One in 4 California school districts received notice that they must work with county offices of education or with a new state agency to improve the education of at least one of their student groups that were ranked among the worst performers on the California School Dashboard, a new school and district grading system released on Thursday.
In two-thirds of the 228 districts designated for assistance, students receiving special education services were among student groups identified as performing very poorly. In half of the designated districts, students with disabilities were the only student group flagged.
The districts must now take a hard look, with help from the county or the new California Collaborative for Educational Excellence, at the factors behind the low achievement of students whose disabilities range from mild learning deficits to severe physical and emotional handicaps.
“With the Dashboard, California is shining a light on inequities by identifying the students that need the most help within a district and pinpointing their areas of challenge,” said State Board of Education President Michael Kirst in a press release. “These are students whose struggles would have been masked under a less comprehensive accountability system.”
The dashboard, which debuted last spring, gave schools and districts, as well as the public, a chance to familiarize themselves with the data and use it to guide priorities and spending for this year. The new data release provides more current information, including 2016-17 suspension and graduation rates, along with the results from last spring’s Smarter Balanced tests in math and English language arts.
The updated dashboard also initiates county office- and state-guided support, the next step in the state’s school accountability system. Only districts, not individual schools, will receive assistance this year. Next month, the State Board of Education will designate for assistance in 2018-19 the lowest performing 300 low-income schools. The board will use slightly different criteria set by the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.
In creating the dashboard, the Legislature sought to evaluate schools by more than standardized test scores. It included indicators of school climate and student engagement, which are among eight priorities that districts must address. To confront achievement gaps hidden behind averages for all students, the Legislature focused on results of individual student subgroups.
A focus on special education students is long overdue, said Arun Ramanathan, CEO of Pivot Learning, a nonprofit providing technical assistance to school districts in California. “The academic performance data on students with disabilities reflects nearly a decade of neglect at the state and local level to their needs, specifically in the area of reading instruction. California is woefully behind other states in adopting best practices in special education,” said Ramanathan who formerly oversaw special education services as Chief Student Services Officer for the San Diego Unified School District.
Students with disabilities were not alone in being ranked at the bottom on the dashboard:
- In 27 districts, African-American students were designated for assistance.
- In 19 districts, English learners were designated for assistance.
- In five districts, Hispanic students were designated for assistance.
Eight districts, including Sacramento City Unified and Twin Rivers in Sacramento County, Oakland Unified and Salinas Union High School District, have four student groups designated for assistance. In Konocti Unified, a 3,000-student rural district in Lake County, five student groups were designated: American Indian, African-American, white, homeless and low-income students.
Of California’s 58 county offices of education, 48 have districts requiring assistance, including Los Angeles (19 districts), Tulare (11) and San Diego (10). Ten county offices, either with few districts (Alpine and Sierra) or mostly wealthy districts (Napa and Marin) have no districts qualifying.
|District||County||No. of Subgroups||Student Subgroups|
|Konocti Unified||Lake||5||African American, American Indian, Homeless Students, Socioeconomically Disadvantaged, White|
|Oakland Unified||Alameda||4||African American, English Learner, Homeless Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Del Norte County Unified||Del Norte||4||American Indian, Foster Students, Homeless Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Palmdale Elementary||Los Angeles||4||African American, Foster Students, Homeless Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Salinas Union High||Monterey||4||African American, English Learner, Homeless Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Sacramento City Unified||Sacramento||4||African American, Foster Students, Homeless Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Twin Rivers Unified||Sacramento||4||African American, Foster Students, Homeless Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Victor Valley Union High||San Bernardino||4||English Learner, Foster Students, Multi-racial, Students With Disabilities|
|Esparto Unified||Yolo||4||English Learner, Latino, Socioeconomically Disadvantaged, Students With Disabilities|
|Hayward Unified||Alameda||3||Foster Students, Homeless Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Antioch Unified||Contra Costa||3||American Indian, Foster Students, Homeless Students|
|Mt. Diablo Unified||Contra Costa||3||African American, Foster Students, Homeless Students|
|Pittsburg Unified||Contra Costa||3||African American, Homeless Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Fresno Unified||Fresno||3||African American, Foster Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Willows Unified||Glenn||3||English Learner, Homeless Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Lost Hills Union Elementary||Kern||3||English Learner, Latino, Socioeconomically Disadvantaged|
