Ratings in updated California School Dashboard target more districts for assistance

Courtesy of Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in ActionCourtesy of Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in ActionThis article was updated on Dec. 6 with a table identifying the 374 districts that will receive county and state assistance and on Dec. 7 with information on student groups that will be receiving assistance in those districts.About 1 in 3 school districts will require assistance from the state or their county offices of education to improve their performance in several areas, based on the new ratings on the California School Dashboard, which the California Department of Education released on Thursday.
EdSource’s database of the California School Dashboard offers a quick look at how your district and school performed on all of the performance indicators and lets you easily compare schools and districts. Check it out here.
The 374 districts are 148 more than last year, when the mandatory system of state support went into effect. The districts qualified because at least one ethnic, racial or other student group received the lowest color rating, red, in two or more of six achievement metrics. The metrics include student test scores in math and English language arts, graduation rates and suspension rates.
RelatedCalifornia to add chronic absenteeism, career/college indicators to education ‘dashboard’The addition this year of two more long-awaited ratings — chronic absenteeism and students’ readiness for college and careers — played a factor in the district list, and both indicators underscore new areas of concern. Only 42 percent of high school seniors in 2018 were deemed prepared for college or a career, and last year 11 percent of  elementary and middle school students missed more than 18 days of school last year, designating chronic absence.
Also in this year’s dashboard, high school test scores in math and English language arts, which were included as a component of the college/career readiness indicator, received a separate color rating for the first time. And there is no color rating this year for the English learner progress indicator, measuring how quickly English learners become proficient in English, because the state switched to a new test. Since more than one year of  scores are needed to produce a color, the color rating will return in 2020.
Introduced in 2017, the dashboard is a key element of the state’s new school accountability system, which emphasizes achievement on multiple indicators without a single summative rating like a letter grade. Two factors determine a color rating: results in the current year and how much the results declined or improved from the year before. The five colors are red, the lowest rating, orange, yellow, green and blue, the highest. Low test results in math that otherwise would be designated as orange can be bumped up a rating to yellow, for example, if the results sharply increased from the year earlier — or bumped down to red if they sharply declined.
User friendlier
Parents should find this year’s version more intuitive and easier to navigate, particularly on mobile phones. Instead of clicking back and forth, a user can scroll down for information. Although the state’s improved dashboard is considered to be more reader-friendly this year, it still doesn’t make it easy for the public to quickly see how schools and districts changed from one year to the next. On the other hand, parents who want more details on why colors changed from last year will have more difficulty finding the information. The state is not providing student group reports for 2017.
The dashboard doesn’t allow for comparing schools and districts, although this year readers can quickly compare a school’s or district’s scores with the state average. (You can use a tool on EdSource’s version of the dashboard to make comparisons of schools and districts.)
About a third of the districts flagged for help this year also received state or county assistance last year, and most districts will receive help for more than one low-performing student group. Just as last year, students will disabilities will be largest student group receiving assistance, in 243 districts of the 374 designated districts, according to an EdSource analysis. In addition, 145 districts are getting support for homeless students and 106 for foster students; both of those student groups make up a small, but particularly vulnerable, portion of the overall student population.
African-American students will be helped in 66 districts, the most of any ethnic or racial group, followed by Hispanics in 44 districts. English learners will receive assistance in 59 districts. (To see how student subgroups in each district or school were rated in each of the six indicators in 2018, select “View Additional Reports” on the top right-hand side of your district’s or school’s dashboard report, then select “Student Group Report.”)
The dashboard itself does not designate which districts have been flagged for “differentiated assistance” by the state or their county office of education.  The state separately produces the list, which can be found below.
