What is the California Dashboard?

The New California Dashboard is a tool introduced by the State of California to more accurately and holistically report the ability of a school to meet the needs of its community. Historically, the State of California has measured local school success based on only one factor: test scores.  Global Experts in Education agree that aggregated student test scores do not adequately measure the quality of schools because of a variety of other standards of quality schools are tasked to meet.  For example, standardized test scores fail to show increases in graduation rates, or how successful economically disadvantaged students perform at a college level after graduation.  Without the ability to measure these finer indicators of success, it is difficult for schools and communities to know where their efforts are meeting with success and where they need to most focus their resources in the future.  In order to make sure that schools and communities have the data they need to have meaningful discussions about policy and progression, the California Department of Education has created the California Dashboard to present meaningful data about school progress in a clear and easy to read format.

General Overview

Read More

About The Dashboard On The CDE Website


The California Dashboard Homepage


An Orientation Presentation About the California Dashboard

Indicators Measured

LCFF, LCAP, and the Dashboard

In 2013, California updated and revolutionized its education funding model with the new Local Control Funding Formula.  This new funding system put control of budgets back into the hands of local districts, who were tasked with accomplishing 8 priorities which focused on equitable access and achievement for their diverse student populations.  In order to continued to receive funding through LCFF, each school is tasked with created a Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) which outlines how the school is portioning its funding toward meeting each one of these priorities.

  • Priority 1: Appropriately Assigned Teachers, Access to Curriculum-Aligned Instructional Materials and Safe, Clean and Functional School Facilities
  • Priority 2: Implementation of State Academic Standards
  • Priority 3: Parent Engagement
  • Priority 4: Achievement
  • Priority 5: Pupil Engagement
  • Priority 6: School Climate
  • Priority 7: Access to a Broad Course of Study
  • Priority 8: Outcomes in a Broad Course of Study
  • Priority 9: Coordination of Services for Expelled Youth (County Offices of Education only)
  • Priority 10: Coordination of Services for Foster Youth (County Offices of Education only)

What is the best way to measure how well schools are meeting these priorities?

Schools are required to submit reports to the California and Federal Department of Education at regular intervals on a variety on indicators of student progress within their schools.  The State keeps records of these indicators and school progress toward improvement, and has mapped which type of indicator can show progress in any given priority.  For frequently asked questions about the state indicator data, visit the CDE Dashboard State Indicator FAQ’s.  For frequently asked questions about the local indicator data, visit the CDE Dashboard Local Indicator FAQ’s.

What The Indicators Mean:

How to Read the Colored Indicators

Each Dashboard Tab will score a school’s performance on state indicators based on a color coded five point scale from red (poor) to blue (exceptional)

These scores take two things into account:

Status: How well a school is performing in the indicator overall.
Change: How much progress has been made improving the school’s status over a three year period.

This is important, because the score weighs in favor of schools which are making significant improvements and changes in overcoming obstacles, and highlights areas of stagnation or lost ground so that a community and administration can target those areas for direct intervention.

Example School Dashboard

For this example school, the blue score in suspension rate, and the green score in graduation rate means they are passing and maintaining their progress in meeting these goals, while the red score in mathematics and the orange score in english language arts indicates that schools have not yet met the standards in these indicators and have stagnated or lost progress.

Watch this video for an in depth explanation of how scores are calculated, weighed, represented, and communicated on the Dashboard.

How the Indicators are Calculated

As explained in the video above, to calculate the score in each indicator, the state consults a reference chart which weighs the status and the change in the associated performance metrics (tests and other reports submitted to the state).  Not only are these scores calculated for the overall school, but various subgroups within the school are also measured to indicate how evenly progress is distributed.  This gives schools a good way to assess equity within their district, and measure the impact of various interventions included in their LCAP.