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California School Dashboard Newsletter Issue 2

California School Dashboard Newsletter with image of pencil pointing towards green dash in semi-circle of red, orange, yellow, green and blue.

Issue 2
December 2019

Dear Readers,

We welcome you to the California Department of Education’s (CDE) second edition of the California School Dashboard (Dashboard) Newsletter. This Newsletter is designed to keep you updated and informed on news related to the Dashboard, System of Support, and Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) topics. This monthly newsletter can be found on CDE’s California School Dashboard and System of Support web page.

If at any time you wish to unsubscribe, please use the unsubscribe link at the bottom of this and every issue.


Dashboard Newsletter Team

Public Release of the 2019 Dashboard

The 2019 Dashboard can be viewed on the CDE California School Dashboard and System of Support web page. To see the results for a district or school, type the name into the search bar.

School Dashboard Additional Reports and Data

In addition to the 2019 Dashboard, viewers can access several important reports at the district, county or state levels located on the School Dashboard Additional Reports and Data web page. These include:

  • Five-by-Five Placement Reports
  • College/Career Reports
  • Participation Rate Report
  • Student Groups Report
  • Charter School by County (New).

Webinar Series on the State Indicators

Throughout the month of November, the Analysis, Measurement, and Accountability Reporting Division (AMARD) conducted webinars on the six state indicators reported on the 2019 Dashboard:

  • Suspension Rate Indicator
  • Chronic Absenteeism Indicator
  • Graduation Rate Indicator
  • College/Career Indicator
  • Academic Indicator .
  • English Learner Progress Indicator

The presentations for these webinars are posted on the CDE’s Dashboard Webinars and PowerPoint Presentations web page.

Changes to Academic Indicator Participation Rate Calculation for the 2020 Dashboard

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires states to test at least 95 percent of all students and student groups in English language arts and mathematics. It also requires states to factor the participation rate into the Academic Indicator. If a local educational agency (LEA), school, or student group does not meet the 95 percent participation rate target, there is a penalty.

California has been factoring in the participation rate into its Academic Indicator and assigning a one-quarter point penalty for every percentage point that a district, school, or student group falls short of the 95 percent participation rate target. However, the U.S. Department of Education has determined that, moving forward, we must assign the Lowest Obtainable Scale Score (LOSS) for each student needed to bring school, district, and student group to the 95 percent participation target. Therefore, beginning with the 2020 Dashboard, California will apply a new methodology to factor the participation rate into the Academic Indicator. This new methodology has a much greater impact on the Distance from Standard results than does the current methodology. The CDE encourages schools to administer the assessments to all students to avoid the new participation rate penalty. Details on this new methodology will be shared in the near future.

Proposed Revisions to LCAP Template

Assembly Bill 1840 (2019) amended California Education Code (EC) Section 52064 to revise the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) and Annual Update Template. Consistent with statute, revisions to the template must be adopted by the State Board of Education (SBE) no later than January 31, 2020, and will be effective for use in the 2020–21 through 2022–23 LCAP cycle.

At the September 2019 SBE meeting, the CDE presented an LCAP Template revision prototype including the legislatively required Expenditure Tables developed in partnership with educational stakeholders. The SBE directed the CDE to continue with the development of a revised template to be informed through continued stakeholder input (California State Board of Education September 2019 Agenda Item #02)(DOCX).

The proposed revised LCAP Template reflects the collaborative efforts of SBE staff, the CDE’s Internal Planning Group, and the LCAP Redesign Advisory Group. It incorporates suggested revisions provided by the SBE, the California Practitioners Advisory Group, numerous stakeholders, education coalition and advocacy groups, and input received via the CDE’s LCAP Redesign Survey.

Proposed revisions to the LCAP Template include changes to the prompts and the structure of the plan. The proposed LCAP Template is responsive to stakeholder feedback as stated above and adheres to the legislative intent of AB 1840 as follows:

  • The proposed LCAP Template streamlines the content and format of the LCAP to make the information included more accessible for parents and other local stakeholders. Technical instructions necessary for LEAs to complete the LCAP are provided in a separate section.

  • The proposed LCAP Template presents information about actions that contribute to increased or improved services for unduplicated pupils in a manner that more clearly shows whether the increased or improved services are being targeted to specific school sites or provided on a districtwide, countywide, or charter wide basis.

An overview of and rationale for the changes that the Legislature made to the LCAP Template statutes was presented to the SBE at its September 2019 meeting.

