The new California School Dashboard – a tool that evaluates district, school and student performance – was released March 15 for a statewide field test, providing Whittier Union families and educators a glimpse of the new accountability and improvement system before its official release in fall 2017.
The multiple-measure Dashboard replaces the Academic Performance Index (API), an accountability system that relied almost entirely on standardized tests and gave schools a single score. It was suspended three years ago.
Still under construction, the tool will provide parents, educators and the community with data on six state and four local performance and growth measures, from graduation and suspension rates to school climate and parent engagement.
“Under the guidance and foresight of our Board of Trustees, Whittier Union has spearheaded the important task of disaggregating this exact data to know which students to focus on, leading to continual improvement in our student achievement over the last 15 years,” Whittier Union High School District Superintendent Martin Plourde said. “We will continue to focus on our improvement to achieve excellence at all levels as we have always done.”
Five color-coded icons – blue, green, yellow, orange, red – represent a school’s success on each state measure by averaging performance and growth data. A blue icon indicates high performance that is steady or improving. Red indicates poor performance that is declining. These icons will not be available for the local measures.
For the field test, just four state measures will be available: graduation rate, suspension rate, English learner progress and state test results.
Once finalized, the tool will incorporate existing state measures for chronic absenteeism, suspensions, graduations and state test performance, as well as new ways of assessing English learner progress and college and career readiness.
The final tool will also feature the four local measures: school climate, parent engagement, implementation of academic standards and adequacy of school facilities. These measures track districtwide performance only.
“By examining the data we have consistently monitored, Whittier Union has been able to pinpoint which set of students need additional support, in what areas we are excelling, where we need to improve and where we need to focus our efforts and resources to boost student outcomes,” Plourde said. “The Dashboard will only help enhance our efforts to improve school quality for all students.”
For more information, visit www.caschooldashboard.org.