'Get to green:' California wants to grade school performance with colors instead of a single number
r the last 15 years, a number between 200 and 1,000 told parents in California how good their child’s school was.
Up next: They might have to decipher performance through a series of colored boxes.
California is in the process of redefining its system for rating public schools, in a way that is both transparent for parents and more precise than just using test scores. The changes come after the number system, called the Academic Performance Index, was suspendedand as the state tries to satisfy the Every Student Succeeds Act, the federal government’s replacement of No Child Left Behind.
The latest proposal, presented Wednesday at a meeting of the State Board of Education in Sacramento, is “the California Model,” a display of 17 colored boxes that summarize how a school is doing in such categories as math or career readiness, both in terms of current status and progress over time.
Performance is rated on indicators set by state and federal law as well as those evaluated under the state’s new school funding formula.
Though officials cautioned the draft was preliminary, it engendered a long debate over graphics, with one board member begging to move away from “Easter egg” colors because one pastel-tinged draft.
A school in the red on graduation means that too many students are dropping out; the best color ranking would be blue. To understand what each color means in a particular category, parents could refer to a “lookup table,” a grid of 25 colored boxes explaining in more detail what it means to be labeled a certain color.
Eric Crane, a designer of the mock-up from the nonprofit consulting firm WestEd, 'Get to green:' California wants to grade school performance with colors instead of a single number - LA Times: