Despite all the criticism, California parents are pretty fond of a redesigned and highly controversial statewide school report card, according to a recently released poll conducted by USC and a prominent think tank.
The report card was released last year as part of California’s new statewide accountability system. The state was one of the first to publish a report card compliant with the Every Student Succeeds Act.
It received immediate backlash from several advocates in the state for the manner in which it tagged schools as not meeting statewide and district goals. Many said it was confusing, contradictory, and inconclusive. The Los Angeles Times, in a harsh editorial, said “the new system is more than overly warm and fuzzy. Making sense of it is practically impossible.”
But in a poll conducted by the University of Southern California’s Rosier School of Education and Policy Analysis for California Education, a think tank, the majority of parents in the state familiar with the report card had an overall positive reaction to its design and components.
However, a slight majority of parents felt the state should give an overall rating to schools, which the report card does not do.
The timing of the poll’s release bodes well for the state’s board of education, state superintendent, and governor who all recently pledged to stick by the dashboard. In his budget this year, Gov. Jerry Brown set aside $300,000 to make any necessary improvements to the report card.
California is one of many states that have chosen to use a dashboard style for their ESSA-compliant report cards.
In a separate recently released study released by the Learning Policy, found that the state’s new funding formula “led to significant increases in high school graduation rates and academic achievement, particularly among children from low-income families.”
A study conducted last year by The Education Trust, a statewide advocacy group, found that while funding is more equitable, gaps in opportunities still exist.
A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.