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Sample Letter to Parents

A sample letter to families about the California School Dashboard.

The letter is customizable and addresses some key questions that many parents will have about the new accountability system.

Dear Parent/Guardian

California has launched a new website designed to help communities across the state access important information about K-12 districts and schools. The California School Dashboard External link opens in new window or tab. features easy-to-read reports on multiple measures of school success, including test scores, graduation rates, English learner progress and suspension rates. The Dashboard is part of California’s new school accountability system basedon 2013's Local Control Funding Formula. It is the next step in a series of major shifts in public education that have raised the bar for student learning, transformed testing and placed the focus on equity for all students.

To learn more about California's accountability and continuous improvement efforts, visit the CDE Dashboard Web page.

Why a new system and new tool?

California is committed to informing communities about how well our schools are doing.  California's future success depends on tapping into the potential of all students, so they graduate ready for college, careers and life. For schools to reach this goal, teachers, parents and the community need clear and useful measures of progress. As an accountability tool, the Dashboard will help the state identify schools (including charter schools) and districts needing targeted assistance.

What’s different?

In the past, accountability systems for districts and schools relied heavily on test scores. But one test taken on one particular day doesn't provide a complete picture of all the ways schools are helping students succeed.

Think of it this way: You can’t drive a car by only watching the speedometer. You also keep your eye on the road, check the mirrors, monitor the gas tank and pay attention if the engine light comes on. Similarly, the Dashboard provides information on different aspects of student performance, which will give a more complete picture of a school’s progress. The Dashboard also reports on growth to show a school’s trajectory over time.

What’s next?

This January, the new California System of Support for districts and schools gets underway. Districts and schools will have access to state support and opportunities to work with education leaders on new and better ways to improve teaching and learning. While schools are making progress in many key areas there is always more work to do. Meeting goals will take a united effort, and I look forward to working with our families to ensure success for every student.

Thank you,

Questions: Academic Accountability Team | dashboard@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0863   
Last Reviewed: Friday, December 1, 2017
Recently Posted in Accountability