A state tool that helps the public assess how schools are doing on measures like test scores, chronic absenteeism, and graduation rates shows San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD) students are making encouraging progress.
Results from the revamped California School Dashboard released Thursday show 91.8 percent of District students in the Class of 2018 received a high school diploma, earning the District one of the best ratings. The Dashboard, California’s new public school accountability system, also shows District students made incremental growth in English language arts and math tests.
The six state performance indicators reported in December’s Dashboard include: College and Career Readiness; Chronic Absenteeism; Suspension Rates; English Learner Progress; Graduation Rates; and state test scores in English language arts and mathematics for grades 3–8 and 11. The California Department of Education’s Dashboard rates schools’ performance on an indicator using five colors. Red is the lowest achievement level, followed by orange, yellow, green, and blue, the highest level. A school is considered to have a favorable mark if it receives green or blue on an indicator.
A key element of California’s comprehensive accountability and continuous improvement system for K–12 schools is that the Dashboard helps identify schools and districts facing challenges in specific indicators.
For SBCUSD and hundreds of others around the region and state, those challenges include chronic absenteeism, defined as the percentage of students who are absent 10 percent or more of instructional days. Another area of improvement identified statewide is College and Career readiness, meaning more must be done to ensure that graduates are prepared to succeed when they leave high school.
SBCUSD is well on its way to improving the College/Career Indicator, said Superintendent Dr. Dale Marsden. Strong partnerships with Cal State San Bernardino, San Bernardino Valley College, and the county Workforce Development Department are helping foster a college-going culture, he said.
“We have to push the idea that college is for everyone,” Marsden said. “We have the ability to have a college- and career-ready culture right here in the City of San Bernardino. It starts in every classroom and every school from the day students enter our system.”