You can find out many of the most important things about a school with a simple visit. You can meet the principal and teachers, have a look at the campus facilities, learn about the schedule, sports teams and enrichment programs. But a new online tool from the California Department of Education offers a window into another layer of information about L.A. schools.
It has a cumbersome name – The California Local Control Funding Formula State Priorities Snapshot – but it presents information in a clear, easy-to-understand format. A simple search produces a one- or two-page report that tells you, among other things:
- The school’s enrollment number and percentage by race/ethnicity,
- The percentage of English Learner, foster and socioeconomically disadvantaged students and students with disabilities enrolled at the school,
- The percentage of English Learner students who made progress toward proficiency,
- Numbers and percentages of students suspended and expelled.
For high schools, the report also includes:
- The percentage of students who passed an Advanced Placement exam,
- The school’s College Readiness results for English and math and
- High school graduation and dropout rates.
The information, first released in August, includes data for the 2012, 2013 and 2014 school years presented in pie charts and bar graphs. District and state information is included so that you can compare.
To check out a school, visit ias.cde.ca.gov/lcffreports. Not far from the top of a page labeled “Local Control Funding Formula Reports” you’ll find a search box labeled “Entity.” Type the name of the school you’re interested in there (a pull-down menu will pop up with suggestions) and click the “Submit” button. On the next page that comes up, scroll past the material about LCFF Funding Snapshots and down to the link labeled “School LCFF State Priorities Snapshot.” Click that link and a PDF will pop up with data on the school. The reports page also has a link to a glossary page that includes a 19-page explanation of the acronyms used in the report, and how the data are collected.