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State updates ‘Snapshots’ of your school’s quality

State updates ‘Snapshots’ of your school’s quality

An online accountability tool that provides the public an easy way to see a variety of measures of how well the state’s more than 10,000 schools are performing is now updated with the latest information available, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson reported on Monday.

“Since we created these School Quality Snapshots, Californians have viewed more than 100,000 copies to learn more about their local schools,” Torlakson said. “The Snapshot puts the information parents and the public need and want right at their fingertips.”

California Department of Education staff developed the School Quality Snapshot Web application last year using existing state resources. Since the program was unveiled last October, 115,737 Snapshots of local schools have been downloaded. Previously, it had required visits to more than a dozen CDE Web pages to compile the same amount of information about individual schools. The Snapshot instead compiles the data in a matter of seconds and produces a two-page document that is easy to understand. It provides a longitudinal overview of information about each school and its performance on several indicators. It also provides data on a state and district level for comparison purposes, as well as some demographic information on each school.

The first page displays information about a school’s performance on the Academic Performance Index, which is a focal point of the Snapshot. It also includes data on a school’s California Standards Tests (CSTs) results at the proficient-and-above level for English-language arts, mathematics, and science. A pie chart summarizes a school’s enrollment by race/ethnicity, and other diagrams show subgroup enrollment and average class size.

The second page shows information on CSTs results for history/social science, the percentage of students in the Healthy Fitness Zone from the Physical Fitness Test, the percentage of graduates meeting University of California “a-g” requirements, the cohort graduation rate, suspension and expulsions as a percentage of enrolled students, average SAT scores, the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) English-language arts grade ten passing rate, and the CAHSEE mathematics grade ten passing rate.

The development of the School Quality Snapshot was part of Torlakson’s A Blueprint for Great Schools initiative, one goal of which is to give parents and the public more information about student learning and school success.

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