The state Board of Education unanimously approved technical tweaks to the California School Dashboard this week, saying it was necessary to recalibrate the color-coded rating system so that it better reflects student test scores.
Previewed earlier this year, the California School Dashboard is a new accountability tool designed to display a broader view of how K-12 campuses are doing, with colors indicating performance and progress in a number of categories. In a nutshell, blue is great; red, not so much.
According to this story from EdSource, technical advisers to the state Department of Education recently proposed a methodology fix because they were concerned that some schools with minor changes to their test scores would see large color shifts on the Dashboard, with many falling into the red zone.
That prompted a group of education advocacy organizations to write a letter claiming such a fix would lower expectations by making low-performing schools look better, as the Los Angeles Times also reported.
But board members, engaging in a lengthy discussion on Wednesday, clarified that the changes were needed to prevent the false appearance of volatility, especially since scores around the state were more or less flat this year.
“It would be worse to do nothing,” trustee Ilene Straus says in the EdSource article. “That would undermine credibility (of the system) and create more volatility.”
And here are some other education stories from the week ending Nov. 10:
- Savanna High in Anaheim is still the home of the Rebels, but longtime mascot Johnny Rebel has been nixed after a majority of current students expressed concerns over his association with the Civil War-era Confederacy.
- There’s still time to register for the third annual OC Pathways Showcase, which will highlight collaborative efforts by educators and industry leaders to establish career pathways in science, technology, engineering and math.
- As school districts across Orange County work to boost the number of students who are college and career ready, some are giving their students a chance to take the SAT for free, and they’re offering the test during school hours to make it more convenient.
- The four Democratic frontrunners of California’s 2018 gubernatorial race say they support the Local Control Funding Formula and other education reforms initiated by current Gov. Jerry Brown.
- The OCDE Newsroom recently sat down with Dr. Lucy Vezzuto, the department’s coordinator of social-emotional learning and student mental health, for a Q&A on mental health trends, the Resilient Mindful Learner Project, misconceptions about mindfulness and the benefits of stress management techniques.
- The 27th annual Dinosaur Dash, billed as the biggest fundraiser for the Tustin Public Schools Foundation, drew more than 7,000 runners and cyclists and raised nearly $200,000 for Tustin schools.
- Orange County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Al Mijares was honored as one of four OC Influencers at an event hosted by the Institute for Community Impact.
- A Moulton Elementary student with a unique fascination for wastewater was named Moulton Niguel Water District general manager for a day and was treated to a private tour of the agency’s facilities.
- Two seniors at Laguna Beach High got a chance to exhibit their artwork inside a local gallery during the city’s monthly Art Walk event.