GO’s Comment to the State Board of Education on Dashboards and ESSA

Last week, GO submitted a comment to the California State Board of Education on two of the items under discussion at their January 18th-19th meeting: the California School Dashboards and California’s revisions to their Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) state plan. The letter encourages the board to take the following actions:

California School Dashboards – Make Them Useful and Accessible for Families
We believe that families of students in underperforming schools are among the most important consumers of this data – the state must do more to ensure that they find this tool valuable and actionable.
The California Department of Education must:

  • Develop a version of the California State Dashboards that provides more information on a single, more usable interface, rather than forcing families to navigate the existing system, which contains multiple pages per indicator.
  • Ensure that families, especially those of historically underserved students are engaged in the user interface update proposed in Governor Brown’s 18-19 budget.

Read more about our commitment to effective use of data to support students and families via GO West Contra Costa’s Data in Action campaign.

California State Plan for ESSA – We Cannot Wait Forty Years for Educational Justice
We are deeply concerned with the proposed revisions to California’s ESSA state plan. These revisions may bring the plan closer to technical compliance with federal statutes, but they fail to capitalize on a crucial opportunity to better serve California’s most historically underserved students and close persistent achievement gaps.

“More dramatically, Fresno USD set an annual target of reducing their suspension rate by only 0.3 percent; at that rate of improvement, their African-American students – who have a suspension rate of 15.4 percent – would not meet the state’s goal until 2061.”

For months, advocacy groups across the state have requested substantive changes to the state’s plan; today, we add our voice to their call with the following requests:

  • Direct districts to set interim goals putting all student groups on a path to success with urgency, rather than allowing districts to set targets that would have some student groups achieve excellence in more than 40 years.
  • Provide a clear definition for what disproportionate access to “ineffective, out-of-field, and inexperienced teachers” means and articulate how the state will intervene to remedy that disproportionality, as is required by ESSA.
  • Include an academic performance measure at the high school level in the state’s accountability system, separate from the current college/career indicator, which combines a variety of metrics into a single score.

Click here to read GO’s full comment to the State Board of Education.
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