DistrictCountyStudent GroupsSan Joaquin County Office of EducationSan Joaquin10San Bernardino County Office of EducationSan Bernardino9San Diego County Office of EducationSan Diego8Oroville City ElementaryButte7Antioch UnifiedContra Costa7Kern County Office of EducationKern7Los Angeles County Office of EducationLos Angeles7Alameda County Office of EducationAlameda6Oakland UnifiedAlameda6Fresno County Office of EducationFresno6Calexico UnifiedImperial6Lakeport UnifiedLake6Antelope Valley Union HighLos Angeles6Merced County Office of EducationMerced6Orange County Department of EducationOrange6Riverside County Office of EducationRiverside6Banning UnifiedRiverside6Sacramento County Office of EducationSacramento6Sacramento City UnifiedSacramento6Barstow UnifiedSan Bernardino6Julian Union ElementarySan Diego6Sequoia Union HighSan Mateo6West Contra Costa UnifiedContra Costa5San Juan UnifiedSacramento5Morongo UnifiedSan Bernardino5Cajon Valley UnionSan Diego5Stockton UnifiedSan Joaquin5Pajaro Valley UnifiedSanta Cruz5Vallejo City UnifiedSolano5Sonoma County Office of EducationSonoma5Hayward UnifiedAlameda4San Lorenzo UnifiedAlameda4Mt. Diablo UnifiedContra Costa4Eureka City SchoolsHumboldt4Eastside Union ElementaryLos Angeles4Palmdale ElementaryLos Angeles4Pasadena UnifiedLos Angeles4Wilsona ElementaryLos Angeles4Modoc Joint UnifiedModoc4Monterey County Office of EducationMonterey4South Monterey County Joint Union HighMonterey4Grass Valley ElementaryNevada4Fullerton Joint Union HighOrange4Hemet UnifiedRiverside4Palm Springs UnifiedRiverside4Perris Union HighRiverside4Victor Valley Union HighSan Bernardino4Snowline Joint UnifiedSan Bernardino4Escondido Union HighSan Diego4Lodi UnifiedSan Joaquin4Santa Clara County Office of EducationSanta Clara4Alum Rock Union ElementarySanta Clara4Fairfield-Suisun UnifiedSolano4Stanislaus County Office of EducationStanislaus4Denair UnifiedStanislaus4Marysville Joint UnifiedYuba4Newark UnifiedAlameda3Thermalito Union ElementaryButte3Contra Costa County Office of EducationContra Costa3Pittsburg UnifiedContra Costa3Lake Tahoe UnifiedEl Dorado3Fresno UnifiedFresno3Klamath-Trinity Joint UnifiedHumboldt3McKinleyville Union ElementaryHumboldt3South Bay Union ElementaryHumboldt3Imperial County Office of EducationImperial3Brawley ElementaryImperial3Bakersfield CityKern3Kernville Union ElementaryKern3Muroc Joint UnifiedKern3Corcoran Joint UnifiedKings3Hanford Joint Union HighKings3Kelseyville UnifiedLake3Konocti UnifiedLake3Madera UnifiedMadera3Dos Palos Oro Loma Joint UnifiedMerced3Salinas Union HighMonterey3San Antonio Union ElementaryMonterey3Gonzales UnifiedMonterey3Napa Valley UnifiedNapa3Nevada City ElementaryNevada3Penn Valley Union ElementaryNevada3Jurupa UnifiedRiverside3Val Verde UnifiedRiverside3Folsom-Cordova UnifiedSacramento3Victor ElementarySan Bernardino3Hesperia UnifiedSan Bernardino3Apple Valley UnifiedSan Bernardino3Lakeside Union ElementarySan Diego3Sweetwater Union HighSan Diego3Valley Center-Pauma UnifiedSan Diego3San Francisco UnifiedSan Francisco3Lincoln UnifiedSan Joaquin3South San Francisco UnifiedSan Mateo3Lompoc UnifiedSanta Barbara3Campbell Union HighSanta Clara3East Side Union HighSanta Clara3Oak Grove ElementarySanta Clara3Santa Cruz City HighSanta Cruz3Windsor UnifiedSonoma3Modesto City HighStanislaus3Patterson Joint UnifiedStanislaus3Riverbank UnifiedStanislaus3Sutter County Office of EducationSutter3Tulare County Office of EducationTulare3Pleasant View ElementaryTulare3Tulare Joint Union HighTulare3Ventura County Office of EducationVentura3Woodland Joint UnifiedYolo3San Leandro UnifiedAlameda2Amador County UnifiedAmador2Chico UnifiedButte2Oroville Union HighButte2Paradise UnifiedButte2Calaveras UnifiedCalaveras2Pierce Joint UnifiedColusa2John Swett UnifiedContra Costa2Mother Lode Union ElementaryEl Dorado2Laton Joint UnifiedFresno2Golden Plains