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Dashboard Alternative School Status (DASS)

  • The California School Dashboard (Dashboard), contains state indicators and standards to help identify a school’s strengths, weaknesses, and areas in need of improvement. The state indicators and standards were developed for traditional (non-alternative) schools; Dashboard Alternative School Status (DASS) incorporates modified methods on the Graduation and Career and College Indicators (CCI) to fairly evaluate the performance and progress of alternative schools that serve high-risk students.

    There are three ways in which schools participate in the DASS program:

    1. Eligibility determined by education code
    2. Criteria established by the State Board of Education
    3. Schools can apply for DASS participation*

    *Schools participating in DASS via application will need to reapply every three years.

Status and Change

  • The CDE calculates a status and change result for each indicator on the California School dashboard. Status is based on the most recent year of data for that indicator. Change is based on the difference between the most recent year and the prior year. Performance levels are calculated based on a five-by-five grid that combines five status levels and five change levels of performance (the levels vary by indicator). From highest to lowest, the five performance levels are Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange and Red. Schools and districts receive a performance level for each indicator.

  • Five-by-Five

    The five-by-five grid combines status and change to determine an overall performance level for each indicator, with equal weight applied to both status and change. To learn more about the five-by-five grids, visit the CDE’s California School Dashboard Five-by-Five Colored Tables page. 

    See the Five-by-Five grid for this indicator on the CDE’s California School Dashboard Five-by-Five Colored Tables page.

    This modification is an important distinction as it allows DASS schools to be evaluated, using the same indicators that are being used to measure progress in non-DASS schools, in a fair and equitable manner.


    How It’s Calculated

    Graduation Indicator

    The Graduation Indicator for DASS schools contains several differences: the cut scores for Status and Change are different and the manner in which graduates are identified is also different from that of traditional schools.

    The DASS cut scores are:

    Status Level

    Status Cut Scores DASS (One-Year)

    Status Cut Scores for Traditional Schools

    Very Low

    Grad Rate is less than 67%

    Grad Rate is less than 67%


    Grad Rate is 67% to less than 70%

    Grad Rate is 67% to less than 85%


    Grad Rate is 70% to less than 80%

    Grad Rate is 85% to less than 90%


    Grad Rate is 80% to less than 90%

    Grad Rate is 90% to less than 95%

    Very High

    Grad Rate is 90% or greater

    Grad Rate is 95% or greater


    Change Level

    Change Cut Scores DASS (One-Year)

    Change Cut Scores for Traditional Schools

    Declined Significantly

    Grad Rate declined by more than 10%

    Grad Rate declined by more than 5%


    Grad Rate declined by 3% to 10%

    Grad Rate declined by 1% to 5%


    Grad Rate declined or increased by less than 3%

    Grad Rate declined or increased by less than 1%


    Grad Rate increased by 3% to less than 10%

    Grad Rate increased by 1% to less than 5%

    Increased Significantly

    Grad Rate increased by 10% or greater

    Grad Rate increased by 5% or greater


    Below is a comparison of how graduates are identified at DASS versus Traditional schools:

    Traditional Schools


    •       Standard diploma

    •       Standard diploma [which includes the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE)]

    •       High School Equivalency Certificate (e.g., GED*/ HiSET)

    •       Adult education diploma

    •       Early graduates (grade eleven students)

    •       Certificate of Completion plus eligible for the California Alternate Assessment (CAA) if under the age of 20

    The District graduation rate will include students who graduate from both DASS and traditional schools.  

    College and Career Indicator (CCI)

    Currently, the CCI contains some college and career measures that may not fairly evaluate the performance and progress of DASS schools or students with disabilities, e.g., Advanced Placement exams, and includes limited career measures which is a significant focus for many DASS schools and for students with disabilities.

    The current CCI measures are:

    • International Baccalaureate (IB) Exams
    • Grade 11 Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments
    • Advanced Placement (AP) Exams
    • Career Technical Education (CTE) Pathway completion
    • College Credit Course (Previously referenced as dual enrollment)
    • A-G Completion
    • State Seal of Biliteracy*
    • Leadership/Military Science*

    *These are new measures for 2018.

    Data for additional measures will be captured for possible inclusion in the 2019 and 2020 Dashboards to better represent the work at DASS schools. 


    Learn More About This Indicator

    To learn more about the DASS Program, see the California Department of Education’s (CDE) California School Dashboard Technical Guide.



    For questions about the DASS Program data submitted, contact the State Reporting Services Branch at 213-241-2450.

    Last updated 2019-01-16


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