Publications

  • Minding the Gap between Research and Policy Making

    David N. Plank. SAGE Research Methods - SAGE Publications, Inc.. December 2014

    Subway riders in London are constantly warned to “mind the gap,” the dangerous empty space between the platform and the train. Unwary riders who fail to heed this advice may suffer a variety of unpleasant consequences, ranging from scuffed shoes to broken ankles.

  • Californians and Public Education: Results from the Fourth PACE/USC Rossier Poll

    Morgan S. Polikoff, Julie A. Marsh, David N. Plank, Michelle Hall, Tenice Hardaway, Tien Le. Policy Analysis for California Education. November 2014

    California is in the middle of a nearly unprecedented period of change in the state’s education system. Following voter approval of Proposition 30 in 2012, the Legislature adopted the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) in 2013. The LCFF upended the way California funds schools, redistributing revenues toward schools and school districts facing the greatest challenges and shifting control over the allocation of revenues from Sacramento to local educators and their communities.

  • Toward a Grand Vision: Early Implementation of California's Local Control Funding Formula

    Daniel C. Humphrey, Julia E. Koppich. November 2014

    California has taken the first steps down an historic path that fundamentally alters how its public schools are financed, education decisions are made, and traditionally underserved students’ needs are met. The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), passed with bipartisan legislative support and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on July 1, 2013, represents the most comprehensive transformation of California’s school funding system in 40 years. The LCFF significantly loosens the reins of state control over education.

  • Bumpy Path Into a Profession: What California's Beginning Teachers Experience

    Julia E. Koppich, Daniel C. Humphrey. Policy Analysis for California Education. July 2014

    In California as elsewhere, state policy anticipates that aspiring teachers will follow a uniform, multistep path into the profession. It assumes they will complete a preparation program and earn a preliminary credential, take a teaching job and be assigned probationary status, complete a two-year induction program (the Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment System, or BTSA), earn a Clear Credential, and receive tenure following two years of satisfactory evaluations.

  • Implementing Common Core State Standards in California: A Report from the Field

    Milbrey McLaughlin, Laura Glaab, Isabel Hilliger Carrasco. Policy Analysis for California Education. June 2014

    California’s State Board of Education adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in August of 2010. The CCSS have been adopted by 45 states across the country. They aim to articulate consistent, clear standards for what students are expected to learn and be able to do in mathematics and English Language Arts from kindergarten through Grade 12, and to focus educators’ attention on “fewer, higher, and deeper standards.”

  • Mathematics from High School to Community College: Using Existing Tools to Increase College-Readiness Now

    Louise Jaffe. Policy Analysis for California Education. May 2014

    The adoption and implementation of the Common Core State Standards and Smarter Balanced assessments in mathematics are intended to provide all students in California with the knowledge and skills required to transition from high school to college-level coursework. This implementation will take time.

  • 2020 Vision: Rethinking Budget Priorities Under the LCFF

    PACE. Policy Analysis for California Education. April 2014

    After years of painful budget cuts, new revenues will begin to flow to California school districts in 2014. Thanks to the voters’ approval of Proposition 30 and the adoption of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), nearly all districts can expect budget increases over the next several years. Districts that educate the most challenging students will see the largest gains. When the LCFF is fully implemented many schools and districts will receive 50 to 75 percent more revenue per pupil than they do now.

  • Getting to the Core: How Early Implementers are Approaching the Common Core in California

    Brentt Brown, Merrill Vargo. Policy Analysis for California Education. February 2014

    California has embarked on a major new wave of curriculum reform with the adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the new English Language Development (ELD) standards, and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The adoption of the CCSS builds a legacy of standards-based education reform in California that began with the development of curriculum frameworks in the 1980s and continued with the adoption of the California State Standards and the approval of the Public School Accountability Act.

  • Designing, Leading and Managing the Transition to the Common Core: A Strategy Guidebook for Leaders

    Brentt Brown, Merrill Vargo. Policy Analysis for California Education. January 2014

    The Common Core provides districts an opportunity to renew their focus on teaching and learning. But it also poses a number of design and implementation challenges for school districts, including how to:

  • Making Observation Count: Key Design Elements for Meaningful Teacher Observation

    Jennifer Goldstein. Policy Analysis for California Education. December 2013

    Teacher evaluation has emerged as a potentially powerful policy lever in state and federal debates about how to improve public education. The role of student test scores and “value-added” measures in teacher evaluation has generated intense public controversy, but other approaches to evaluation including especially classroom observations of teaching are certain to remain as essential features of any evaluation system.

    In this policy brief Jennifer Goldstein lays out four key design principles that should guide the observation-based assessment of teaching:

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