UnifiedFresno2Glenn County Office of EducationGlenn2Willows UnifiedGlenn2Fortuna Union HighHumboldt2Southern Humboldt Joint UnifiedHumboldt2Westmorland Union ElementaryImperial2Kern HighKern2Mojave UnifiedKern2Southern Kern UnifiedKern2Tehachapi UnifiedKern2Sierra Sands UnifiedKern2ABC UnifiedLos Angeles2Azusa UnifiedLos Angeles2Bellflower UnifiedLos Angeles2Downey UnifiedLos Angeles2El Rancho UnifiedLos Angeles2Montebello UnifiedLos Angeles2Paramount UnifiedLos Angeles2Pomona UnifiedLos Angeles2West Covina UnifiedLos Angeles2Compton UnifiedLos Angeles2Chowchilla ElementaryMadera2Bolinas-Stinson UnionMarin2San Rafael City ElementaryMarin2San Rafael City HighMarin2Round Valley UnifiedMendocino2Ukiah UnifiedMendocino2Laytonville UnifiedMendocino2Merced City ElementaryMerced2Salinas City ElementaryMonterey2Soledad UnifiedMonterey2Nevada County Office of EducationNevada2Twin Ridges ElementaryNevada2Anaheim Union HighOrange2Fullerton ElementaryOrange2WestminsterOrange2Roseville Joint Union HighPlacer2Alvord UnifiedRiverside2Desert Sands UnifiedRiverside2Moreno Valley UnifiedRiverside2Palo Verde UnifiedRiverside2Perris ElementaryRiverside2Riverside UnifiedRiverside2Elk Grove UnifiedSacramento2Galt Joint Union HighSacramento2Robla ElementarySacramento2Center Joint UnifiedSacramento2Twin Rivers UnifiedSacramento2Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint UnifiedSan Bernardino2Mountain Empire UnifiedSan Diego2National ElementarySan Diego2San Diego UnifiedSan Diego2South Bay UnionSan Diego2Oceanside UnifiedSan Diego2San Luis Obispo County Office of EducationSan Luis Obispo2Atascadero UnifiedSan Luis Obispo2Burlingame ElementarySan Mateo2Jefferson Union HighSan Mateo2Gilroy UnifiedSanta Clara2Morgan Hill UnifiedSanta Clara2Santa Cruz County Office of EducationSanta Cruz2Cascade Union ElementaryShasta2Fall River Joint UnifiedShasta2Redding ElementaryShasta2Mountain Union ElementaryShasta2Gateway UnifiedShasta2Weed Union ElementarySiskiyou2Willow Creek ElementarySiskiyou2Benicia UnifiedSolano2Petaluma City SchoolsSonoma2Sonoma Valley UnifiedSonoma2Healdsburg UnifiedSonoma2Empire Union ElementaryStanislaus2Turlock UnifiedStanislaus2Yuba City UnifiedSutter2Evergreen UnionTehama2Allensworth ElementaryTulare2Farmersville UnifiedTulare2Porterville UnifiedTulare2Twain HarteTuolumne2OxnardVentura2Yolo County Office of EducationYolo2Washington UnifiedYolo2Wheatland Union HighYuba2Alameda UnifiedAlameda1Berkeley UnifiedAlameda1Castro Valley UnifiedAlameda1Emery UnifiedAlameda1Livermore Valley Joint UnifiedAlameda1New Haven UnifiedAlameda1Butte County Office of EducationButte1Palermo Union ElementaryButte1Mark Twain Union ElementaryCalaveras1Maxwell UnifiedColusa1Liberty Union HighContra Costa1Oakley Union ElementaryContra Costa1El Dorado Union HighEl Dorado1Gold Oak Union ElementaryEl Dorado1Black Oak Mine UnifiedEl Dorado1Clovis UnifiedFresno1Coalinga-Huron UnifiedFresno1Kings Canyon Joint UnifiedFresno1Parlier UnifiedFresno1Selma UnifiedFresno1West Park ElementaryFresno1Central UnifiedFresno1Mendota UnifiedFresno1Caruthers UnifiedFresno1Washington UnifiedFresno1Humboldt County Office of EducationHumboldt1Northern Humboldt Union HighHumboldt1Fortuna ElementaryHumboldt1Calipatria UnifiedImperial1El Centro ElementaryImperial1Meadows Union ElementaryImperial1San Pasqual Valley UnifiedImperial1Beardsley ElementaryKern1Fairfax ElementaryKern1Standard ElementaryKern1Taft CityKern1Wasco Union HighKern1Rio Bravo-Greeley Union ElementaryKern1Kings County Office of EducationKings1Hanford ElementaryKings1Lemoore Union ElementaryKings1Lemoore Union HighKings1Lucerne ElementaryLake1Upper Lake UnifiedLake1Fort Sage UnifiedLassen1Baldwin Park UnifiedLos Angeles1Bonita UnifiedLos Angeles1Burbank UnifiedLos Angeles1Covina-Valley UnifiedLos Angeles1Culver City UnifiedLos Angeles1El Monte Union HighLos Angeles1Garvey