Return to Headlines

Beyond the Test Scores: CA School Dashboard

California School Dashboard Goes Beyond Test Scores

California will soon have a new tool for parents and community members to learn more about our district and schools. A preview of the California School Dashboard is expected to launch this week, with more in-depth reports about schools' performance and progress. 

The Dashboard replaces the Academic Performance Index (API), which relied on test scores to produce a single number. But one test taken on one particular day doesn't provide a complete picture of all the ways schools are helping students succeed. The new system gives a snapshot of several indicators, including high school graduation rates, career and college readiness, English learner progress and suspension rates, while still looking at test scores.

State Indicators

·         Academic Indicator - based on CAASPP test scores for English language arts and math (grades 3-8)

·         English Learner Progress (K-12)

·         Graduation Rate (9-12)

·         Suspension Rate (K-12)

·         Chronic Absenteeism* (K-12)

·         College/Career Readiness* (9-12)

* Data for these indicators will not be available at launch

Local Indicators

·         Basic Services

·         Implementation of State Academic Standards

·         Parent Engagement

·         School Climate

·         Coordination of Services for Expelled Youth*

·         Coordination of Services for Foster Youth*

* These indicators apply only to County Offices of Education

Dashboard Reports

The Dashboard will feature easy-to-read reports on school and district performance. It provides information on several indicators of school success based on data collected at the state and local levels. Some of the data is from the 2014-15 and 2016-17 school years and may not reflect current performance. Data for some state indicators and all local indicators may not be available until the 2017-18 school year.

sample CA School Dashboard report

Sample dashboard report


Performance Levels for State Indicators

Performance on state indicators for individual schools and districts will be represented in the Dashboard by easy-to-understand color-coded pie pieces. The five performance levels are: blue (highest), green, yellow, orange, and red (lowest). The levels reflect both current performance and changes in performance over time.

performance level indicators


Viewers will be able to click on the different indicators to see more information and further breakdown of the data within the measured population.

“The new Dashboard, which is a significant shift away from a single number, gives us a broader picture of accountability metrics, and helps us to locally address disparities among student groups,” says Dr. Clara Finneran, Assistant Superintendent of Las Virgenes Unified School District.

The Dashboard also reflects California’s commitment to transparency and continuous improvement. It is part of the state’s new school accountability system based on 2013’s Local Control Funding Formula. It supports the educational goals that all school districts set in their annually updated Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs).


Follow us!

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like our Facebook page
to get important updates and other great content.