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District scores above average on new state accountability system

District scores above average on new state accountability system
Posted on 03/15/2017

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California launched its new accountability system and San Diego Unified scores are above average on four of the five indicators reported in this early stage of implementation.

The district achieved the "green" level, which is the second highest level and the state target, on four of the five indicators - Suspension rate, Graduation rate, English language arts, and Mathematics. On the fifth indicator, English learner progress, the district mark was "yellow" or median performance.

"I'm extremely pleased with how San Diego Unified performed compared to other large districts across the state," said Superintendent Cindy Marten. "Our scores show real growth and strong results in nearly every category. We believe this growth is due to our outstanding community, our strong parents and teachers and our other dedicated professionals. Most of all, we believe these results show students achieve more when we ask more of them, while providing the opportunities and support they deserve."

The new state accountability and continuous improvement system, the California School Dashboard, provides a wealth of new information regarding performance to parents and educators and assists stakeholders in engaging with districts in productive conversations around the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP).

It reflects more than just test scores; it reports on multiple measures, and it uses both achievement and growth to measure performance. It replaces the Academic Performance Index (API), which relied on test scores to produce a single score that offered a limited view of school performance.

Results are available for San Diego Unified and its schools on the California School Dashboard website. The Dashboard does not include individual student results. Those results, the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASP) numbers, are sent home annually by mail.

The Dashboard provides a variety of state and local data to help schools achieve better outcomes for students. With the API, performance was measured by growth or achievement and student performance relied solely on test scores. In this new method, performance is measured by growth AND achievement and student performance includes multiple measures that go beyond test scores. This new approach gives a more complete picture of a school's progress.

"As school leaders, we have always believed our students achieve more when we challenge them to accomplish more, while providing the opportunities and supports they deserve," Marten said. "Our rising graduation rates - on track to be the best in the state of any large district - are proof of this belief. That is why we are tremendously excited about the new state accountability report. It offers a multi-dimensional look at our schools, and allows us to focus on the success of each and every child in a comprehensive way. The new standards go beyond single test scores and measure our progress lifting up every student we serve. As such, we believe they will provide parents with a valuable tool they can use to engage their local schools in serious and substantive conversations."

In the Dashboard's first year, results are provided in five state indicators: Academic achievement in English language arts; Academic achievement in Mathematics; English learner progress; Graduation rate; and Suspension rate.

For each state indicator, districts, schools, and student groups will receive a color-coded performance level. The performance of state indicators is color-coded based on the status or latest results ("very high," "high," "medium," "low," or "very low") and the growth or change, which is the status compared to the previous year or years ("declined significantly," "declined" "maintained," "increased," and "increased significantly") in each area. Each circle has a different number of segments that corresponds to a specific color.

The five performance levels are blue (highest), green, yellow, orange and red (lowest).

Detailed performance information is provided in four reports.

  • Equity Report - performance level of all students
  • Status and Change Report - current performance and change over time
  • Detailed Reports - year-by-year data for the state and local indicators
  • Student Group Report - performance of various demographic groups

This first year of the accountability system is a field test, intended as an early model that will be fully implemented after feedback and adjustments. In future years, there will be results for seven state and four local indicators.

Additional information on the Dashboard is available on San Diego Unified's website at https://www.sandiegounified.org/cms/one.aspx?portalId=27732478&pageId=28007579 as well as the California Department of Education's California and Accountability Model & School Dashboard website at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/cm/ .