After three years without a school accountability system, California Superintendent Tom Torlakson lauded the California School Dashboard as “a high-tech report card for our schools.”I teach in a well-to-do area; our students are mostly going to do fine even if we teachers coast. I like the old system, which can let you know if your school is coasting or not:
The new color-coded system “paints a far rosier picture than in the past,” reports the Los Angeles Times.
“Nearly 80% of schools serving grades three through eight are ranked as medium- to high-performing in the new ratings,” even though the majority of students failed to reach English and math standards in last year’s state testing, according to the Times‘ analysis. “More than 50 of those schools whose average math scores fell below proficiency receive the dashboard’s highest rating for math.”
Why? The dashboard combines achievement with growth.
For years, the Academic Performance Index gave each school a number, based on test scores, and two decile ratings: Parents could see how the school compared statewide and to schools with similar demographics. It was possible to track improvement.For years we were in the top couple of deciles--among the highest performing schools in the state. However, when compared to schools with similar demographics, we didn't look so good. It was an eye-opener.
Now, who can tell?