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Use of the Dashboard FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers for the usage of the California School Dashboard.

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How is the Dashboard intended to be used?

Parents/guardians, educators, other stakeholders and the public can use the Dashboard to see how local educational agencies and schools are performing under California's school accountability system.

The Dashboard provides a quick overview, with additional detail available, about overall performance and student group performance on multiple measures of student success. This will assist in identifying strengths, weaknesses and areas in need of improvement for local educational agencies and schools.

Will local educational agencies and schools receive a single, overall rating?

No. The Dashboard shows performance on multiple measures that contribute to a quality education for students. This provides a more complete picture of how schools are meeting the needs of the students they serve.

Why does the Dashboard include multiple measures?

The Dashboard is the result of hundreds of meetings with parents/caregivers, teachers, students and community members who provided feedback and suggestions on the school accountability system. A consistent piece of feedback was that reducing the multiple measures to a single number would leave out information that is important to many parents/caregivers and stakeholders.

Parents/caregivers said they are used to getting report cards showing how their child is doing. Just as the information about different subjects/courses helps them understand how their child is doing, the performance information on different measures will help them understand how the school or local educational agency is doing.

How will the performance data be used?

The Dashboard will help inform the local planning and stakeholder engagement process around Local Control and Accountability Plans.

The Dashboard also will determine which LEAs and schools are in need of additional assistance under state and federal law. Information on the eligibility criteria for differentiated assistance is provided on the California's System of Support Web page.

What changes were made to the 2019 Dashboard?

Changes have been made for the following indicators:

Academic Indicator

The California Alternate Assessments (CAA) for English language arts/literacy and mathematics are included in the Academic Indicator, beginning with the 2019 Dashboard.

The CAA is based on a different set of standards and has different reporting scales than those used for the Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBAC). In order to incorporate the CAA results into the Academic Indicator, each CAA score is first converted to a comparable SBAC score, using the following methodology:

  • For levels 1–3 on the CAA, a student’s CAA score is substituted with the top score point of the same SBAC achievement level. For example, a grade three student scoring anywhere in Level 2 on the CAA for ELA would receive the highest score of the Level 2 range on the SBAC ELA, which is 2431. This substituted score is used to calculate the Distance from Standard (DFS).
  • Due to the vast number of students who do not orient or respond to the CAA, students who receive the Lowest Obtainable Scale Score (LOSS) on the CAA are excluded from the DFS calculations.

For more information on the DFS and incorporation of the participation rate, please the Dashboard Technical Guide

English Learner Progress Indicator (ELPI)

California has transitioned to a new English proficiency assessment: the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC). Because the ELPAC is a new test, a performance level (color) is not available. In the 2019 Dashboard, only Status will be reported for this indicator.

Graduation Rate

For the 2019 Dashboard, the graduation rate for traditional schools is based on the number of students who graduate with a regular high school diploma within four or five years. The rate is known as the combined four-and five-year graduation rate. To be counted as graduates under the combined graduation rate (i.e., to be included in the numerator of this rate), students must graduate with a regular high school diploma within four or five years of entering grade nine.

The CCI is based on the combined four- and five-year graduation rate. Note: Fifth-year graduates will be included in the CCI only if place in the “Prepared” level. Those who are “Approaching Prepared” or “Not Prepared” will be excluded from calculations for this indicator.

What changes to the Dashboard can I expect in the coming years?

The State Board of Education (SBE) approved a process to review progress on implementing the accountability system annually. Revisions to the state and local indicators are proposed at the March SBE meetings.

Other FAQs and Answers

Questions: Academic Accountability Team | aau@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0863 
Last Reviewed: Monday, November 4, 2019
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