Education Officials Release California School Dashboard
An updated California School Dashboard was released by the Department of Education on Friday. The six-year-old dashboard aims to show school and district progress across the state, with a color code ranging from blue (best) to green, yellow, orange, then red (worst). The dashboard considers factors like standardized test scores, chronic absenteeism, suspensions, English learner progress, Mathematics, and graduation rates.
The latest dashboard reflects the progress made between the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years. Chronic absenteeism declined 5.7% across the state in 2023 and is now in the yellow category. English learner progress is also in yellow. Furthermore, the number of high school graduates who met the minimum course requirements for CSU or UC schools hit 45.15% — the highest it’s ever been.
California State Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond cited these scores as evidence that students are recovering from the education setbacks wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Heather Hough, executive director of Stanford-based education research organization PACE, holds a different view. She notes that metrics like absenteeism are still much too high.
Melissa Valenzuela-Stookey, director of P-16 research at Ed Trust-West, also took a less rosey view.
“This data shows that the status quo for students of color is unacceptable, and we’re making alarmingly slow progress — but it also points to schools and districts that are proving that we can do better,” Valenzuela-Stookey said, as quoted by EdSource.
Graduation rates did decline from an all-time high of 87% last year to 86.2%. Officials cited a return to policies that existed before the pandemic. Math and English scores stayed relatively steady, with math scores increasing 2.6 points and English scores dropping 1.4 points.