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DASS Schools: Tell the State Board Why Dashboard Alternative Metrics Matter

Mar 03 2022 | Susanne Coie

At its March meeting, the State Board of Education (SBE) will discuss possible actions related to “modified” measures on the California School Dashboard (Dashboard) for Dashboard Alternative School Status (DASS) schools. On recent Dashboards, to better align to the nature of DASS school programs, the California Department of Education (CDE) published:

  • DASS Academic Indicators in English Language Arts and Mathematics using modified cut scores and
  • DASS Graduation Rate Indicators based on a one-year cohort of Grade 12 students only.

In January 2022, the federal US Department of Education, however, rejected California’s plan to use DASS modified metrics.

In response, the State Board could take several actions. The CDE recommends that the State Board request a waiver from the US Department of Education, to allow continued use of the metrics. The US Department of Education, however,  has an interest in aligning metrics across all 50 states and has opposed California’s approach twice. Given this, a waiver request is not viewed as having a high probability of success. Therefore, at some point the State Board may face a choice: either scrap the metrics or preserve them, perhaps maintaining two sets of metrics, one for federal purposes and one for California’s purposes.

CSDC believes the State Board should adopt a principle of using of the “best metric for the job,” even if that means publishing multiple metrics. CSDC encourages DASS schools concerned about this issue to email State Board members. Hearing directly from schools can better help State Board members understand how the modified metrics are better suited to “fairly and appropriately evaluate a DASS school’s impact on their students,” as the State Board agenda states.

There are two opportunities to submit comments:

  • The CDE will hold a public comment period for all stakeholders and LEAs through March 30, 2022. Any comments or questions should be e-mailed to ESSA@cde.ca.gov.
  • In addition, comments emailed by noon on Friday, March 4, 2022 to sbe@cde.ca.gov will be posted in time for next week’s State Board meeting. The following information should be included in the body of the email:
    • Commenter’s first and last name
    • Organization affiliation, if applicable
    • Agenda Item 4
    • A brief description of why DASS modified indicators are important to the school

For call-In instructions and a description of the item, see the SBE Agenda for March 2022. More detail on this proposed waiver and related documents are posted on CDE’s Every Student Succeeds Act webpage.