California is at the forefront nationally in using multiple measures of student success for district and school accountability. Based on the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), which was passed in 2013, California’s new accountability system provides a more complete picture of how schools are meeting the needs of the students they serve.
LCFF also requires that the SBE adopt a new accountability tool, called evaluation rubrics, which consider all LCFF priority areas. The new accountability system is fully operational in 2017–18. In contrast to the performance targets that were in place under No Child Left Behind, the State Board approved realistic performance standards that take into account the present range of performance statewide and incorporate improvement as part of a district’s or school’s overall performance.
Educators, parents, and stakeholders will be able to track school and district progress on the concise set of measures included in the new accountability tool through a new online system called the California School Dashboard. Like a dashboard, it will provide information on a concise set of measures critical to student performance.
The Dashboard will include a set of easy-to-use reports that will help parents, educators, and the public evaluate schools and districts, identify strengths and weaknesses, and allow targeted assistance to be given to districts and schools that need extra help. It will greatly assist efforts to improve equity by identifying student groups that may be struggling on one or more state measures.
Some of the indicators included in the new accountability tool apply uniformly across the state and show performance of all students and student groups at the local educational agency (LEA) and school levels. These are called “state indicators” and include:
Student test scores for English Language Arts and mathematics (called the “Academic Indicator”),
College and career readiness (called the “College/Career Indicator”),
Proficiency for English learners (called the “English Learner Progress Indicator”),
Chronic absenteeism, and
For each of the state indicators, LEAs and schools will receive one of five color-coded performance levels, which are based on how current performance (Status) compares to past performance (Change). There are five possible ranges for Status and five possible ranges for Change. This results in a five-by-five grid (resulting in 25 results) for each indicator. LEAs, schools, and student groups receive one of the five color-coded performance levels based on the combination of their Status and Change.