State Board Looks at Assessments and Changes to CA Dashboard Inbox


A printable version of this update, searchable by major topic, can be found here.


Key Items


  • The Board held a study session to discuss emerging trends in K-12 assessment innovation


  • The Board provided feedback on and approved CDE’s Work Plan for the 2023 Dashboard 


  • The Board adopted an updated Local Indicator Self-Reflection Tool for School Climate (Priority 6)


Board Study Session Covers Assessments

The first day of the Board meeting was unique in that, instead of commencing with the usual items or issues, they held a study session, facilitated by Deborah Sigman of WestEd, on the state’s assessment system. The goal of the session was to provide new board members with a working understanding of the state’s entire assessment system and to review emerging trends in assessment innovation. Board members heard how other states and communities are collaborating to create more balanced systems of assessment that may better support teaching and learning and provided data that could inform future Board decisions. They also discussed characteristics and assessment innovations that may be studied in future meetings. 

It appears that the groundwork is being laid for a deeper look at the state’s assessments and possibly revisions as well. The Board has already been looking at the inclusion of performance tasks. They may be considering other modifications as well in the future. It was clear the members appreciated the conversation on Wednesday and several suggested an interest in future study sessions on issues related to accountability.


Revisions Under Consideration for the 2023 Dashboard

As part of every March Board meeting, the CDE presents their work plan for the upcoming Dashboard, which includes any revisions or additions the department is working on for potential implementation in the next Dashboard. This annual item is an opportunity for the Board to provide feedback on the work plan early enough in the process for CDE to be able to respond to the guidance received in time for when the Board is expected to take action on the actual incorporation of the changes at its September meeting. For the 2023 work plan, a number of the proposed changes were revisions that CDE had been exploring and working on prior to the Pandemic, but which had to be put on hold the past few years due to insufficient data.

Before presenting their work plan for the 2023 Dashboard, CDE also provided an overview of the 2022 Dashboard and the impact of the data. CDE noted that a record number of schools have been identified for Additional Targeted Support and Improvement (ATSI) this year and that for the first time, schools had been identified for assistance based on their EL student performance. 

Following a lengthy public comment period and Board discussion, the Board approved CDE’s proposed work plan for the 2023 Dashboard. Specifically, the plan includes the following proposed changes:


English Learner Progress Indicator (ELPI)

The work plan includes three proposed updates to the ELPI:


  • Evaluating Change Levels/Cut Scores. The 2022-23 school year will provide CDE with the third year of data needed to calculate Change.


  • Reestablishing five-by-five color grid. The State had previously been unable to provide the grid due to insufficient data. 


  • Incorporate the performance of students who take the alternative English Learner Proficiency Assessments for California (Alt-ELPAC). This is the first year that the Alt-ELPAC can be included in the ELPI because two years of summative data is needed (2021-22, 2022-23).


During the public comment on this item, the majority of commenters expressed concerns regarding what they considered a “low bar” set by the current status cut scores for the ELPI and urged the Board to reevaluate the status cut scores to ensure the proper identification of schools in need of support for their EL students. Similar concerns had also been raised by practitioners at the California Practitioners Advisory Group (CPAG). Accordingly, as part of its presentation, CDE acknowledged the concerns but provided that changes to the status cut scores were not included in the work plan because there was not a significant change in distribution between 2019 ELPI Status and 2022 ELPI Status. CDE also noted that if the Board did choose to move towards a criterion reference cut score for the ELPI, as commenters were pushing for, it would mean treating the ELPI different than all the other state indicators or require the Board to reopen the established methodology for the entire Dashboard. 

During Board discussion, Member Cynthia Glover-Woods, the Board’s liaison to CPAG, cautioned against making any changes to the status cut scores before the state had reestablished the five-by-five grid and had a more complete picture of the indicator. Still, a few Board members expressed interest in exploring this issue further, with President Linda Darling Hammond suggesting that CDE put out a Memo that compiles all the work the Department and Board has done regarding the ELPI and Member Alison Yoshimoto-Towery suggesting the Board hold a study session on the ELPI, similar to the session held on assessments on Wednesday. 


Graduation Rate Indicator

The work plan includes CDE developing a multiple extended-year graduation rate for the Graduation Rate Indicator, in response to the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED’s) denial of the state’s waiver to continue the use of a modified graduate rate for Dashboard Alternative School Status (DASS) schools. Due to the ED’s denial, this current combined four- and five-year graduation rate was applied to DASS schools for the 2022 Dashboard and resulted in an increased number of DASS schools being identified for Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) (293 DASS schools for 2022-23 v. 151 DASS schools for 2020-21). As envisioned, the multiple extended-year rate would go beyond the current combined rate and apply to both DASS and non-DASS schools.


The development process will include:


  • Exploring options and methodologies for calculating a multiple extended-year rate. 


