New measures of school quality available online

From average SAT scores to the percentage of students in the “Healthy Fitness Zone,” performance data for the state’s more than 10,000 schools has been updated to include some 2012-13 information, the California Department of Education announced Monday.
The “School Quality Snapshots” website creates two-page school overviews on measures such as the Academic Performance Index and California Standards Tests results for English, mathematics, history and science. A pie chart summarizes a school’s enrollment by race/ethnicity, and other diagrams show enrollment and average class size.
In addition, the reports provide data from the 2011-12 school year – the most recent available – on suspensions and expulsions as a percentage of enrolled students. Also included for high schools is the percentage of graduates meeting University of California “a-g” requirements, the cohort graduation rate and passing rates for the California High School Exit Exam’s English and math tests.
First introduced a year ago, the Snapshots are an online accountability tool that simplifies public access to measures of school performance, the department said. Before the introduction of School Quality Snapshots, visitors would have to cull information from more than a dozen California Department of Education web pages to receive the same amount of data about individual schools, the department said.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson followed Monday’s announcement with news on Tuesday that two career websites for students, the California Career Zone and the California Career Center, also have been enhanced with new features including an interactive “Make Money Choices” section that asks users what kind of lifestyle they want to live, tells them how much it will cost, and links directly to information about jobs that could realistically support that lifestyle and salary.
Also new is the “Career Surfer” application from iTunes and Google Play that allows students to begin exploring careers on their mobile devices.
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