside Organizations

Video Presented by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) External link opens in new window or tab. (Video; 2:02)
An illustrated video on the California School Dashboard developed by the ACSA.

Video Presented by the Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE) External link opens in new window or tab. (Video; 4:19)
An illustrated video on the California School Dashboard developed by the ACOE.

Frequently Asked Questions about the California School Dashboard

The sections below address the most commonly asked questions about California's new accountability system.

Questions: Academic Accountability Team | DASHBOARD@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0863 
Last Reviewed: Friday, October 20, 2017
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