Statement in Response to the California School Dashboard Release
In response to the release of the California School Dashboard, The Education Trust-West released the following statement:
Recently the California Department of Education launched the second version of the California School Dashboard, the state’s tool that shows how schools, districts, and county offices of education are serving the over 6 million students enrolled in our K-12 education system. We appreciate that the state responded to the feedback of parents, students, and other community stakeholders by making the dashboard more accessible – including the added ability to more easily view the dashboard on mobile devices. We also appreciate that this update to the Dashboard includes, for the first time, data for county offices of education, data on alternative high schools and new metrics on chronic absenteeism, college and career readiness, and 11th grade assessments. Including these metrics allows stakeholders to better understand how schools and districts are performing across a broad and holistic array of measures.
However, we remain concerned that the adjustments do not go far enough to ensure all stakeholders can easily use the Dashboard to find information on their schools and districts and engage in local improvement efforts. It is still difficult to interpret parts of the dashboard, it is unclear how to compare schools, and there is no clear way to determine what schools or districts have been identified for assistance. Furthermore, the delay on releasing a Spanish version of the Dashboard is problematic and sends a bad message to our state’s Spanish speaking parents about the importance of their engagement in their child’s education and in improving their local schools. The Spanish version of the dashboard shouldn’t be on a separate timeline.
Moving forward, we urge the state to continue to make improvements to the information presented on the Dashboard. The next step with the California School Dashboard must be to ensure that the Dashboard works for all stakeholders, that equity is truly in the driver’s seat of our efforts to better support our state’s students and that the state is explicit about their tangible efforts to improve schools. While it’s important that we set goals and monitor how we’re doing against them, it is even more important that we do the hard work to help schools and districts meet those goals. This is especially important in schools and districts where students of color, low-income students, and English learners continue to face inequitable opportunities and outcomes because their schools and districts struggle or choose not to hold high expectations and provide adequate and equitable resources and supports. We look forward to working together with fellow advocates, including community members, policymakers, and educators, to speed up the pace of progress toward educational equity and drive toward educational justice in this generation.