2018 CAASPP Predominance Maps

As another one of my pet projects I like to learn how to use ArcGIS to visualize data. These maps I created tell the story of the predominance of the achievement levels on the 2018 CAASPP test for grade 3-8 and 11 across Fresno County schools and Statewide. A predominance map uses colors and transparency to represent the predominant group (more intense colors indicate a greater distance from the next most populous group), and size to represents the total population. For this map “Standard Exceeded” is represented by blue, “Standard Met” by green, “Standard Nearly Met” by orange, and “Standard Not Met” by red. Click on any location to see the school name, address and achievement data for that grade level and subject.

The 3rd grade math layer is on by default and shows the wide diversity of the predominant achievement level for this grade and subject. Take a moment and look at your region and turn on and off the various layers. I recommend only having one layer on at a time. The percent based data has been extracted from http://www3.cde.ca.gov/caasppresearchfiles/2018/sb/sb_ca2018_1_csv_v3.zip and for these maps I have programmatically re-calculated them to student counts in lieu of percentages. Data therefor might not be a perfect match, but should be accurate enough to make you think of some questions.

Have a great time checking out these resources. Make sure to scroll down to access the statewide version as well.

Fundraiser Tracking Sheet/Display

This is an example of a fundraiser chart that is embedded into a webpage.  You can modify the amounts in the yellow donations section in the Google Sheet below.  This in turn will change the total in the green section, which will be reflected in the Embedded Chart below.  The general directions for modifying the Display tab URL and embedding the iFrame can be found in the orange section.  Feel free to make a copy and check out how it all works.

Have fun, Jeran

2018 Custom CA School Dashboard

Custom County View 2018 CA School Dashboard

One of my pet coding projects has been to create a dashboard that is useful at the county level.  Over the past few years I have developed my coding skills allowing me the ability to quickly and accurately pull the data points for any CDS code, and to display those results in a different ways.  Over winter break I have recoded my tool to use the new www.caschooldashboard.org and pulled together this custom Fresno County dashboard that I feel will be of benefit to many viewers. 

Please note: The same dashboard is used by all, so your setting choices will change as others also use the tool.  Be kind and share this new resource.  If necessary, come back at a different time if you can see someone actively in use of the tool.  The tool will occasionally reset (once an hour) to show all data points again.  Enjoy exploring the data for Fresno County school districts, you might see something new!!!  Instructions are located below the tool.

  District Level / Special Dashboards 


There are 3 tabs with editable sections (identified by a cream colored cell).  Below are the instructions for each tab.

School_IDs tab

Allows the user to choose a customized list of  districts.  Simply place an “X” in the districts you would like to be included in the District_Data tab where you will choose the “Custom List” option.

District_Data tab

Allows the user to explore the counties district(s) data with a variety of data filters.  At the top are 4 drop down menus listing the options.  By default they are as follows:

  • Cell A1 allow the user to choose “All Districts”, “Custom List” (created in the Schools_IDs tab), or any individual district.
  • Cell B1 allows the user to filter into view “All Indicators”, or one indicator at a time (“Chron Abs”, “Susp Rate”, “ELP”, “Grad Rate”, “CCI”, “ELA” and “Math”) .  This list has two additional indicators, “ELA-sub” and “Math-sub”.  These indicators includes the ELO (English Learners Only students), RFP (Reclassified Fluent English Proficient students) and EO (English Only students).  Note: The Performance Level is not typically included for these sub-groups, by the have been calculated and programmatically added using the Status and Change levels and the standard ELA/Math 5×5 grid placement.
  • Cell C1 allows the user to filter into view “All Sub-Groups”, or on sub-group at a time using acronyms (ie. HI = Hispanic sub0group).  This list additionally has the “All EL data” which allows the user to view the ELO and RFO subgroups (EO is not included in this option, but can be view separately).
  • Cell D1 should be set to “Significant Only” so that only significant sub-group data is shown.  The user can select to view “Non-Sig. Only” allowing the user to view sub-group data that does not have enough students to be counted as significant.

Below is an example selecting “All Districts”, “ELA”, “All EL Data”, and “Significant Only”.  Columns J, M, N shows 3yrs of Performance Level data with indicator arrows showing increase (➚), same (➙), and decrease (➘). Colors also mirror the standard dashboard gauge (1=red, 2=orange, 3-yellow, 4=green, 5=blue).

Additionally there are 3 regions with additional information on the currently filtered dataset:

  • The blue “Indicator Movement” section shows counts and percentages for current your performance level changes (also includes gain, losing and no significance)
  • The purple “Indicator Counts”  section shows counts and percentages for current your performance level values
  • The green “Filtered Summary 2018” when used at selected indicator and sub-group levels will count the number of filtered student, provide and average indicator level, and calculated a weighted average indicator level based on student enrollment in each district.  In the example, there are 30,053 EL students, average performance level of 2.6, with a weighted average of 2.8 (likely due to high population of EL students in 1 district that earned a performance level of 3).