|Bonita Unified||Los Angeles||3||African American, Foster Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Anaheim Union High||Orange||3||English Learner, Foster Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Hemet Unified||Riverside||3||African American, Foster Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Moreno Valley Unified||Riverside||3||African American, Foster Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Perris Union High||Riverside||3||African American, English Learner, Foster Students|
|San Juan Unified||Sacramento||3||African American, Foster Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Hesperia Unified||San Bernardino||3||African American, Foster Students, Students With Disabilities|
|East Side Union High||Santa Clara||3||Foster Students, Homeless Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Vallejo City Unified||Solano||3||Foster Students, Homeless Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Santa Rosa City Schools||Sonoma||3||Foster Students, Homeless Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Red Bluff Joint Union High||Tehama||3||English Learner, Homeless Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Alpaugh Unified||Tulare||3||English Learner, Latino, Socioeconomically Disadvantaged|
|San Lorenzo Unified||Alameda||2||Homeless Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Golden Feather Union Elementary||Butte||2||Socioeconomically Disadvantaged, White|
|Calaveras Unified||Calaveras||2||Homeless Students, Students With Disabilities|
|John Swett Unified||Contra Costa||2||African American, Students With Disabilities|
|Rio Dell Elementary||Humboldt||2||Latino, Students With Disabilities|
|Southern Humboldt Joint Unified||Humboldt||2||Homeless Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Lakeside Union||Kern||2||African American, Students With Disabilities|
|Southern Kern Unified||Kern||2||African American, Students With Disabilities|
|Central Union Elementary||Kings||2||American Indian, Students With Disabilities|
|Lakeport Unified||Lake||2||American Indian, Students With Disabilities|
|Big Valley Joint Unified||Lassen||2||Socioeconomically Disadvantaged, White|
|Inglewood Unified||Los Angeles||2||African American, Students With Disabilities|
|Los Angeles Unified||Los Angeles||2||Foster Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Ukiah Unified||Mendocino||2||English Learner, Students With Disabilities|
|Willits Unified||Mendocino||2||American Indian, Socioeconomically Disadvantaged|
|Roseville Joint Union High||Placer||2||English Learner, Students With Disabilities|
|Coachella Valley Unified||Riverside||2||American Indian, Students With Disabilities|
|Elk Grove Unified||Sacramento||2||Foster Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Adelanto Elementary||San Bernardino||2||Homeless Students, Multi-racial|
|Bear Valley Unified||San Bernardino||2||Homeless Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Rialto Unified||San Bernardino||2||African American, Foster Students|
|Cajon Valley Union||San Diego||2||Homeless Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Grossmont Union High||San Diego||2||Foster Students, Homeless Students|
|San Diego Unified||San Diego||2||Foster Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Lodi Unified||San Joaquin||2||Homeless Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Tracy Joint Unified||San Joaquin||2||Foster Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Ravenswood City Elementary||San Mateo||2||African American, Students With Disabilities|
|San Jose Unified||Santa Clara||2||Homeless Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Pajaro Valley Unified||Santa Cruz||2||Homeless Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Fairfield-Suisun Unified||Solano||2||Homeless Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Yuba City Unified||Sutter||2||African American, Homeless Students|
|Lindsay Unified||Tulare||2||Asian, Students With Disabilities|
|Dinuba Unified||Tulare||2||Homeless Students, Students With Disabilities|
|Woodlake Unified||Tulare||2||English Learner, Students With Disabilities|
|Alameda Unified||Alameda||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Berkeley Unified||Alameda||1||Homeless Students|
|Fremont Unified||Alameda||1||Homeless Students|
|San Leandro Unified||Alameda||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Amador County Unified||Amador||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Durham Unified||Butte||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Thermalito Union Elementary||Butte||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Gridley Unified||Butte||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Mark Twain Union Elementary||Calaveras||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Colusa Unified||Colusa||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Williams Unified||Colusa||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Byron Union Elementary||Contra Costa||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Knightsen Elementary||Contra Costa||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Martinez Unified||Contra Costa||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Oakley Union Elementary||Contra Costa||1||Students With Disabilities|
|West Contra Costa Unified||Contra Costa||1||Students With Disabilities|
|El Dorado Union High||El Dorado||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Mother Lode Union Elementary||El Dorado||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Pollock Pines Elementary||El Dorado||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Clovis Unified||Fresno||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Kings Canyon Joint Unified||Fresno||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Parlier Unified||Fresno||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Washington Unified||Fresno||1||Homeless Students|
|Orland Joint Unified||Glenn||1||English Learner|
|Hamilton Unified||Glenn||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Cutten Elementary||Humboldt||1||Students With Disabilities|
|South Bay Union Elementary||Humboldt||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Eureka City Schools||Humboldt||1||Homeless Students|
