Analysis: How Does School Climate Fare in 2017-18 LCAP Plans?
New California School Dashboard Holding Districts Accountable
The new California School Dashboard is holding school districts accountable and helping them better address the overuse of suspensions, according to an analysis of the 2017-18 Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs) of the state’s largest 50 school districts, which educate approximately 41% of all students statewide. Still, many districts can do more to address school climate in their LCAPs and better incorporate the Dashboard to help students succeed.
The analysis highlights new research published in 2018 showing that 12 years after being suspended, youth were 30% more likely to have been arrested once, 51% more likely to have been arrested more than once, and 49% more likely to have been placed on probation than similar youth who had not been suspended, even after controlling for 60 variables.
The California School Dashboard sets first-time standards for what suspension rates districts should strive for. The Dashboard uses colors—blue (best) to green, yellow, orange, and red (lowest)—to track each indicator by the full student body and a variety of student subgroups. The colors are assigned based on a combination of current performance and change compared to the prior year.
District LCAPs are required to report if the Dashboard shows that a district has particularly high and/or decreasing rates (orange or red overall) and highlight any specific subgroups that are performing well below the district average. Of the 36 districts required to report under-performance on suspension rates, all but two satisfied this basic requirement.