News & Announcements: Academic Gains Continue for EUSD

girl works on worksheet with iPad on desk

December 7, 2018

The upward trajectory of achievement in the Escondido Union School District continues, with gains made in English Language Arts and Mathematics in the newly released California School Dashboard.

The California Department of Education (CDE) and the State Board of Education (SBE) on Thursday released the second version of the California School Dashboard, a website that gives parents, students, and educators access to school and district data.

EUSD’s Academic Performance in the Dashboard is based on the 2018 results from the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), which students take in the spring. EUSD students posted a 5-point gain in English Language Arts and a 6.2-point gain in Mathematics.

“We are so proud of our students and teachers for the hard work that produced these positive results,” Superintendent Dr. Luis Ibarra said. “We will use the analysis and data provided in the Dashboard to continue pushing forward.”

Added Kathleen Sorensen, director of Curriculum and Assessment: “We are excited about our results because we are showing growth and improvement.”

The district’s focus on coherent curriculum implementation, coherent supports, teacher coaching, and extensive professional development for teachers and principals has contributed to the improvement, Sorensen said.

The district’s embedded social-emotional supports play a key role in achievement because those supports help ensure that students are ready to learn, Deputy Superintendent Leila Sackfield said.

“We’ve been training teachers on how best to support students’ social and emotional needs,” Sackfield said. “We are constantly improving our ability to track student data to help pinpoint students’ needs. In addition, we provide enrichment opportunities for all students.”

The California School Dashboard helps schools identify strengths and weaknesses in many areas that measure success, said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

The Dashboard is a key component of the five-year overhaul of the state’s school accountability system. It displays statewide data based on “status” and “change” — how each school or district performed and how much they have improved or declined over time. School and district performance levels are indicated by color, with red the lowest and blue the highest. EUSD improved from orange to yellow in both English Language Arts and Mathematics.

The Dashboard also breaks down information by student group, such as socioeconomically disadvantaged and English learners, to help identify and address achievement gaps.

The 2018 Dashboard includes several new items, including two new metrics, the Chronic Absenteeism Indicator and the College/Career Readiness Indicator; grade 11 test scores; and graduation rate.

At the local level, the Dashboard helps communities identify strengths and challenges and align resources to support students who are struggling academically. On the state level, the indicators determine which districts are eligible for tailored assistance through the State System of Support, a network of agencies throughout California. Districts with one or more student group in the “red” on two metrics are eligible for state help. EUSD does not require specialized assistance.

The Dashboard replaces the state’s former accountability system — the Academic Performance Index (API), which relied exclusively on standardized tests and gave schools a single score. That system was suspended four years ago.

EUSD’s complete Dashboard report is available online.