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Eight Key Points for California’s Accountability & Continuous Improvement System

California Department of Education: December 2018

California is making a series of major shifts in public education with one overriding goal: To improve learning so all students can be successful in school, college, work and life. The California School Dashboard, the Local Control and Accountability Plan and the California System of Support are key features of this effort.

Key Points

  • Students are more than just test scores. The Dashboard gives parents a fuller picture of student performance by displaying statewide data on graduation rates, suspension rates, school attendance rates, college/career readiness rates and test scores. It also includes local information about school climate and conditions, parent engagement and basic services.
  • California is putting equity issues up front and center. The Dashboard breaks down information by student group (low-income, English learner, foster youth, etc.) to help local communities see gaps and resources to support struggling students.
  • California is empowering important conversations. Local education communities know the local education landscape. But talking frankly about challenges isn’t always easy. The Dashboard works in tandem with the Local Control and Accountability Plan process to spark robust discussions about goals, gaps and resource distribution at the local level.
  • All schools and districts have strengths and challenges. Every school and district can improve. To do so, local communities need to know what they’re doing right and where there are issues to address.
  • California is providing unprecedented support to struggling districts — not punishing them. Negative labels and sanctions don’t help school districts diagnose problems or learn how to help themselves.
  • California is helping districts help themselves. California is too big and too diverse for top-down mandates to work. The California System of Support is focused on helping local districts tap into rich local resources so they can develop the skills and knowledge educators need to improve student learning.
  • California is creating a connected network of expertise. Districts can have multiple, complex and localized needs. The System of Support connects districts to specialists who have tackled similar issues and have the experience to help.
  • California is reducing red tape at the local level. Federal accountability requirements have been folded into California’s continuous improvement system, streamlining and strengthening support to struggling schools.

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