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.
California’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) requires districts to report multiple measures of student performance that reflect success in the goal of preparing students for college, career, and citizenship. As they engage in the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) process, they are expected to use state and local indicator data from California’s School Dashboard to monitor student progress. When Dashboard indicators identify student subgroups as low performing or low growth, districts are encouraged to engage in a process of continuous improvement to develop strategies and then monitor their effectiveness. At this early stage of implementation, education leaders have an opportunity to learn from early adopters who are already using continuous improvement principles. In this case study, we share how Fresno Unified School District (FUSD) developed and utilized its data dashboard and the principles of Improvement Science to increase college access for their students, in partnership with the University of California, Merced.