5×5 Grid tab

Allows the user to see the results of the District_Data tabs filtering in the states 5×5 grid with customized data.

  • Cell B2 allows the user to select and available Indicator based on the filter from the District_Data tab.

Below is an example of the 5×5 grid showing “All EL data” filtered students and their Suspension Rate data across the county.  Each data point shows the status, 17-18 performance level change (the arrows: ), name of school district, sub-group, and number of included students in the sub-group.

CalFire Daily Maps

Last summer I was at Google’s GEO Institute and there were a lot of fires going on in California.  I was a firefighter for 5+ years and remember looking at the fire maps and the growth of a fire over time.  With CalFires use of Google MyMaps the history of fires is now missing.  So, as a solution I decided to automate a daily backup (10am and 10pm) of the current CalFire fire map to my Google Drive.  The daily backup script has been goin on for almost a full year, so I think it is reliable enough to share them.  Plus, it is fire season again and you can check out the growth of a fire somewhere across the state.

When you click on any of the URLs you will be taken to the Google Drive view of the file (see below).

Whats Next

You will have more control if you download the file and load the kmz file into either Google MyMaps or Google Earth for Chrome.  Check back in the coming weeks for more information on how to import kml/kmz files into Google MyMaps and Google Earth.

Example of a fire perimeter in My Maps

Example of a fire perimeter in Google Earth

MyMaps Combiner


Back in March 2017 I was working with a math teacher using the Very Large Array (see map)in New Mexico to study Area using maps.  The students explored the VLA to discover things like the size of each satellite dish, the distance between each dish, and to measure the farthest distance that a dish could be send down each of the 3 sets of tracks.  The students had lots of fun exploring the VLA and using the various tools in Google MyMaps.


We worked with 3 classes that day, creating nearly 100 student MyMaps.  That was when I realized there was a problem, the teacher would have need to look through each of these maps to measure students understanding of the tools and underlying mathematical principals.  Each MyMap to around 30 seconds to load and then some additional time to explore.  If the teacher took a combined total of 1 minute for each student they would need over 1 1-/2 hours to look at these maps.  Reality is, no teacher has that time.


To save teacher the time necessary to explore a classroom worth of MyMaps, I have developed the MyMaps Combiner (available at jeranott.com/mymapscombiner).  This tool assumes that you are collecting MyMaps into a single folder (for example using a Google Classroom assignment to collect the students MyMaps).  After choosing to make a copy of the file

You will be greeted by the OTT-o-matic MyMaps Combiner tool!

Which also added the “OTT-o-matic Functions” menu to the menubar

Step 1

From the OTT-o-matic Functions menu choose “Step 1) Select Drive Folder with MyMaps”.  You will select the folder from your Google Drive that contains the MyMaps you would like to combine.  The first time you run this you will be asked for permission to run this script.

  and then  

You will then be prompted to select the folder

  and then  

Select the folder that contains your MyMaps

The script will collect the MyMaps information contained within that folder and will add them to the Spreadsheet.  You will get a summary of that was done.

Step 2)

Caution: You must own the Google MyMaps for this part of the process.
Have your students submit the assignment, or individually set you as the owner of the file.

From the OTT-o-matic Functions menu choose “Step 2) Create MyMaps combine KML file”. This will take a few moments to combine all of the MyMap information into one KML (Keyhole Markup Language) file that can saved and opened into Google Earth.  The file will be named after the folder you selected and will end in kml.  This file will be located in your Google Drive and should automatically be placed in the selected MyMaps folder (based on permissions).

Step 3)

Using Google Earth Pro or Google Earth For Chrome open the KML file.  The combined KML will load into Google Earth as a single map, with each MyMap being contained in a subfolder.  From here you can turn on and off layers and explore your students MyMaps.

Step 4)

When you want to refresh your view in Google Earth of the MyMaps, you can simply reload the combined KML file.  This file uses network linking to access each MyMaps, so when you reload the combined KML file, new data is pulled from each map.  If you need additional MyMaps to be included, re-run steps 1 and 2 to create a new combine KML file.


We have had a question about entering special characters like the division symbol on a Chromebook.  Of course you can use “/”, but what about a traditional division symbol ( ÷ ).  Here are the steps necessary to use Unicode to add special characters like “​÷”.
  1. To start please have a document or text box selected with the cursor indicating that you are ready to enter text
  2. 0) Place your cursor in the location you want the special character
  3. 1) Press ctrl-shift-u all together (typically hold control and shift keys down and then press the “u” key)
  4. 2) You should now see and underlined “u” (ie. u)
  5. 3) After you have identified your Unicode for the special character, type that following the u.
  6.      division symbol unicode is “u00f7” or “uf7”
  7. 4) Once you hit the space or enter key, the text will be replaced by the special character

​5) Repeat as needed for other special characters​

Image provided by Students of Mr. Rupe’s 5th grade class
​Note: If a character does not load, then the particular program you are using may not like this character.  Try again and verify using steps 1-4.

Unicode Resources: