Weekly roundup: California School Dashboard changes, Savanna High’s mascot and more

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.

TypewriterAccording 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:

  • 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.
For more education news stories, subscribe for updates from the OCDE Newsroom.