When the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) was implemented by the state of California in 2013, school districts received more freedom with how we spend our money in exchange for a different level of accountability. As part of the budget planning process, school districts now have to put together a Local Control and Accountability Plan, or LCAP. Our LCAP for San Diego County Office of Education-operated schools, written with parent and public input, identifies our goals and how we will measure student progress.
Another important change with LCFF and LCAP is a shift from a single number – the Academic Performance Index, or API – to judge how well schools are doing to now looking at multiple measures of performance. Schools and students are more than test scores; the new LCFF Evaluation Rubrics and the California School Dashboard being released today will give a more comprehensive look at district and school performance.
The rubrics look at 11 indicators — or topics — and determine a district or school's performance based on the current rate and whether there was improvement over several years. Those indicators are: chronic absenteeism, suspension rates, graduation rates, student performance in English language arts and math, parent engagement, school climate, progress of English learners, college and career readiness, implementation of state standards, and basics, such as teachers, materials, and facilities. For all of these measures, we can see overall student performance and filter the results for particular groups of students, such as English learners.
The rubrics inform the public website, the California School Dashboard, which is a type of progress report for our district and schools. The dashboard gives a snapshot of opportunities, challenges, and successes within each of the indicators and for our specific student groups. The dashboard uses colored "pies" to indicate the performance level -- blue is best, followed by green, yellow, orange, and red — making it easy for families and community members to get an overview and dig deeper for more information.
This layered look at our district and schools helps all of us work together to continue improving.
This year's results shown on the California School Dashboard establish a baseline that will allow us to monitor the progress we expect to make over time. The information contained in the rubrics lets us see past the top layer to make improvements that help our children. We'll be looking at the data carefully and invite you to do the same.