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NEWS RELEASE: California Accountability Model and School Dashboard



Contact:  Ursula Kroemer Leimbach / communications@mdusd.org / mobile: (760) 705-6919


Students in Mt. Diablo Unified School District have higher graduation rates,

 lower suspension rates according to new California School Dashboard

New accountability tool includes several key indicators to provide greater picture of student and school progress


(CONCORD, CA – March 16, 2017) – Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) students continue to increase graduation rates and decrease suspension rates, according to data released by the California Department of Education showing results from the new California Accountability Model and School Dashboard, now being field-tested throughout the state. The new accountability and continuous improvement system provides information about how local education agencies and schools are meeting the needs of California’s diverse student population, based on a concise set of measures.


“Overall, we are pleased with the dashboard, and that it provides context to student performance by showing growth over time for students, schools and the district,” said Dr. Nellie Meyer, Superintendent of MDUSD.  “These results show there is much more to our students than a test score or a number. The dashboard shows data that helps us not only identify strengths, but really gives us an opportunity to drill down to those areas where students may be struggling and we can better see where or why.  We look forward to the additional measurements that will be added including college readiness and school climate indicators.”


Highlights include:

  • Increase graduation
  • Decreased suspension rates
  • Grade 11 students scored gained 11.6 points in English Language Arts and 2.7 points in Mathematics


Areas of improvement include:

  • Services to students with disabilities – MDUSD has a high population of students who are considered medically fragile or are high needs and are not on the traditional graduation trajectory
  • Mathematics as measured in grades 3-8


There are three key components to the new dashboard:


Multiple Measures - Instead of relying exclusively on test scores as the previous accountability system did, this new system gives a snapshot of a manageable set of indicators, including high school graduation rates, career and college readiness, English learner progress and suspension rates, while still looking at test scores.


Focus on Equity - Under the previous system, data about student groups was too focused on test scores. The new system provides student group information on a variety of helpful indicators and puts it in one location. Having access to relevant information helps schools and districts understand where students are struggling and ensures staff can respond with resources.


Supporting Local Decision-Making - The Dashboard supports the state’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), which gives districts and schools more flexibility in using state resources as outlined in each school district’s Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). Districts and schools have access to the information they need to make the best local decisions about the education of children. New information will help principals, teachers, parents and community members pinpoint specific areas where schools are underperforming and need help. It will also help identify schools that are excelling and can help others by sharing their methods and practices.


In contrast to California’s previous accountability system, which was based solely on annual standardized test scores, the School Dashboard considers several key indicators.  Collectively, these indicators provide much greater context to how students and schools are doing.


State Indicators

  • Academic Indicator (reported separately for English language arts and mathematics assessments)
  • English Learner Progress
  • Chronic Absenteeism
  • Graduation Rate
  • Suspension Rate
  • College/Career Readiness (includes Grade 11 assessment results)

Local Indicators

  • Basic Services and School Conditions
  • Implementation of State Academic Standards
  • Parent Engagement
  • School Climate


Instead of numeric scores and rankings, the California School Dashboard assigns colored performance levels.  These performance levels are calculated based on how current performance compares to past performance.

The state goal for all indicators is to reach the green performance level. 


The performance level (color) is not included when there are less than 30 students in any year used to calculate status and change. An N/A means that data is not currently available.


The Dashboard is being field tested before full implementation in fall 2017. Reports included in the field test are based on the latest state data available as of fall 2016, except for graduation data, which is based on the 2014-15 school year. As more indicators come online, the data will be added to the Dashboard. Future versions of the Dashboard will be published annually; its design and features will be changed over time based on user feedback.


California School Dashboard Report
The Dashboard contains reports that display the performance of local educational agencies (LEAs), schools, and student groups on a set of state and local measures to assist in identifying strengths, weaknesses, and areas in need of improvement.


California Model Five-by-Five Grid Placement Reports
The new accountability and continuous improvement system is based on a five-by-five colored table that produces 25 results using five colors. The reports display the schools' (by district) and student groups' placement on the five-by-five colored tables.



Source: Mt. Diablo Unified School District

Source: California Department of Education (CDE)

Source: California Department of Education (CDE)

Source: California Department of Education (CDE)

  • Video: Overview of the California School Dashboard (English) (Spanish)

Source: California Department of Education (CDE)

Source: Association of California School Administrators (ACSA)


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Mt. Diablo Unified, located in Contra Costa County, is honored to serve approximately 32,000 students at one of more than 50 school sites in the cities of Clayton, Concord, Pleasant Hill; portions of Martinez, Pittsburg and Walnut Creek; and the unincorporated communities of Bay Point, Lafayette, and Pacheco. As part of a richly diverse community, MDUSD families represent numerous ethnic groups, speaking nearly 50 different languages and dialects. We are proud of our award-winning staff and extensive honors and recognitions for our innovative programs in Career Technical Education; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM); extensive visual and performing arts programs; and rich foreign language and dual immersion offerings. MDUSD is also pleased to have launched its first middle college program, College Now, and will be opening its first International Baccalaureate program and three new regional magnet schools in 2017.  Extensive student support services help ensure an inclusive culture of excellence and achievement for all students to help them prepare for success in college, career, and life. Learn more at http://www.mdusd.org/.

Posted by: Debbie Maher, District Admin, Mt. Diablo Unified School District Published:3/16/17
Audience: Homepage and Homepage