  • Reviewing how a multiple extended-year rate would impact DASS schools. While the new rate would apply to all schools, CDE is looking to approach this process to ensure the new rate is “advantageous to DASS schools and [will] not hinder them from showing progress.”


College/Career Indicator (CCI)

The work plan includes three proposed updates to the CCI:


  • Reviewing and Analyzing four new career measures. First identified for inclusion by the Board in March 2020, these measures include (1) internships, (2) Student-led-enterprise, (3) Simulated work-based learning, and (4) Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. With two years of data now collected for this measures, CDE will now explore if these measures meet the validity requirements for inclusion in the CCI and what “prepared” and “approaching prepared” criteria should be for graduates.


  • Exploring the career measure definitions currently in the CCI. Specifically, CDE is seeking input on the expansion of work-based learning activities within schools to determine if the exiting definitions need to be updated and if guidance on the measures or more significant changes is needed.


  • Continuing the development of two new career measures. Specifically, CDE is working to develop a new civic engagement measure as well as soliciting feedback on an industry certification measure.


Adding New Information to the 2023 Dashboard

The work plan includes adding the following new data to the 2023 Dashboard:


  • Least restrictive environment (LRE). Statute requires CDE to, on or before November 30, 2023, include data related to federal measures of LRE for students with disabilities as a resource on the Dashboard. CDE will explore options for how to link this data on the 2023 Dashboard.


  • Teacher assignments. As part of the requirements of Priority 1, CDE will solicit feedback on the development of objective criteria for the SBE to consider for use on the 2023 Dashboard, following the release of the stone year of Teacher Assignment data in Spring 2023.


The work plan also includes plans to add the following new data to a Dashboard in the future:


  • California Science Test (CAST). Currently, CDE includes a link to CAST data as part of the Additional Dashboard Reports released in the Spring following the December Dashboard release. During public comment, a handful of commenters urged the Board to add Science to the Dashboard beginning with the 2023 Dashboard, arguing that its inclusion is vital to emphasizing to schools that science is important and that science learning matters. However, CDE noted in its presentation that Science assessment data is not recommended for incorporation into the 2023 Dashboard due in part to insufficient data. Multiple years of data would be needed to include Science in the Dashboard but the 2021-22 administration of the CAST was the first year where a significant proportion of eligible students took the assessment. To allow for the collection of a second year of data, CDE’s work plan includes continuing to provide a link to CAST results in the Additional Dashboard Reports for 2023 with plans to explore the full inclusion of Science in the Dashboard in late 2023-24.
  • Student Growth Model. The Board approved the use of the Empirical Best Linear Prediction weighted average methodology for measuring student growth at its May 2021 meeting. For inclusion in the Dashboard, three years of Smarter Balanced data is necessary. Accordingly, Fall 2024 will be the first time student level growth model data will be available, using data from 2021-22, 2022-23, and 2023-24. In the meantime, CDE will be gathering feedback from interest holders and the BSE on the best way to display growth data on the Dashboard.


Data Quality Issues

Acknowledging an increased number of reports from LEAs that their data included on the 2022 Dashboard is inaccurate, CDE plans to explore the alignment of implications for schools and LEAs who fail to certify data in CALPADS or who, following submission of data, report to CDE that the data is incorrect. The work plan also includes CDE reviewing the current participation rate penalty for the ELPAC and providing suggestions for alignment to the participation rate for English language Arts and Mathematics Indicators.

CDE’s full work plan for the 2023 Dashboard, can be found here, beginning on page 14.

Updates to the Local Indicator Self-Reflection Tool for School Climate (Priority 6) 

At the Board’s January 2023 meeting, there was lengthy discussion regarding potential changes to the Local Indicator Self-Reflection Tool for Priority 6: School Climate. In response to this discussion, at the March meeting, CDE presented, and the Board approved, the following changes to the Self-Reflection tool: 

  • Require LEAs to conduct a school climate survey on an annual basis (currently the survey is only required to be conducted every other year).
  • Require that the report of survey data be disaggregated by student group.


  • Add an introductory section that describes the importance of school climate, the research in support of school climate, and the need to use current data to inform comprehensive planning.


  • Add instructions that provide LEAs with clarified guidance on how to address the narrative portions.


  • Update the narrative prompts within the current tool and break them into three separate prompts, as follows:

Though not included in the changes approved by the Board at this month’s meeting, CDE is also working to design a process to explore the possibility of implementing a small set of standardized survey question that could be added to existing surveys and answered by all LEAs. Board Members had expressed interest during the discussion at the January Meeting in exploring such a possibility more, after public commenters requested a way to collect a more consistent and standardized set of statewide data. 


The full revised Self-Reflection Tool can be found here, beginning on page 8.


Other Items & Waivers


There were a number of other items heard at the March 2023 meeting. Information on those items can be found in other items. In addition, there were several waivers discussed at the hearing.


Please let us know if you would like any additional information on any of the items above. 





Caitlin Jung

Legislative Counsel | Capitol Advisors Group