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California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #17-20
March 15, 2017
Contact: Communications
Phone: 916-319-0818

California School Dashboard Debuts, Provides Multiple Measures of School Progress and Performance

SACRAMENTO—The State Board of Education (SBE) and the California Department of Education (CDE) today unveiled the California School Dashboard, a new Web site that provides parents, educators, and the public with important information they can use to evaluate schools and school districts in an easy-to-understand report card format.

The California School Dashboard External link opens in new window or tab. is a critical piece of California’s new school accountability and continuous improvement system. The state’s former accountability system—the Academic Performance Index (API)—relied exclusively on standardized tests and gave schools a single score. That system was suspended three years ago.

“The California School Dashboard provides local communities with meaningful and relevant information on how well schools and districts are doing,” said State Board of Education President Michael W. Kirst. “It will help in local decision-making by highlighting both the progress of schools and student groups, shining a light on disparities and helping stakeholders pinpoint where resources should be directed.

“As exciting a development as this is, it’s important to understand that the California School Dashboard itself is a work in progress. It will be a far more valuable tool one year from now and three years from now than it is today as more indicators come online, as feedback is incorporated, and as improvements are made,” Kirst said.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson called the launch a “historic milestone” in preparing students for success in 21st century college and careers.

“The California School Dashboard is a resource unlike anything we’ve ever had before. I think of it as a high-tech report card for our schools. Just as our children receive report cards with multiple grades in multiple subject areas, the California School Dashboard provides us with many different measures of a school’s performance—where it’s strong, where it needs to improve, how it’s doing over time.

“The California School Dashboard is yet another example of the innovation and positive change taking place in our public school system, which is also evident in increased local control, more rigorous academic standards, cutting-edge online assessments, and billions of dollars in voter-approved school funding and school infrastructure improvement.”

The California School Dashboard incorporates six state performance measures and four local indicators (six local indicators for county offices of education). The six state measures are:

  • Academic Indicator, which includes results on standardized tests
  • Career/College Readiness
  • English Learner Progress
  • Graduation Rate
  • Suspension Rate
  • Chronic Absenteeism

Information for two state indicators—Chronic Absenteeism and College/Career Readiness—and the six local indicators will be added as they become available. Local educational agencies and schools receive one of five color-coded performance levels for each state indicator for all students and for each student group. The performance levels are calculated based on how current performance compares to past performance. From highest to lowest, the five performance levels are blue, green, yellow, orange, and red. The four local indicators are:

  • Basic Services and School Conditions
  • Implementation of State Academic Standards
  • Parent Engagement
  • School Climate

The two additional local indicators for county offices of education are:

  • Coordination of Services for Expelled Youth
  • Coordination of Services for Foster Youth

As an accountability and continuous improvement tool, the California School Dashboard will help the state identify schools and districts needing targeted assistance from the state, beginning in the 2017-18 school year.

“I applaud the State Board and CDE for putting equity front and center on the Dashboard,” said El Dorado County Office of Education Superintendent Ed Manansala. “The Equity Report will help our district and schools as they work to better align resources to improved outcomes for all students.”

Michelle King, Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, said, “L.A. Unified is very excited about the Dashboard and the new opportunities it provides for engaging with our students, families, and schools. This new system improves transparency by providing information on both academic and non-academic factors that contribute to a child’s education. By shifting the focus from what we’ve done to how we can improve, the Dashboard will lead to real accountability and new opportunities to help our students succeed.”

David Rattray, Executive Vice President, Center for Educational Excellence and Talent Development for the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, said: “To properly analyze a business, you wouldn’t look only at the stock price, but instead would examine many factors, including profit/loss statements, growth potential, market share, and competition.

“Similarly, one indicator does not provide a complete picture of a school,” Rattray said. “Business leaders, like the rest of the public, need to look at a variety of measures to know how their schools and districts are doing. For the first time, the Dashboard not only provides us that information, but also gives us insight into opportunities for improvement.”


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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Tuesday, May 12, 2020
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