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CA School Ratings: BSUSD


Last updated 2/15/2024 at 11:01am

On Dec. 15, the State of California released its annual performance ratings of school districts and charter schools. San Diego County schools showed some improvement, but for many, there were not significant changes as hoped.

The ratings are part of the California School Dashboard, which became the state’s main accountability measure of schools starting in 2017. However, these ratings should not be used to make judgments about the schools or districts.

The dashboard rates schools and districts in seven different areas:

Standardized test scores in English language arts

Standardized test scores in math

Suspension rate

Chronic absenteeism rate for K-8 students, or the percentage who were absent at least 10 percent of school days

High school graduation rate

English learner progress, or the percentage of students learning English as a second language who either made progress or maintained high performance from last year on the state’s language proficiency test

College/career preparedness, or the percentage of high school graduates who met at least one of several metrics, which include passing multiple Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exams, completing a career technical education pathway, completing a pre-apprenticeship or government job program, passing college credit courses and passing state standardized tests in English and math

Most of the ratings are assigned as colors, with blue indicating the highest performance, followed by green, yellow and orange, with red the lowest.

Ratings consider both a district’s annual performance and how it compares with the previous year. In areas rated by color, blue indicates the best performance, followed by green, yellow and orange, with red the worst. For college and career readiness, there are five ratings for performance: very high, high, medium, low and very low.

The color ratings take into account both performance this year and whether it improved, worsened or remained unchanged from last year.

Therefore, the color ratings can hold different meanings. For example, one school might be rated yellow because it improved greatly from last year but still has poor performance, another might have shown average performance that did not change from last year, and a third might have performed well last year but worsened significantly since.

Borrego Springs Unified was rated as follows:

Math: Orange

Suspension Rate: Red

Chronic Absenteeism: Yellow

Graduate Rate: Orange

English Learner Progress: Red

College/Career Preparedness: Medium

This year 22 local school districts and 18 charters, plus the county education office, qualified, this included Borrego Springs, Julian Union Elementary, Julian Union High, and Warner Springs Unified School District. .

The dashboard provides a set of overall ratings for each school and district. Families who want to dig even further into the data can also find ratings for up to 13 student groups within each school and district. Those include racial groups and historically disadvantaged groups such as students with disabilities and low-income students.

Earlier this month, an annual report card was published by the SD County Taxpayers Association that showed that all but a few San Diego County School Districts with a facilities bond program were open about how they were spending money.

Every year, the association grades K-12 school and community college districts on how transparent they are about their bond programs, which are voter-approved and often involve hundreds of millions of dollars to pay for school facilities.

Mountain Empire and Borrego Springs Unified got F grades.

Mark Stevens, Superintendent of BSUSD said he had no comment about the F grade, and in an email said, “Let them grade us however they want.”

The report card also looks at audits of the bond programs to see, for example whether the audit itemizes expenditures by project and whether the audit analyzes the bond program’s performance in areas recommended by the association such as timelines, budgets change orders and forecast.