ElementaryLos Angeles1Inglewood UnifiedLos Angeles1Keppel Union ElementaryLos Angeles1Lancaster ElementaryLos Angeles1Long Beach UnifiedLos Angeles1Lowell JointLos Angeles1Lynwood UnifiedLos Angeles1Mountain View ElementaryLos Angeles1Norwalk-La Mirada UnifiedLos Angeles1Westside Union ElementaryLos Angeles1Whittier Union HighLos Angeles1Hacienda la Puente UnifiedLos Angeles1Rowland UnifiedLos Angeles1Madera County Superintendent of SchoolsMadera1Bass Lake Joint Union ElementaryMadera1Chowchilla Union HighMadera1Yosemite UnifiedMadera1Novato UnifiedMarin1Ross Valley ElementaryMarin1Mariposa County Office of EducationMariposa1Mariposa County UnifiedMariposa1Fort Bragg UnifiedMendocino1Hilmar UnifiedMerced1Livingston UnionMerced1Los Banos UnifiedMerced1Merced Union HighMerced1Weaver UnionMerced1WintonMerced1Eastern Sierra UnifiedMono1Greenfield Union ElementaryMonterey1Monterey Peninsula UnifiedMonterey1Calistoga Joint UnifiedNapa1Nevada Joint Union HighNevada1Union Hill ElementaryNevada1Capistrano UnifiedOrange1Garden Grove UnifiedOrange1Huntington Beach Union HighOrange1La Habra City ElementaryOrange1Newport-Mesa UnifiedOrange1Orange UnifiedOrange1Placentia-Yorba Linda UnifiedOrange1Santa Ana UnifiedOrange1Irvine UnifiedOrange1Auburn Union ElementaryPlacer1Roseville City ElementaryPlacer1Rocklin UnifiedPlacer1San Jacinto UnifiedRiverside1Temecula Valley UnifiedRiverside1Murrieta Valley UnifiedRiverside1Elverta Joint ElementarySacramento1Natomas UnifiedSacramento1San Benito HighSan Benito1Chaffey Joint Union HighSan Bernardino1Chino Valley UnifiedSan Bernardino1Colton Joint UnifiedSan Bernardino1Fontana UnifiedSan Bernardino1Mountain View ElementarySan Bernardino1Oro GrandeSan Bernardino1Redlands UnifiedSan Bernardino1Rim of the World UnifiedSan Bernardino1San Bernardino City UnifiedSan Bernardino1Baker Valley UnifiedSan Bernardino1Chula Vista ElementarySan Diego1Encinitas Union ElementarySan Diego1Fallbrook Union HighSan Diego1Grossmont Union HighSan Diego1Jamul-Dulzura Union ElementarySan Diego1Lemon GroveSan Diego1Ramona City UnifiedSan Diego1Vista UnifiedSan Diego1San Marcos UnifiedSan Diego1Bonsall UnifiedSan Diego1San Francisco County Office of EducationSan Francisco1Linden UnifiedSan Joaquin1Manteca UnifiedSan Joaquin1Tracy Joint UnifiedSan Joaquin1Templeton UnifiedSan Luis Obispo1Paso Robles Joint UnifiedSan Luis Obispo1Brisbane ElementarySan Mateo1Ravenswood City ElementarySan Mateo1Redwood City ElementarySan Mateo1San Mateo-Foster CitySan Mateo1San Mateo Union HighSan Mateo1Carpinteria UnifiedSanta Barbara1Guadalupe Union ElementarySanta Barbara1Santa Maria Joint Union HighSanta Barbara1Santa Barbara UnifiedSanta Barbara1Berryessa Union ElementarySanta Clara1Fremont Union HighSanta Clara1San Jose UnifiedSanta Clara1Scotts Valley UnifiedSanta Cruz1Black Butte Union ElementaryShasta1Cottonwood Union ElementaryShasta1Big Springs Union ElementarySiskiyou1Butteville Union ElementarySiskiyou1Siskiyou Union HighSiskiyou1Yreka Union ElementarySiskiyou1Travis UnifiedSolano1Vacaville UnifiedSolano1Cloverdale UnifiedSonoma1Guerneville ElementarySonoma1Cotati-Rohnert Park UnifiedSonoma1Ceres UnifiedStanislaus1Modesto City ElementaryStanislaus1Oakdale Joint UnifiedStanislaus1Live Oak UnifiedSutter1Red Bluff Union ElementaryTehama1Alta Vista ElementaryTulare1Pixley Union ElementaryTulare1Visalia UnifiedTulare1Dinuba UnifiedTulare1Columbia UnionTuolumne1Jamestown ElementaryTuolumne1Sonora ElementaryTuolumne1Ojai UnifiedVentura1Oxnard Union HighVentura1Simi Valley UnifiedVentura1Santa Paula UnifiedVentura1Davis Joint UnifiedYolo1WheatlandYuba1To bolster help for districts, the Legislature approved an additional $80 million to county offices of education, the first line of help, and a new state agency charged with helping schools improve, the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence.
