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California Department of Education
News Release
California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #19-83
December 12, 2019
Contact: Scott Roark
E-mail: communications@cde.ca.gov
Phone: 916-319-0818

California Department of Education Launches
2019 School Dashboard

SACRAMENTO—The California Department of Education (CDE) and the State Board of Education (SBE) today launched the 2019 California School Dashboard, a key component of the state’s school accountability system. The Dashboard includes the latest data available on 2018–19 graduation rates, suspension rates, test scores, English learner progress, college/career readiness, and chronic absenteeism.

“The California School Dashboard is a data-driven approach to provide the ‘whole picture’ of a school for educators and parents,” said State Superintendent Tony Thurmond. “The Dashboard empowers local communities to identify opportunities and resources to better serve their students, and provides parents and educators with meaningful information on school and district progress so they can participate in plans to improve student learning.”

The Dashboard shows that California public schools are making progress on four out of six statewide indicators: The statewide graduation rate increased 2.2 percentage points from 83.7 percent to 85.9 percent. The suspension rate fell slightly from 3.5 percent to 3.4 percent. The college/career readiness rate grew 1.8 percent—44.1 percent of students are now deemed ready for college when they graduate from high school. Both math and English language arts (ELA) test scores are up: a 2.9 point increase in math and a 3.1 point increase in ELA. Because of steady progress, the number of school districts eligible for state assistance based on Dashboard indicators fell from 386 last year to 333. Thirty-two charter schools are also eligible for the first time for state support.

Achievement gaps are narrowing in several areas, although significant disparities remain. For example, African Americans showed the largest graduation rate gain among student groups with an increase of 6.2 percent for a total of 78.6 percent of students graduating. The graduation rate for foster youth increased by 4.2 percent for a total of 64.2 percent. By comparison, the graduation rate for white students increased 1.3 percent during that same time period for a total of 89.1 percent. Students with disabilities made the greatest gains in math (6.6-point improvement) and English language arts (7.6 points).

“California public schools are making steady—albeit slow—progress in important areas—we are headed in the right direction,” said State Board President Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond. “We also are seeing places making strong gains—schools and districts that we will want to study further. In other places where progress is stuck, we need to examine the nature of the support being provided to local educators.”

The Dashboard also shows a troubling 1.1 percent rise in chronic absenteeism. Students in grades K–8 are considered chronically absent if they miss 10 percent or more of expected days of attendance. (School closures are not factored into chronic absenteeism, as those are not “expected days of attendance.”) Possible issues that may have contributed to the increase include rising homelessness, work stoppages, and natural disasters/weather, which affect health, housing and transportation. County offices of education will be working with districts to determine specific local causes.

The Dashboard launch marks the first time the state has released the Dashboard and DataQuest reports on graduation rates, suspension rates and chronic absenteeism rates simultaneously, reinforcing California’s move to a multiple measures accountability system. DataQuest provides summary and detailed data reports for multiple subject areas at the school, district, county, and state levels and allows for filtering of various elements (charter vs. non-charter, grade spans, program subgroup, etc.)

Also new this year, the Dashboard has been translated into three more languages—Vietnamese, Tagalog and Mandarin—in addition to Spanish and English. For more information and resources, please visit the California Accountability Model & School Dashboard web page.

The Dashboard is a key component of California’s five-year overhaul of the state’s school accountability system. It displays statewide data based on current year data (how each school or district performed) and prior year data (how much they have improved or declined from one year to the next). School and district performance levels are indicated by color, with red the lowest and blue the highest. The Dashboard also breaks down information by student group (low-income, English learner, foster youth, etc.) to help pinpoint and address achievement gaps.

The Dashboard app is available on the iOS App Store, the Google Play Store, and the Microsoft Store by searching for the term “CA Dashboard.” More information about the app and links to the app stores are on the CDE CA Dashboard Mobile Application web page.

Downloadable data files for four-year graduation rates are available on the CDE Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate and Outcome Data web page. The files for suspension and chronic absenteeism rates can be found on the CDE Suspension Data web page and CDE Chronic Absenteeism Data web page respectively. The files for the new five-year graduation rates can be found on the CDE Five-Year Cohort Graduation Rate web page.

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

Last Reviewed: Thursday, December 12, 2019
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