Equity Alert: How to Prioritize Equity in the New California Dashboard


In March 2017, the California Department of Education released the new California School Dashboard. These web‐based dashboards communicate information about schools and districts using multiple measures and color‐coded performance levels, with Blue representing the highest possible performance and Red the lowest. This field test version is a meaningful first step. But it is also clear that more work is needed to give parents, students, educators, administrators, and other stakeholders an accessible picture of how schools are doing. In this brief, we offer observations on the new dashboard and suggestions for how California leaders can make improvements so that it better supports equity, accountability, and meaningful stakeholder engagement.

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Karla Fernandez

Communications Manager

Karla Fernandez (she/her/hers) joins Ed Trust–West as a Communications Manager with over 11 years of experience advancing social impact initiatives.

Karla started her career as a teacher at Chicago Public Schools and UIC College Prep. After teaching, Karla joined United Friends of the Children to support LA County’s youth in foster care as a college counselor. Through Leadership for Educational Equity, Karla also served as a Policy Advisor Fellow for the office of a Los Angeles Unified School Board Member. She solidified her interests in policy analysis and quantitative research during her time with the Price Center for Social Innovation, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and the USC Presidential Working Group on Sustainability. Before joining The Education Trust–West, Karla was the Associate Director for the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative, a network of nonprofits advocating for communities in SELA.

Karla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, a Master of Public Policy from the USC Price School of Public Policy, and a Graduate Certificate in Policy Advocacy from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Karla is based out of southern California and is passionate about using data analysis, communications, and digital strategies for policy advocacy and social justice efforts.