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Academic Indicators

These indicators, reported on the California School Dashboard, applies to districts and schools with students in grades 3–8 and 11.

What are these Indicators?

The Academic Indicators consist of two content areas: English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics. These indicators represent two of several state indicators that the California Department of Education (CDE) reports on the California School Dashboard External link opens in new window or tab. (Dashboard) and reflect how well students are meeting grade-level standards by reporting the average distance from standard (DFS).

These indicators are reported on the Dashboard for any local educational agency (LEA) and school who test students on the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments and California Alternative Assessments (CAA) in grades three through eight and grade eleven.

Beginning in 2018, the participation rate was included in the reporting of the Academic Indicators. The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires states to test at least 95 percent of all students and student groups in ELA and mathematics, and to factor the participation rate into their accountability systems. If a LEA, school, or student group does not meet the 95 percent participation rate, the number of students needed to meet the participation rate must be factored into the results. See the Resources section below for more information.

Additional Reports

Designed for educators, the School Dashboard Additional Reports offer information and data beyond what are reported on the Dashboard, including summarized views across all state indicators. Several reports specific to this indicator are the:

  • 2023 Five-by-Five English Language Arts Placement Report
  • 2023 Five-by-Five Mathematics Placement Report
  • 2023 Participation Rate Report


General Information about the Indicator
Technical Information about the Indicator
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The Academic Indicators FAQs web page addresses the common questions received on this state indicator.

Additional Information about the Dashboard

Next Steps

  • Science Assessments: The Dashboard currently does not include science results. However, over the past several years, the CDE has continued to apprise the State Board of Education (SBE) as when it may be feasible to include science for accountability. For the latest details, please refer to the March 2022 SBE Agenda Item 4(DOCX), March 2023 SBE Agenda Item 3(DOCX), and CDE flyer Connecting the Dashboard to the Science Test(PDF).

  • Growth Model: Since 2015, California has invested significant time and effort in developing a student-level growth model that is valid, reliable, and fair. While the growth model is currently not included as part of the Academic Indicator, the projected timeline to do so is in 2023–24. For further information, please refer to the Growth Model web page.


Archived materials from prior Dashboard releases.

Questions: Analysis Measurement & Accountability Reporting | | 916-319-0863 
Last Reviewed: Thursday, December 14, 2023