How You Can Use the California School Dashboard to Hold Your Neighborhood Schools Accountable

Today I am using the California School Dashboard to see if I made the right decision in sending my children to schools outside of my neighborhood. Both of our kids attend public schools in the San Bernardino Unified School District. One attends an IB (International Baccalaureate) Middle School (Cesar E. Chavez MS) across town, and the other attends a non-traditional high school/college hybrid program (Middle College HS), also on the other side of town. Both require extensive traveling from home to school. Both are also among the best rated schools in the district, at least according their local reputations. But let’s find out what the California School Dashboard tells me.  

The two schools that we are comparing them to are the local neighborhood schools that they would normally be attending if we did not have them on intradistrict transfers. Golden Valley MS and Pacific HS.  

So, I am logging into the home page of the dashboard and this will pop up.  

I will first be entering the name of the district and then I can compare schools. You will see the populate with the area schools, it will look like this:

I clicked on Golden Valley MS and will be comparing it to Cesar E. Chavez MS.

A side by side comparison easily shows the differences:  





The Math scores at Golden Valley MS are significantly lower than those of Cesar Chavez. The ELA scores are also much lower. And while I am comforted to know that we made the right decision to enroll our child in Cesar Chavez, I am troubled to see that my neighborhood school is performing so poorly. We live in one of the nicest neighborhoods in the city. The homes here are way above median and our property taxes should be supporting good schools for the kids in this neighborhood. Why aren’t they?

Let’s look at the High Schools.

As you can see, the colored pie charts make it very clear and easy to understand the strengths and challenges in our schools. Unfortunately, not all schools are great. This valuable tool provided by the California Department of Education (CDE) can aide you not only in finding a great school for your kids but also in holding schools accountable. It is crystal clear that are some significant deficits at my neighborhood schools. It’s to ask the Board of Education why these deficits exist and what is being done to improve the these schools.

What do you think?

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Leticia Chavez-Garcia

Leticia Chavez-Garcia

Leticia Chavez-Garcia is a Mother, Grandmother, former Middle School Teacher, former Member of a School Board of Education and an Education Advocate for hundreds of parents and students in the Inland Empire. Having become a mother at 15, Leticia knows what it’s like to be a single mother trying to navigate the education system. Leticia received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science and Public Administration from California Baptist University and a Masters’ Degree in Education Technology from Cal State Fullerton in her 30’s. Leticia has used her knowledge and experience to help hundreds of families as an Education Advocate in the Inland Empire and currently works as an Education Specialist.

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