To meet the annual update requirements consistent with EC sections 52061 and 52064, the CDE developed a 2019–20 Annual Update Template. This template meets the annual update requirements and keeps the two three-year LCAP Templates (2017–20; 2020–23) as separate and distinct plan.

LCFF Information Memorandum

On December 12, 2019, the CDE provided an Information Memorandum to the State Board of Education regarding districts, county offices of education (COEs), and charter schools eligible of differentiated assistance under LCFF..

Overall, the 2019 Dashboard results show a positive trend for most of the state indicators, including the Academic Indicator, Suspension Rate, Graduation Rate, and College\Career Indicators. However, the Chronic Absenteeism Indicator showed increases in chronically absent students (students who are absent 10 percent or more of the instructional days they were enrolled).

The number of student groups in need of additional support decreased for every student group between 2018 to 2019. The number of LEAs that were identified for differentiated assistance because of the top three lowest performing student groups decreased from 2018 to 2019:

  • Students with disabilities decreased from 243 to 187
  • Homeless students decreased from 145 to 98
  • Foster youth decreased from 106 to 101

Differentiated Assistance Frequently Asked Questions

In each edition of the California School Dashboard Newsletter we would like to provide brief highlights surrounding the ongoing work of the System of Support. The overarching goal of California’s system of support is to help LEAs and their schools meet the needs of each student they serve, with a focus on building local capacity to sustain improvement and to effectively address disparities in opportunities and outcomes.

In this edition, we would like to highlight some of the Frequently Asked Questions regarding differentiated assistance guidance to eligible COEs, charter school authorizers (Authorizers) and LEAs.

1. What is the goal of differentiated assistance?

As noted, California’s public school accountability system is designed to reinforce the expectation that everyone can improve while also ensuring additional support is provided to LEAs that need it. It also includes an intentional focus on providing assistance in a manner that builds the capacity of the LEA receiving assistance.

Differentiated assistance is intended not only to help the LEA address the underlying causes that led to its eligibility for assistance, but also to strengthen the LEA’s overall ability to evaluate the effectiveness of strategies and programs and make adjustments as appropriate. This approach equips the LEA to improve in areas that were not the focus of differentiated assistance and increases the likelihood that improvements will be sustained when the differentiated assistance ends.

2. Why do certain LEAs receive differentiated assistance?

Eligibility for differentiated assistance is based on performance criteria set by the SBE, which are described below. Although this system continues to evolve, the criteria are currently based on performance within the eight state priorities under the LCFF, measured through both the state indicators (color-coded rating) and local indicators (met, not met rating) that are reported annually in the Dashboard. More information on the Dashboard, including the state and local indicators, is available on the California School Dashboard Frequently Asked Questions page.

3. What are the eligibility criteria for differentiated assistance?

State law required the SBE to adopt “evaluation rubrics” (which have been implemented as the Dashboard). One purpose of the evaluation rubrics is to determine whether LEAs are in need of additional assistance:

  • COEs must offer differentiated assistance to a school district if any student group meets the criteria for two or more LCFF priorities.
  • The CDE must offer differentiated assistance to a COE if any student group meets the criteria for two or more LCFF priorities.
  • As the accountability system moves forward, the state superintendent of public instruction, with approval of the SBE, may intervene in a school district or COE if three or more student groups (or all the student groups if there are less than three) meet the criteria for two or more LCFF priorities in three out of four consecutive years.

Charter school authorizers must offer differentiated assistance to a charter school and may refer the charter school to the CCEE if three or more student groups (or all the student groups if there are less than three student groups) meet the criteria for one or more state or school priorities identified in the charter for three out of four consecutive school years.

4. Does the state post information about school districts identified for differentiated assistance?

Yes. This information is posted in conjunction with the release of the Dashboard each fall. It shows all school districts, organized by county and what type of assistance they are receiving. For those school districts receiving differentiated assistance, it also identifies how the school district met the eligibility criteria (i.e., the student group[s] and relevant indicators). A link to the information on LCFF Support and Assistance is available on CDE’s LCFF web page. To receive updates and information related to the System of Support via e-mail, please subscribe to the System of Support listserv by sending a "blank" message to

December 2019 - March 2020 Calendar
Month Date Activity
County Office of Education Differentiated Assistance Support Survey



SBE Meeting to adopt the proposed LCAP Template

First in a series of Tuesdays@2 Webinars to introduce the newly adopted LCAP Template


1st week


eTemplate release with revisions of the LCAP Template
Release of the list of schools eligible for Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI)

Innovating for Equity Summit

SBE Meeting


Questions: Data Reporting Office | | 916-327-0219 
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, July 06, 2022