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School Board Members Hear Dashboard Update

How students are doing in school was a topic of discussion at the recent Oakdale Joint Unified School District board meeting.

Assistant Superintendent of Schools Kristi Rapinchuk presented the board with the Annual Accountability Dashboard Update, a report released by the State of California summarizing seven state indicators for students of all grade levels.

“The good news about this new Dashboard system is it is a growth model, but I think the bad news is it’s a little more difficult to understand,” Rapinchuk stated.

She reviewed five of the seven indicators with the board. The suspension rate and graduation rate analysis prompted interruption of the report by District Superintendent Marc Malone.

“I firmly believe in the growth mindset,” Malone said, “and we are on record in saying that and we are driving our students to get better every day. For the most part I believe this Dashboard is that.”

Malone further stated a concern with the last two indicators: suspension and graduation, noting they were not local indicators, but rather state indicators.

“If you look at that for suspension rate, the easiest way to get to blue and apparently make the state happy would just simply be to go to all administrators and say, you don’t get to suspend anybody anymore,” Malone observed. “That’s ludicrous.

“This community has weighed in, we have a conduct code for our students and it is the expectation of our community that our administrators will enforce that conduct code,” he continued.

Malone candidly shared a frustration with the expectation of the state to lack accountability by way of the student body and “what’s right for kids.”

“I’m here to tell you as long as I’m here sitting in this seat we’re not going to worry about green and blue (state indicators), we’re going to worry about what’s best for kids,” he stated.

Rapinchuk echoed Malone’s emphasis sharing with the board, “I’ve had both other district administrators and teachers come up to me at county level meetings and they have affirmed these actions that Oakdale has taken. Implying that other districts perhaps have taken the easy road and allow students to stay on campus, when they should have been suspended.”