ROWLAND HEIGHTS, CA – DECEMBER 7, 2017 – The California Department of Education has released the first official statewide results on its new, online accountability and improvement system – the California School Dashboard. This accountability system was first unveiled to the public last spring that provides a wealth of new information to assist parents, educators, and the public in evaluating schools and districts, and a system that that is no longer based on a single test score. Rowland Unified parents can view more information about the California Dashboard at http://www.rowlandschools.org/testing.
“The California School Dashboard provides a framework for the public to more easily measure RUSD’s growth in achievement across a variety of metrics, giving transparency to how the District is continually evolving to meet students’ overall needs,” said Dr. Brian Huff, Director of Instructional Support.
“Rowland Unified has focused over the past three years on engaged, innovative learning that prepares students for college and career, and with building student connections with their school,” said Rowland Unified Superintendent Dr. Julie Mitchell. “RUSD continues to outperform the county and state averages in English Language Arts and Math, and we are pleased with how well our English learners excel in learning. We are very proud that The Education Trust-West recently identified RUSD as one of six Districts across the state that excelled in secondary mathematics scores on the SBAC. EdTrust-West also highlighted in November RUSD’s English Language Newcomer program for success in closing the achievement gap for Latino students.”
Rowland Unified is preparing students for life beyond high school. According to the new College and Career Indicator released this year, 59% of RUSD graduates are “prepared for college,” one of the highest rates in the region. Only 9% of students are reported as “not prepared,” the lowest rate among regional districts. RUSD has also experienced a continued increase in its graduation rate to 92%.
“We continue to expand the number of rigorous and rich learning opportunities for our students that prepare them for college and the workforce, such as Advanced Placement courses, Career Technical education courses and International Baccalaureate at two of our K-8 academies and high schools,” said Mitchell. Another reason for this success is the dedicated counseling resources offered to students. The District has focused on making sure students feel safe and connected to their school by launching programs Districtwide such as PBIS, a national program that improves social, emotional and academic outcomes for all students, including students with disabilities and students from underrepresented groups. Superintendent Mitchell continues, “We focus on the whole child and our teachers and school support staff are making a difference in students having a positive climate and wanting to be at school. This is reflected in recent state surveys, where our District has received high marks such as in the 99th percentile among similar schools on the Middle School Healthy Kids Survey and the 98th percentile among similar schools on the High School Healthy Kids Survey.”
The California Dashboard website features easy-to-read reports on multiple measures of school success, including test scores, graduation rates, English learner progress and suspension rates.
Why a new system and new tool? The Dashboard is a key part of California's and the Rowland Unified School District’s commitment to transparency and continuous improvement. California's future success depends on tapping into the potential of all students, so they graduate ready for college, careers and life. For schools to reach this goal, teachers, parents and the community need clear and useful measures of progress. As an accountability tool, the Dashboard will help the state identify schools and districts needing targeted assistance.
What’s different? The Dashboard provides information on different aspects of student performance, which will give a more complete picture of a school’s progress. There are three key concepts to the development of the Dashboard. First, the California School Dashboard is comprised of multiple measures and does not rely exclusively on test scores. Second, the dashboard focuses on equity and includes detailed data about student and school performance broken down into sub-groups of students. And third, the Dashboard supports local decision-making by making data easy to understand for schools and communities and supports the existing Local Control Funding Formula and Local Control Accountability Plans for each school district.
To view the California Department of Education’s California School Dashboard website visit: caschooldashboard.org.