News

  • 03/02/2015. EdSource

    By John Fensterwald

    The State Board of Education is seizing the chance to redefine student achievement and reframe how schools are held accountable for performance. It is in the throes of replacing the Academic Performance Index, the three-digit number that has been California’s narrow gauge of school progress for a decade and a half. The question is, what will take its place?

  • 02/24/2015

    Recent research finds that students who participate in high school arts courses face a lower risk of dropping out compared to similar students who do not participate. While a causal relationship is difficult to isolate, policymakers should be cautious about the ramifications of cutting arts budgets in public schools.

  • 02/17/2015

    In recent years, there has been increasing attention towards language variety as a potential explanation for lagging achievement observed among minority students and students of low socioeconomic status. A recent study summarizes recommendations for an administrative and legislative response to the educational needs of students who speak language varieties other than standard English.

  • 02/11/2015

    The PACE Directors extend our thanks and best wishes to Bruce Fuller, who resigned as a Director of PACE at the end of 2014. Bruce joined PACE in 1996, and guided us through a pivotal decade. Under his leadership PACE’s work on school choice, pre-K education, and other topics had a profound impact on education policy debates in California and beyond. Bruce will continue as Professor of Education and Public Policy at UC-Berkeley, and as a vital contributor to the public conversation on education and other policy issues.

  • 02/10/2015

    Conventional wisdom suggests that No Child Left Behind has increased teacher stress and undermined their feelings about the teaching profession. An analysis of four waves of nationally representative teacher survey data suggests, however, that NCLB has had little effect on attitudes such as job satisfaction and commitment to remain in teaching.

  • 02/03/2015

    Studies on the returns to teaching experience find that, on average, teachers make rapid gains in effectiveness early in their careers, but that additional experience is associated with more modest improvements. Research from North Carolina shows there is a large amount of variation in how quickly different teachers improve and teachers who work in more supportive environments improve at much greater rates than their peers in less supportive schools.

  • 01/27/2015

    The vast majority of research in the area of high school dropout prevention has been focused on either identifying risk factors for students likely to dropout or intensive individual student interventions. Researchers have suggested that school-wide tiered interventions may increase a school’s capacity to address intensive student needs. However, as this review shows, the current body of empirical research provides little guidance to schools or policy makers with respect to addressing student needs more effectively and efficiently.

  • 01/20/2015

    Since the mid-1980s, policymakers have heralded mid-career entrants—teachers who enter the profession from careers outside of education—as having the potential to help avert national teacher shortages, increase the racial and ethnic diversity of the teaching force, and fill vacancies in hard-to-staff subjects, like secondary mathematics and science. Using six waves of data from the Schools and Staffing Survey and an innovative methodology, we find that the percentage of mid-career entrants among first-year teachers nearly doubled between 1988-2008 and that mid-career entrants comprise more than one-third of incoming public school teachers. Despite this influx, mid-career entrants have not substantially diversified the teaching workforce.

  • 01/13/2015

    Colleges frequently change their application fees and application essay requirements, and it turns out that students strongly respond to these relatively small costs in the application process. Our new paper, “Screening Mechanisms and Student Responses in the College Market,” we find that requiring a college application essay decreases the number of applications received at that college by 6.5%. We also find that increasing the application fee by 10% corresponds to roughly a 1% decrease in applications.

  • 01/06/2015

    A recently-published study finds that Latino English learner (EL) students enrolled in bilingual programs typically take longer to become proficient in English but more of them reach English proficiency compared to students in all-English classrooms.

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