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California's got a new 'Dashboard' to compare and contrast grade schools




In this Sept. 30, 2016 photo, teacher Regina Yang leads a bilingual Korean-English language immersion classes at Porter Ranch Community School in Los Angeles.
In this Sept. 30, 2016 photo, teacher Regina Yang leads a bilingual Korean-English language immersion classes at Porter Ranch Community School in Los Angeles.
Nick Ut/AP

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If you're a parent you probably know the agony of trying to figure out the best school for your kids. Well, help is on the way. 

This morning a  brand new tool for evaluating the state's public schools will go live online. It's called the California School Dashboard and it ranks every institution, from elementary to high school, using a color-coded pie chart to indicate the ones that are the highest performing, and those that are not.

It's all based on different, some might say, complex metrics. KPCC education editor Maura Walz got a sneak peek and talked about it with A Martinez. She started by describing how the new system would look:

You have this color coded pie system where you can see if a school is doing really well in an area you have a blue full pie ... and then it goes down as the performance does not do so well it goes from green to orange to red. 

She went on to say that the worst you could get was a single red slice. But if you're a parent and you're looking at this new system as a sort of Yelp review for schools, it probably won't work as well as you might hope. 

It's not an overall simple summary of what's going on in the school, its something that you really need to spend a lot of time on ... its not a restaurant rating where you can look up a Zagat guide and its a 5 star restaurant, its not that at all. 

Click on the blue player above to hear the entire interview.