|Bishop Unified||Inyo||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Bakersfield City||Kern||1||Foster Students|
|Fairfax Elementary||Kern||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Kern High||Kern||1||American Indian|
|Kernville Union Elementary||Kern||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Mojave Unified||Kern||1||Homeless Students|
|Norris Elementary||Kern||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Vineland Elementary||Kern||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Wasco Union Elementary||Kern||1||African American|
|Rio Bravo-Greeley Union Elementary||Kern||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Sierra Sands Unified||Kern||1||Students With Disabilities|
|El Tejon Unified||Kern||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Lemoore Union Elementary||Kings||1||Foster Students|
|Susanville Elementary||Lassen||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Antelope Valley Union High||Los Angeles||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Arcadia Unified||Los Angeles||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Azusa Unified||Los Angeles||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Centinela Valley Union High||Los Angeles||1||Foster Students|
|Charter Oak Unified||Los Angeles||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Eastside Union Elementary||Los Angeles||1||Foster Students|
|El Monte Union High||Los Angeles||1||White|
|Lancaster Elementary||Los Angeles||1||Foster Students|
|Lynwood Unified||Los Angeles||1||African American|
|Pasadena Unified||Los Angeles||1||Foster Students|
|Rosemead Elementary||Los Angeles||1||Students With Disabilities|
|West Covina Unified||Los Angeles||1||Students With Disabilities|
|William S. Hart Union High||Los Angeles||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Compton Unified||Los Angeles||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Rowland Unified||Los Angeles||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Mariposa County Unified||Mariposa||1||English Learner|
|Fort Bragg Unified||Mendocino||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Livingston Union||Merced||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Los Banos Unified||Merced||1||African American|
|Merced City Elementary||Merced||1||Homeless Students|
|Planada Elementary||Merced||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Winton||Merced||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Gustine Unified||Merced||1||English Learner|
|Dos Palos Oro Loma Joint Unified||Merced||1||Socioeconomically Disadvantaged|
|Delhi Unified||Merced||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Greenfield Union Elementary||Monterey||1||Students With Disabilities|
|King City Union||Monterey||1||Students With Disabilities|
|South Monterey County Joint Union High||Monterey||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Salinas City Elementary||Monterey||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Nevada Joint Union High||Nevada||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Pleasant Ridge Union Elementary||Nevada||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Penn Valley Union Elementary||Nevada||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Anaheim Elementary||Orange||1||Foster Students|
|Saddleback Valley Unified||Orange||1||Foster Students|
|Loomis Union Elementary||Placer||1||English Learner|
|Plumas Unified||Plumas||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Beaumont Unified||Riverside||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Desert Sands Unified||Riverside||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Nuview Union||Riverside||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Riverside Unified||Riverside||1||Students With Disabilities|
|San Jacinto Unified||Riverside||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Lake Elsinore Unified||Riverside||1||Foster Students|
|River Delta Joint Unified||Sacramento||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Robla Elementary||Sacramento||1||African American|
|Alta Loma Elementary||San Bernardino||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Barstow Unified||San Bernardino||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Cucamonga Elementary||San Bernardino||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Fontana Unified||San Bernardino||1||Foster Students|
|Helendale Elementary||San Bernardino||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Morongo Unified||San Bernardino||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Mountain View Elementary||San Bernardino||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Needles Unified||San Bernardino||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Rim of the World Unified||San Bernardino||1||Students With Disabilities|
|San Bernardino City Unified||San Bernardino||1||Foster Students|
|Lucerne Valley Unified||San Bernardino||1||Homeless Students|
|Alpine Union Elementary||San Diego||1||Students With Disabilities|
|La Mesa-Spring Valley||San Diego||1||Students With Disabilities|
|National Elementary||San Diego||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Ramona City Unified||San Diego||1||Students With Disabilities|
|San Ysidro Elementary||San Diego||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Vista Unified||San Diego||1||Foster Students|
|Oceanside Unified||San Diego||1||Homeless Students|
|San Francisco Unified||San Francisco||1||Foster Students|
|Jefferson Elementary||San Joaquin||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Lincoln Unified||San Joaquin||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Stockton Unified||San Joaquin||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Lucia Mar Unified||San Luis Obispo||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Paso Robles Joint Unified||San Luis Obispo||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Bayshore Elementary||San Mateo||1||English Learner|
|San Mateo Union High||San Mateo||1||Homeless Students|
