By Sharon Noguchi
Four years after dumping its single-number rating of every public school, California on Wednesday rolled out a new education report card with bold color charts and minute detail on select metrics for each school district.
The California School Dashboard — which went live Wednesday after a nearly two-hour hiccup — offers a more rounded view of public schools, including charter schools, with reports on suspension and graduation rates, English-learner progress, and English and math test scores for grades 3 through 8.
The colorful matrix replaces the instantly understandable Academic Performance Index, the three-digit figure that represented the official grade of each school and made school-to-school comparisons simple. The API, whose annual release was much anticipated, was loved by high-scoring schools in affluent areas and reviled by educators serving poor kids as unfair and incomplete.