Helping California Strengthen the Tools and Supports that Enable Improved Statewide and Local Discussions of School and District Performance

“We’re trying to marry the LCFF priorities to the context of continuous improvement: the CC folks have helped me see the big ideas here and to elaborate on them in the system of accountability.

Having the Dashboard will make a big difference.”

— Staff member, California Department of Education

Goal

Following California’s adoption of the Local Control Funding Formula in 2013, state policymakers have sought California Comprehensive Center (CA CC) assistance in strengthening education accountability, reporting, and communications infrastructure so data can animate local and state discussions of school and district performance.

Technical Assistance Activities

Through participation in biweekly accountability planning calls, CA CC provides ongoing advising to staff of the California Department of Education (CDE) and California State Board of Education (SBE). Bringing content expertise in data visualization to CDE staff, the CA CC has developed and customized a series of workshops that is building CDE capacity to display data in ways that the public can more easily understand and act upon. As conveners and facilitators, the CA CC is promoting transparency in the process guided by CDE and SBE to construct a summary measure of student academic growth for the California School Dashboard. Finally, CA CC staff participation on the Technical Design Group for accountability is supporting CDE in having the methodological expertise needed to produce a sound, clear school and district accountability system.

Impact

State and District Leaders…

  • Gain access to content and methodological expertise to support valid and clear accountability reporting; and
  • Receive support in ensuring that controversial topics related to school and district performance are evaluated and decided with transparency, data savvy, and awareness of the relevant research/best practice literature.

Leading to…

  • Increased capacity among district leaders and principals to understand and act upon their local settings to drive high performance and continuous improvement;
  • Increased public confidence in the accountability drivers of education policy and decision making; and
  • Improved outcomes for students, including increased preparedness for college and career at the end of twelfth grade.