|Sequoia Union High||San Mateo||1||Pacific Islander|
|South San Francisco Unified||San Mateo||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Buellton Union Elementary||Santa Barbara||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Lompoc Unified||Santa Barbara||1||Foster Students|
|Orcutt Union Elementary||Santa Barbara||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Santa Barbara Unified||Santa Barbara||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Alum Rock Union Elementary||Santa Clara||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Morgan Hill Unified||Santa Clara||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Orchard Elementary||Santa Clara||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Santa Clara Unified||Santa Clara||1||Students With Disabilities|
|San Lorenzo Valley Unified||Santa Cruz||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Santa Cruz City High||Santa Cruz||1||Homeless Students|
|Soquel Union Elementary||Santa Cruz||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Anderson Union High||Shasta||1||Homeless Students|
|Enterprise Elementary||Shasta||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Happy Valley Union Elementary||Shasta||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Pacheco Union Elementary||Shasta||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Redding Elementary||Shasta||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Gateway Unified||Shasta||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Yreka Union Elementary||Siskiyou||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Dixon Unified||Solano||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Vacaville Unified||Solano||1||Homeless Students|
|Cloverdale Unified||Sonoma||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Piner-Olivet Union Elementary||Sonoma||1||Socioeconomically Disadvantaged|
|Sonoma Valley Unified||Sonoma||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Windsor Unified||Sonoma||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Ceres Unified||Stanislaus||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Chatom Union||Stanislaus||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Empire Union Elementary||Stanislaus||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Hart-Ransom Union Elementary||Stanislaus||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Keyes Union||Stanislaus||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Patterson Joint Unified||Stanislaus||1||Homeless Students|
|Hughson Unified||Stanislaus||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Oakdale Joint Unified||Stanislaus||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Live Oak Unified||Sutter||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Meridian Elementary||Sutter||1||Socioeconomically Disadvantaged|
|Red Bluff Union Elementary||Tehama||1||Homeless Students|
|Burton Elementary||Tulare||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Cutler-Orosi Joint Unified||Tulare||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Terra Bella Union Elementary||Tulare||1||English Learner|
|Tulare City||Tulare||1||African American|
|Visalia Unified||Tulare||1||Foster Students|
|Farmersville Unified||Tulare||1||Socioeconomically Disadvantaged|
|Exeter Unified||Tulare||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Summerville Elementary||Tuolumne||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Big Oak Flat-Groveland Unified||Tuolumne||1||Socioeconomically Disadvantaged|
|Fillmore Unified||Ventura||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Hueneme Elementary||Ventura||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Oxnard Union High||Ventura||1||Foster Students|
|Washington Unified||Yolo||1||Students With Disabilities|
|Marysville Joint Unified||Yuba||1||Homeless Students|
|Plumas Lake Elementary||Yuba||1||Students With Disabilities|
Source: California Department of Education / EdSource
Any subgroup performing in the red, the lowest of the five color bands on the dashboard, on at least two of the priorities qualified for help. The indicators were student suspension rates (school climate), test scores on the Smarter Balanced tests in math and English and a measure of English learners’ progress in learning English (academic achievement) and high school graduation rates (student engagement).
With the exception of about 10 percent of students with severe disabilities who take an alternative test, special education students take the Smarter Balanced tests; it’s not surprising that they don’t do, as a group, as well as other students. Their graduation rate also lags. But parents and rights advocates argue achievement could be higher, with better services, higher expectations and earlier diagnosis of learning issues.
The dashboard will shine a light on other factors contributing to underperformance: chronic absenteeism for special education students is nearly twice the statewide average, and suspension rates are higher than average as well.
“Taking a look at the big picture, including how you are providing adequate and early interventions, makes a lot of sense,” said Maureen Burness, co-executive director of the Statewide Special Education Task Force, which issued a report recommending significant changes in how students with disabilities are identified, taught and funded in 2015. “To tweak the edges will not fix the big problem.”
‘Doing with, not doing to’
The support that districts will receive, called “technical” or “differentiated” assistance, will be starkly different from the prescriptive programs imposed under the No Child Left Behind Act — and state-appointed teams of experts, under the state versions preceding the Act. Teachers and administrators resented programs they viewed as punitive, and researchers found top-down reforms for the most part didn’t work.
In the accountability provisions of the 2013 Local Control Funding Formula, the Legislature stressed partnerships. County offices would provide guidance, but districts and teachers would choose actions and directions for change.
