Accountibility system to aid school-to-family transparency


The California Department of Education (CDE) unveiled a new accountability system this school year called the California School Dashboard.

It is currently in a soft launch as it only provides information for certain categories as well as all the grades and information coming from last year’s numbers.

The full updated version is set to release by the end of this month and will include features like updated graduation ranks, a facilities report and a new college and career readiness indicator.

The facilities report will take information directly from the School Accountability Report Card, while other categories will be individually rated.

Each category is rated with a score out of five (five showing the highest performance), displayed as sections of a colored wheel. For now, RHS’ equity report includes Spring 2017 ratings of 4/5 for both Suspension and Graduation Rates, 3/5 for English Learner Progress and no ratings for Chronic Absenteeism and College/Career.

CDE Director of Communications Janet Weeks believes this updated information can help school officials know what needs to change and what is doing well at a school, and ultimately use that information to promote change.

“The hope is for principals and other school leaders to use this data to advocate for any change that might be needed at their school or district,” Weeks said.

Weeks feels that having an online grading service like Dashboard is important for schools to implement as it provides information for parents, students and administrators.

“Dashboard provides unprecedented transparency, this is important because information is power and this data can empower districts to make schools better for all students,” Weeks said.

Principal David Byrd thinks the school reports will be beneficial because it tells him exactly what he needs to improve at the school.

“You get data and information if there is any problems, that’s what to me that school Dashboard is all about. ‘Is there anything broken, is there anything that needs to be fixed,’” Byrd said.