EdSource search found that 38 school districts and 26 county offices of education had only orange and red ratings in every indicator. Music Watson, spokeswoman for the San Diego County Office of Education, the only county or district in the state rated red in all six indicators, said the county offices serve incarcerated youths and students who have struggled in traditional schools. Many students are behind academically when they arrive and have been subjected to severe trauma, she said.
Along with designating county assistance, the dashboard was created to shine a light on low-performing student groups and areas of performance that need attention. School districts are required to commit resources and set improvement goals in their annual Local Control and Accountability Plans for any indicator rated orange or red. That should be the case for chronic absenteeism, which is starting off with low scores.
EdSource found year-over-year overall improvement in ratings. The percentage of districts with orange in English language arts fell from 44 to 29 percent, with a corresponding increase in yellow, green and blue ratings. Districts with suspension rates in orange dropped from 31 to 24 percent, although districts in the red dropped only 1 percentage point, to 10 percent.
Alarming chronic absences
In California, a student is deemed chronically absent for missing 10 percent or more of school in a year. Statewide, 11 percent of students were chronically absent. The dashboard designates a “high” rate of chronic absenteeism in a district if between 10 and 20 percent of students are chronically absent and “very high” if the rate is 20 percent or more.
Of the 872 elementary and unified districts with a chronic absenteeism color, 10 percent are red and nearly half are either red or orange. That compares with 24 percent with either blue or green. As with most indicators, there are wide disparities among racial and ethnic groups. Although none are red, 8 of 13 student groups are orange, including African-American, Hispanic, low-income students and students with disabilities.
The State Board of Education did not rate high schools for chronic absenteeism, only grades 3 to 8, a decision that advocacy groups opposed.
Career data needed
The college/career readiness indicator is a work in progress and will be broadened with more metrics during the next two years. Partly because of a lack of statewide data, the state board has struggled to find reliable measures of career readiness and is studying what other states are doing. It hopes to have four performance levels, measuring how equipped students are for work and college after high school but, for now, has settled on three: prepared, approaching prepared and not prepared.
The indicators measure the proportion of students who satisfy various criteria. To be ranked prepared, a student would have to achieve at least one of eight requirements, among them: scoring high on standardized tests in 11th grade, meeting the A-G requirements for admission to the University of California and California State University, passing two Advanced Placement courses or completing a career technical education pathway with a minimum C- and doing well on at least one standardized test (go here for an explanation of the indicator by the California Dept. of Education).
Of the 412 districts with a college and career readiness rating, 40 percent are blue or green and 38 percent are red or orange. The ratings for schools, however, are starker, with one-quarter of schools red and 23 percent orange.
This year, 42 percent of graduates were rated prepared even though twice that many (84 percent) graduated from high school. Only 15 percent of English learners, 21 percent of African-American students and 34 percent of Hispanic students were deemed prepared for college/careers compared with 52 percent of white and 74 percent of Asian students, the only student group designated as blue. An analysis by the nonprofit Education Trust-West found that a red college/career indicator for one or more student groups was a factor in 46 percent of districts designated for county or state assistance.
“Finally including a College/Career Indicator in the dashboard is an important step forward, because we cannot be satisfied with a goal of simply getting students to graduate, if they aren’t really prepared for post-secondary success,” Brian Lee, the California director of the nonprofit Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, wrote in an email. “We have a long way to go, with too many schools and districts getting ‘reds.’”
“It is critical to add a well-prepared category soon, once new career metrics are incorporated into the indicator,” added Lee, who has pushed the state board on this issue.
EdSource reporter Theresa Harrington contributed to this article. 
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