“Rather than ‘doing to,’ as in the past, the current approach is premised on ‘doing with’ because it is more likely to lead to sustained improvement,” Kirst, State Superintendent Tom Torlakson and Carl Cohn, executive director of the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence, wrote in a letter that went to all districts receiving assistance. The Legislature created the California Collaborative as a semi-autonomous state agency to coordinate the overall assistance effort.
“This approach will be a collaboration,” said Josh Daniels, the agency’s director of outreach and training, who is also a Berkeley Unified school board member. “It sounds fluffy, but it is harder when a school district must implement change, instead of change coming from the outside. It will be a challenge — but we believe in the philosophy underlying local control.”
The California Collaborative initially will concentrate much of its attention on students with disabilities. In February, it will create what it’s calling a Professional Learning Network Collective to identify innovations and model practices in special education and share them with districts, as outlined in this recent presentation to the State Board of Education.
Daniels and county leaders caution there will be no quick fix. During the next few months, county and district teams will do a high-level analysis of the dashboard data to identify strengths and weaknesses. They will bring others into the conversation — teachers and parents perhaps, and, for districts focusing on students with disabilities, the regional agencies that oversee special education services, called Special Education Local Plan Areas, or SELPAs.
After the initial analysis, districts can continue with their county teams or look elsewhere, to other counties, the California Collaborative or nonprofit providers with more expertise. They may join one of 56 interdistrict networks that the California Collaborative has set up with state funding.
Working through the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association, county offices have been working together for more a year on creating a uniform process. Dozens of administrators have prepared a 127-page Facilitators Guide on how to lead an open-ended, constructive dialogue, said Jean Madden-Cazares, director of district school Improvement for the San Diego County Office of Education, who oversaw the effort. Three hundred county officials have taken multi-day trainings by the Palo Alto-based Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the national leader in what’s called improvement science, the exacting, data-focused process demanding persistence and patience through cycles of actions and revisions.
What is ‘continuous improvement’?
The approach commonly is called “continuous improvement” and California is betting big that it will result in sustained improvements — over time.
But the sheer number of districts to be served and the newness of the approach will create a daunting challenge for many of the state’s 58 county offices of education, some of which are tiny and serve one district, like the Alpine County office, while others, like the Los Angeles County office, serve dozens of districts.
Fresno Unified has demonstrated that continuous improvement can bring results. Working with Carnegie, it increased the number of student applications to California State University and University of California by 50 percent after settling, over two years, on strategies that involved training counselors and providing students more timely information. The charter school organization High Tech High took a similar approach, with strong results, as described here.
But in a report titled “Continuous Improvement in Practice” by the nonprofit Policy Analysis for California Education, researchers concluded that despite high aspirations, “there is also wide acknowledgement that continuous improvement is not happening at scale in the state. Even among districts that would describe themselves as farther along, very few reported that they had seen improvements in student outcomes.”
The authors cited several challenges:
- A lack of clarity concerning what “continuous improvement” means and how to achieve it, with few examples, like the one in Fresno, as models;
- A variation in the ability of county offices to support districts’ continuous improvement efforts;
- High staff turnover, from superintendents on down, which undercuts the ability to sustain long-term commitment;
- Conflicting priorities amid declining revenues and multiple demands for improvement;
- A history of policy fatigue — the weary feeling that “this reform, too, will pass.”
Daniels said there may be no visible impact in the first six to 12 months of work; changing a culture in a district takes time. “Trying to force things immediately will not lead to the type of long-term success that we really need,” he said.
This week, the nonprofit law firm Public Counsel filed a lawsuit on behalf of students in low-performing schools in Los Angeles and Stockton, charging that the state had failed to teach students to read and write. It called for the state to step in to provide and monitor a policy ensuring literacy is taught well. The lawsuit indirectly challenges local control and the improvement approach launched this week; it is a reminder the public and perhaps judges could become impatient with a strategy characterized by the adage “going slow to go fast.”
El Dorado County Superintendent Ed Manansala, president-elect of the county superintendents association, said that the new approach is “complex but promising. Every year we will be looking at individual subgroup performance that cannot be hidden. That will create a healthy sense of urgency.”
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Vernon G Gettone 5 years ago5 years ago
It is not about closing the achievement gap. It is about closing the opportunity gap. It is about taking students of color seriously; that is, we expect them to perform at a higher level. The only way those expectations can be met is to respect that the students can learn at a higher level and to take the time to teach them to be critical thinkers and decision-makers.
