Projects

PACE has recently launched a research partnership with the CORE Districts, a network of 9 California school districts working together to improve student achievement by fostering meaningful collaboration and learning. As part of this partnership, PACE is leading a research agenda designed to support the CORE districts in continuous improvement while simultaneously helping to inform state-level policy in California. In the first year of the partnership (2015-16), PACE researchers are evaluating the implementation and effect of CORE’s innovative accountability system (the School Quality Improvement System), which focuses on the whole school and the whole child, and emphasizes the importance of the “right drivers” for school improvement, including an explicit emphasis on developing students’ academic and social-emotional skills. To learn more about this work or to get involved, contact the project director, Heather Hough.

How does the public view California’s schools and education policy effectiveness? Do voters understand the challenges that California faces, and are they prepared to make the tough choices and tradeoffs that potential solutions entail? Recent polling conducted by PACE and the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California seeks to learn more about how Californians perceive and understand the challenges now facing California’s education system, and the challenges that must be addressed to move the system forward.

The Local Control Funding Formula Research Collaborative (LCFFRC) brings together a diverse set of policy experts who, since 2014, have been documenting implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), California’s pathbreaking finance and governance system. Operating under the auspices of Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE), principal LCFFRC researchers are Julia Koppich (J. Koppich & Associates), Daniel Humphrey (Independent Consultant), Julie Marsh (University of Southern California), Jennifer O’Day (American Institutes of Research), Magaly Lavadenz (Loyal Marymount), and Laura Stokes (Inverness Research).

Guide to the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) for California School Districts. The Federal guidelines for the $439 million Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grant program have been published, and the deadline for applications is July 6, 2010. Julia E. Koppich has complied the “Guide to the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) for California School Districts.” The guide is intended as a resource for districts that plan to apply or are considering applying for a TIF grant in 2010. Even if you are familiar with TIF regulations from previous years, we encourage you to review this guide as program regulations have changed substantially. Click here to view and download a copy of the guide.

The California Diploma Project (CDP) works with states across the country to bring value to the high school diploma by raising the rigor of high school standards, assessments and curriculum and aligning them to the demands of postsecondary education and careers. In California, the CDP brings together the Governor and Superintendent of Public Instruction with the leaders of the state’s four higher education segments and business community representatives to work together to expand the number of young people who enroll and succeed in post-secondary education and training.

There is widespread agreement that many of California’s high schools are doing a poor job of preparing their students for college and careers. The James Irvine Foundation is sponsoring a major initiative to develop “Multiple Pathways” –– now called the Linked Learning approach –– as a strategy for improving the performance of California high schools. To inform this effort, the James Irvine Foundation asked PACE to gather evidence on the cost of linked learning programs. This report by Ace Parsi, University of California, Berkeley, David N. Plank, Policy Analysis for California Education and David Stern, University of California, Berkeley presents the results.

Videos and other materials from our recent conference are now available. The conference was held at Stanford on February 2, 2012. It was hosted by Silicon Valley Education Foundation, Policy Analysis for California Education and NewSchools Venture Fund. We thank our sponsor S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation for making this conference possible.

The conference provided an opportunity for educators and policy-makers to learn about digital tools and resources that can help improve teaching and learning in middle grades math, and to consider the policy changes that California must make to take advantage of these new opportunities. Policy leaders and experts in education technology presented their views on what’s becoming possible with the proliferation of digital technologies in California schools. Keynote speakers included Ted Mitchell from NewSchools Venture Fund, Tarkan Maner from Wyse Technology, and Jeremy Roschelle from SRI.

The conference also featured presentations from companies and organizations that have developed specific digital tools and resources for use in middle school mathematics, including Agile Mind, ALEKS, CFY, CK-12 Foundation, Edmodo, Key Curriculum Press: TinkerPlots and Sketchpad, Mathalicious, Motion Math, Monterey Institute for Technology and Education (MITE), and World Wide Workshop.

The fifth annual PACE/USC Rossier Poll finds that voters’ perceptions of local public schools have reached the highest level of confidence since the poll began. Voters also expressed strong support and empathy for teachers.

Voters’ perceptions of local public schools have gradually improved over that time. This poll finds a majority of Californians believe that their local public schools have either “gotten better” (23%) over the past few years or “stayed the same” (35%) while just 30 percent say their local schools have “gotten worse.”

School districts across California have begun working to implement the Common Core State Standards and to prepare for California’s new assessments.  Policy Analysis for California Education (http://edpolicyinca.org) and California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (http://ccsesa.org) are pleased to sponsor six regional leadership sessions on CCSS Implementation. These meetings will introduce you to a variety of strategies, tools and resources that your district can use to support successful implementation of the CCSS.

With the recent release of the Common Core educational standards, California now faces the same decisions as other states across the country. Should the state adopt the standards? If so, how will California incorporate the academic expectations it determined crucial for students to learn? On June 10, in Sacramento, Policy Analysis for California Education held a forum to explore these issues and open discussion with members of the state’s Academic Standards Content Commission, the commission charged with making a recommendation on whether or not to adopt the standards.

As part of its application for federal Race to the Top funding, California passed a law in January stating that the State Board of Education will consider adoption of the Common Core English Language Arts and Math standards. Facing a short timeline, the Commission must offer its recommendations by July 15, and the State Board must vote on adoption by August 2. If the Board votes in favor of adopting the Common Core, this would mean redesigning what is taught in California classrooms, deciding how to assess whether students are meeting those standards, and deciphering the types of professional development teachers need to help students reach those expectations.

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