California's New Accountability System - California School Dashboard
The California Department of Education unveiled a new accountability system that replaces the old academic Performance Index (API) system which assigned schools a three-digit number, ranging from 200-999 based on students' standardized test scores. In response to community feedback, California has created a new system that measures district and school performance based on multiple local and state measures including test scores, chronic absenteeism, student suspensions, graduation rates, and English learner progress. This information is available to the public at the California School Dashboard website and is designed to be a tool for parents, educators, and the public to evaluate school performance and monitor the progress of improvement efforts over time.
The California Department of Education has created a web page devoted to the California School Dashboard that provides a variety of resources for parents. This page is periodically updated with new information and additional resources, so be sure to check back every so often to learn about new system features as they are released.
While the components of the Dashboard will continue to evolve based on feedback and inclusion of updated data reports, it provides the community with much more meaningful information about school programs than ever before. We encourage you to take a few minutes to learn more and explore the California School Dashboard resources below.
Why was the Dashboard created?
The Dashboard is a component of the Local Control Funding Formula law passed in 2013 that significantly changed how California provides funding to public schools and holds Districts accountable for student performance. The law required the State Board of Education to adopt a new accountability tool that reflects performance in different priority areas identified in the law, and the Dashboard is where performance data is available publicly. This new system provides a more complete picture of how schools are meeting the needs of all students, increases the focus on equity, and supports local decision-making.
How will student performance be reported?
Student success indicators are aligned with the state priority areas spelled out in the Local Control Funding Formula and the Local Control and Accountability Plan. Student performance on these indicators will be reported using five color-coded performance levels ranging from highest to lowest as seen below.
These levels are calculated based on how students' current performance (or status) compares to past performance (or change). These scores are used to pin-point the overall performance level of the school on a five-by-five color chart.
More details on calculating performance for state indicators are available here.
How can I access information on the Dashboard?
You may access the Dashboard by clicking the CA School Dashboard Site link in the "Important Resources" section to the left. Prior to searching for a school or district, it may be helpful to review the Quick Reference Guide and video tutorial that will explain how the information on the Dashboard is organized.