California Launches Updated 2018 School Dashboard with More Information, Parent-Friendly Upgrades

The California Department of Education (CDE) and the State Board of Education (SBE) today launched the second version of the California School Dashboard, a website that gives parents, students and educators access to valuable school and district data.

The 2018 Dashboard includes two new metrics for evaluating school and district performance and a new, user-friendly look that makes complex data easier to understand. The Dashboard is now fully accessible on smart phones and tablets, is easier to navigate and has improved graphics. The new Dashboard also has the most current data available, including 2018 test scores and graduation rates.

“The California School Dashboard measures our strengths, and areas of need, which ultimately enables us to focus our efforts to best serve our students, and assist them in achieving success in the classroom and beyond,” said Brian Mercer, Director of High School Education & Assessment for Conejo Valley Unified School District. “The updated Dashboard gives the general public a user-friendly tool to view the District’s growth, and gives transparency to how we are continually adapting in order to meet students’ overall needs.”

The Dashboard is a key component of California’s five-year overhaul of the state’s school accountability system. It displays statewide data based on status (how each school or district performed) and change (how much they have improved or declined over time). School and district performance levels are indicated by color, with red the lowest and blue the highest. The Dashboard also breaks down information by student group (low-income, English learner, foster youth, etc.) to help pinpoint and address achievement gaps.

The 2018 Dashboard includes several new additions, including:

Two new metrics. Schools, districts and county offices of education that serve K-8 students are being evaluated for the first time on school attendance via the Chronic Absenteeism Indicator. In addition, schools that serve grades 9-12 are being evaluated for the first time on the College/Career Readiness Indicator.

Grade 11 test scores. Schools, districts and county offices of education that administer the Smarter Balanced Assessments in math and English language arts in grade 11 are being evaluated for the first time with a red-through-blue color on the Academic Indicator.

Dashboard Alternative School Status (DASS) Schools. For the first time, the performance of students who attend alternative schools (such as continuation high schools and programs for incarcerated youth) are now factored into Dashboard indicators. Many of these schools are operated by county offices of education.

Graduation rate. The four-year cohort graduation rate reflects changes in methodology in compliance with U.S. Department of Education requirements.


The Dashboard has two main purposes: At the local level, the Dashboard helps communities identify strengths and challenges and align resources to support students who are struggling academically. On the state level, the indicators determine which districts are eligible for tailored assistance through the State System of Support, a connected network of agencies throughout California. Districts with one or more student group in the “red” on two metrics are eligible for state help.


The Dashboard replaces the state’s former accountability system—the Academic Performance Index (API), which relied exclusively on standardized tests and gave schools a single score. That system was suspended four years ago.

For more information, please visit the California Accountability Model & School Dashboard Web page at

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