California parents who want to know more about the progress of their children’s schools will be given access Wednesday to a system that uses color-coded charts and graphics to offer a comprehensive assessment of classrooms that goes well beyond standardized test scores.
The new online portal, called the California School Dashboard, measures school and district performance using a variety of criteria, including graduation and suspension rates, progress of English learners and success at preparing students for college, as well as math and English test scores.
In the future, the dashboard will also include parent participation and feedback from students and parents on school safety and available support, among other things.
The approach is a big departure from the old accountability system, the Academic Performance Index, which ranked schools using one number on a 1,000-point scale based on test scores. Known as the API, it was suspended three years ago as the state phased in Common Core testing.