California launches new website to measure progress of schools, districts

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California has launched a new education website that charts the progress of schools and districts. (KABC)

California has launched a new education website that charts the progress of schools and districts.

The website is called California School Dashboard and was unveiled Wednesday. Unlike the previous rating system, this new one gives users more information about the school they are researching.

"The biggest difference is that it moves beyond a single number and it moves beyond just test scores," said David Rattray, executive vice president of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.

The state's previous accountability system, The Academic Performance Index, or API, relied exclusively on standardized tests. Schools received a single score.

But the dashboard provides ratings on a set of measures using five colors with blue being the best and red being the worst. It includes test scores, but also student graduation rates, progress of English language learners, career readiness and suspensions.

There is also a tab to measure how different student groups are faring in the school.

"If they want to know more, they'll be able to drill down like we do so often these days with websites and other tools," Rattray said.

But not everyone is happy with the dashboard. Some said it fails to provide an overall assessment of the school's performance.

Still, supporters said it offers something "broader and deeper" for parents to look at.

"We think we've done that, but that's why we have a pilot phase here. We're asking people to give it a chance, engage with it, but give us feedback," Rattray said.

There is an email address on the dashboard website to give their feedback. They are also encourage to contact their local district offices. It is a pilot program that will run through the summer months. Another updated version will be available in fall.
Related Topics:
educationschool testingschoolgraduationwebsitescalifornia department of educationLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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