Accountability and Support in a Coherent System of Continuous Improvement

Indicators, Metrics, & Dashboards

Conceptual Readings on Dashboards Indicators

**Rothman, R., & Cardichon, J. (2015). Data dashboards: Accounting for what matters. Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellent Education. Available at DataDashboards.pdf

This policy brief proposes data dashboards as a component of school-, district-, and state-level accountability systems. Data dashboards show a variety of school performance indicators that allow educators to quickly gauge their challenges and successes. Because they provide a more robust set of information than many current accountability measures—which often use a single score to measure school quality—data dashboards enable educators to make immediate changes to their practice based on a clearer picture of student and system needs. Using schools in Monroe County, Georgia as an example, the authors outline considerations for the creation of school data dashboards that would provide multiple measures of school quality and progress, help guide schools and districts toward improvement, and reflect local priorities. The brief closes with policy recommendations on how states and districts can best utilize dashboards to promote school improvement.

**University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research. (2014). Selecting effective indicators. College Readiness Indicator Systems Resource Series. Seattle, WA: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Available at

This resource is designed to guide administrators as they develop indicator systems focused on students’ college readiness. It outlines four characteristics of effective indicators that can provide clear and actionable data for practitioners. Indicators should be (1) valid for the intended purpose, (2) actionable by schools, (3) meaningful and easily understood by practitioners, and (4) aligned with district and school priorities. The guide also suggests that district leaders often miss opportunities to design indicators that integrate with the broader school- and district-level efforts to improve student performance. In response to this gap, it emphasizes that indicators should be relevant to district priorities, provide actionable points of data, and contribute to a component of a larger system of supports.

Kless, L., Soland, J., & Santiago, M. (n.d.). Analyzing evidence of college readiness: A tri-level empirical & conceptual framework. Available at

This paper offers a synthesis of the literature about college readiness indicators and proposes a framework for a tri-level indicator system as a proactive strategy to support students. The tri-level indicator system moves beyond the limitations of relying exclusively on student-level measures to acknowledge the role of context in preparing students for college. In addition to the overarching indicator categories of academic preparedness, academic tenacity, and college knowledge, the tri-level system identifies indicators and related supports at the (1) individual student level, (2) setting level, and (3) system level. The authors suggest that a student with the skills and will to attend college will do so if the benchmarks are attainable and the setting and system context enable him or her to succeed.

CORE Accountability Indicators

**California Office to Reform Education (2014). College & career ready graduates. [Slide presentation]. Available for members at this link.

These PowerPoint slides provide a brief overview of the California Office to Reform Education’s Student Quality Improvement Index (SQII) designed as part of its No Child Left Behind waiver. The SQII incorporates measures in two domains—(1) academic and (2) social-emotional and cultural-climate—to measure college and career readiness. In addition to overall measures, elimination of disparity and disproportionality contribute to the weighting of each metric.

**California Office to Reform Education (2014). School quality improvement index – Short metric descriptions. Available at

This document provides short descriptions of each metric within the SQII. The metrics are organized within the following domains: academic and social-emotional and cultural climate factors.

Fresno Metrics & Data Dashboards

**Fresno Unified School District. (n.d.). SQII/SPSA/LCAP cycle of continuous improvement. Fresno, CA: Author. Available for members at this link.

This graphic illustrates Fresno USD’s cycle of continuous improvement. The cycle aims to unify the CORE accountability measures (SQII), the Single Plan for Student Achievement, and the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) into a cohesive practice of planning, reflecting on, and refining district approaches to improvement.

**Fresno Unified School District. (n.d.). Fresno unified school district goals and board adopted district dashboard. Fresno, CA: Author. Available for members at this link.

Fresno USD’s board data dashboard policy establishes progress indicators that provide a snapshot of the district’s health and progress towards its goals. These goals, established for the 2014-2019 school years, are designed to focus on improving student performance in reading, writing, math, arts, activities, and athletics with the overarching outcome graduating prepared for college and the workplace. Together, the district goals and corresponding metrics communicate the district’s progress, which dually allows various stakeholders to monitor district performance and use that information to pursue higher student achievement within the district.

**Fresno Unified School District. (n.d.). Local Control Accountability Plan – Data Dashboard. Fresno, CA: Author. Available for members at this link.

This spreadsheet demonstrates the alignment between some of the eight state priorities identified in the LCAP and the data collected in Fresno USD. When appropriate, data are disaggregated by race/ethnicity and other student sub-populations, including low income students, foster youth, and homeless students.

**This document is considered a priority reading.