Jim 5 years ago5 years ago
Thanks for a good start. Is the RAW data available for download so that it can be more thoroughly reviewed offline ?
Michelle 5 years ago5 years ago
My concern in using the Edsource link that shows all of the district's colors as it relates to the Dashboard is that it was never meant to be a comparison tool and, in fact, is very misleading when used that way. The colors tell the story of the individual district growth or lack thereof and are not comparable to other districts. The state has been very clear it was not designed to compare … Read More
My concern in using the Edsource link that shows all of the district’s colors as it relates to the Dashboard is that it was never meant to be a comparison tool and, in fact, is very misleading when used that way. The colors tell the story of the individual district growth or lack thereof and are not comparable to other districts. The state has been very clear it was not designed to compare one district to another.
An individual has to really be able to go into the Dashboard and evaluate what the color means to see the relevancy to the other district. Our district actually found in some areas that we were greatly outperforming other districts, but had a lesser color because in the one year of comparison, we had maintained our scores. However, in looking at the data the other district was well below level 3 where we were well above.
I was actually quite disappointed to see Edsource publish this link again with the headline of “Search and Compare.”
Janet Lowery 5 years ago5 years ago
Is Cotati Rohnert Park Unified in Sonoma County on the list? If not, I’m sure accurate data was not obtained from the district. Special education students are not served in their least restrictive environment successfully. A second look by your researchers is suggested.
John Fensterwald 5 years ago5 years ago
Your district is not, but that does not mean that all is going well. As you can see from looking at your student subgroup report -- the quickest way to see how students are performing -- https://www.caschooldashboard.org/#/Details/49738820000000/3/StudentGroupReport special education students nearly qualified for assistance; their suspension rate was orange, not red, and Hispanic students were orange in a number of categories. The colors flag areas that need improvement, which should be addressed in next year's LCAP. … Read More
Your district is not, but that does not mean that all is going well. As you can see from looking at your student subgroup report — the quickest way to see how students are performing —
special education students nearly qualified for assistance; their suspension rate was orange, not red, and Hispanic students were orange in a number of categories. The colors flag areas that need improvement, which should be addressed in next year’s LCAP. Now’s the time to start calling for weak areas, particularly at a school level, to get priority attention — including program/classroom placement of special education students.
Ann Halvorsen 5 years ago5 years ago
Interesting inclusion of Napa in "wealthy" category. Data shows that Napa Valley Unified one of the 2 districts in the county has a majority of their students receiving free/reduced lunch and/ or who are English learners and/or are foster youth. As a special education professional, I wonder, not for the first time, why EdSource never seems to reference or discuss the CDE's statewide SUMS project working (based at Orange and … Read More
Interesting inclusion of Napa in “wealthy” category. Data shows that Napa Valley Unified one of the 2 districts in the county has a majority of their students receiving free/reduced lunch and/ or who are English learners and/or are foster youth.
As a special education professional, I wonder, not for the first time, why EdSource never seems to reference or discuss the CDE’s statewide SUMS project working (based at Orange and Butte counties) to establish multi-tiered systems of support in every district. Now in its second year, their technical assistance is invaluable in this area and I hope EdSource will become familiar with their work.
Barbara Nemko 5 years ago5 years ago
It is somewhat disingenuous to say that Napa has no districts qualifying for differentiated assistance because Napa County has mostly wealthy districts. Napa Valley Unified is 87% of Napa County’s school population, and they are a low-wealth district with a high population of poor kids who are 57% Hispanic and 27% white, with the remainder a scattering of other minorities.
Ranger 5 years ago5 years ago
I have been in a number of counties and every time I run performance (test data) as a function of poverty (F+R lunch) the correlation is extremely high -- like 0.9. I understand that correlation is not causation and it is not an excuse as there are examples of "beating the odds." On the other hand, I find it interesting that it is not considered as a "group." Disaggregation of ethnic group … Read More
I have been in a number of counties and every time I run performance (test data) as a function of poverty (F+R lunch) the correlation is extremely high — like 0.9. I understand that correlation is not causation and it is not an excuse as there are examples of “beating the odds.” On the other hand, I find it interesting that it is not considered as a “group.” Disaggregation of ethnic group performance looks very different when considering socioeconomic status.
Don 5 years ago5 years ago
The State devolved control to the local education agencies. If those agencies can’t do the job and the State needs to intervene, what is the meaning of local control? And who in their right mind thinks the State could do a better job? If it could it should never have relinquished control to the LEAs in the first place.