California’s new accountability system includes a new state-assigned role for the state’s county offices of education (COEs).
COEs will serve as a resource, providing assistance and support for schools and partnering with school districts in areas identified by the new California School Dashboard, which gives a more comprehensive and nuanced look at district and school performance.
The Dashboard "gives a snapshot of opportunities, challenges, and successes within each of the 11 indicators and for specific student groups," said San Diego County Superintendent Dr. Paul Gothold in an email to local superintendents. "This layered look at districts and schools helps all of us work together to continue improving."
The Dashboard also identifies performance issues, including significant disparities in performance among student groups on the eight state priorities under the Local Control Funding Formula, which are measured by both the state (color-coded rating) and local (met, not met rating) indicators. Under the new accountability system, school districts may quality for differentiated assistance based on Dashboard-related criteria set by the State Board of Education.
For the districts identified for differentiated assistance under the Dashboard, county offices of education are required to provide technical assistance. The school district is the primary driver of differentiated assistance, with the county office working with district staff to examine the systems that led to the outcomes identified by the Dashboard.
This new system is distinctly different in that the state will not dictate top-down directives for improvement strategies. Instead, COEs will work in partnership with school districts to identify obstacles and help to pinpoint the problems that are causing the results districts may be getting.