Recent research explores whether the Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT) can adequately assess English-Language Arts (ELA) teacher candidates on how they connect teaching to linguistic, social, and cultural context of schooling, and purposes of education in rural border schools.
Conditions of Education in California
Despite the increasing use of value-added types of evaluation, little is known about the relationship between teachers’ value added scores and principals’ evaluations of the same teachers. Data from Florida suggest that the choice of evaluation tools within accountability systems could influence not only which teachers are rewarded in the short term, but the qualities and activities of the teaching profession in the long term.
Recent research examines results from Washington state's incentive program to increase the overall supply of National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) while also increasing the proportion of NBCTs who work in "challenging" schools. The study describes how the supply of NBCTs changed over a three-year period (2007-08 to 2009-10), examines the extent to which changes in the proportion of NBCTs working in high-poverty schools occurred, and discusses implications of the use of financial incentives.
In light of a wave of federal and state laws targeting high school and college completion among older youth in foster care, researchers analyze how the level of education attained by young adults who were formerly in care is associated with their later employment status and annual earnings.
Even though high-achieving students are disproportionately likely to leave their home rural communities after high school, recent research finds that these students are among the rural youth with the highest degrees of community attachment. The most significant factor shaping rural youth residential aspirations appears to be the perception of post high school local economic opportunity, suggesting that rural communities in turn might be able to retain and/or attract highly skilled young people if in fact opportunities are available for them as adults.
Despite concern about how to strengthen teacher education, a review of research published in 2012 finds the preponderance not designed to inform policy. Suggestions for policy-makers include collaborating with teacher education professional organizations to develop a shared agenda of pressing policy questions, funding research to address those questions, and requiring that the research be done by teams in which members bring different forms of expertise.
Recent research confirms that unlike California’s Academic Performance Index and AYP measures, scores based on value-added methods have a far weaker relationship with student and school characteristics.
Rates of non-medical exemptions have been rising in recent years and rising faster in states that allow personal beliefs exemptions. California’s new personal beliefs exemption law seeks to combat this problem by requiring parents/guardians to receive vaccine risk benefit education from a licensed health care practitioner as part of the exemption request process and by increasing the administrative burden of requesting a personal beliefs exemption. Successful implementation of the new law will depend on the actions of individual school officials responsible for enforcing the law’s provisions.
A controlled experiment finds school visits to cultural institutions can produce positive and meaningful results, particularly for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Federal guidelines for identifying learning disabilities are often not well-specified, particularly for culturally and linguistically diverse students, leaving much discretion up to individual states. Although California does have some specific policies and practice guidelines, these did not appear to be systematically integrated to ensure best practices for CLD students.