Publications

Building an Information System to Support Continuous Improvement in California Public Schools

Susanna Loeb, Tara Beteille, Maria Perez. Policy Analysis for California Education. February 2008

A PACE Policy Brief by Susanna Loeb, Tara Beteille and Maria Perez of Stanford University explains why California must accelerate its efforts to create an effective data system for collecting and using vital school information. Building an Information System to Support Continuous Improvement in California Public Schools highlights the elements of an effective data system, with a particular focus on issues related to data collection.

Reshaping Personnel Policies to Improve Student Achievement

Julia E. Koppich. Policy Analysis for California Education. October 2007

In a PACE document prepared for the Convening on California Education Policy on October 19, 2007, Julia E. Koppich and Amy Gerstein present a set of policy recommendations that address issues related to human capital and personnel in California’s education system. They offer nine specific recommendations under three main headings: Differentiated Roles and Compensation, Evaluation and Accountability, and Making Successful Practices Visible.

Continuous Improvement in California Education: Data Systems and Policy Learning

Susanna Loeb, David N. Plank. Policy Analysis for California Education. October 2007

In a PACE document prepared for the Convening on California Education Policy on October 19, 2007, Susanna Loeb and David N. Plank present a set of policy recommendations aimed at supporting continuous improvement in California’s education system. Their recommendations address the essential features of a comprehensive education data system, and also the design and implementation of educational policies to support careful evaluation and organizational learning at all levels of the education system, from the classroom to the California Department of Education.

Beyond Access: How the First Semester Matters for Community College Students’ Aspirations and Persistence

Anne Driscoll. Policy Analysis for California Education. August 2007

A new PACE Policy Brief by Anne Driscoll of the University of California at Davis explains why California must do more than expand access to community college if our state is to prepare the workforce needed to remain economically competitive in the 21st century. Beyond Access: How the First Semester Matters for Community College Students’ Aspirations and Persistence shows that fewer than half of the young high school graduates who entered California community colleges with the goal of transferring to four-year colleges in 1998 made it through their first semester with their goals intact.

Parallel Play – Preschool and K-12 Finance Reform in New Jersey and Texas

Bruce Fuller, Joseph Wright. Policy Analysis for California Education. July 2007

In a PACE Working Paper, Co-Director Bruce Fuller and Joseph Wright offer policy and implementation lessons from two states – New Jersey and Texas – that have moved to advance preschool and K-12 finance reform in tandem. These states have assembled the puzzle pieces in differing ways, but both states are determined to widen access for families who can least afford quality preschool. The policy experiences of these states over the past quarter century yield notable lessons for current policy debate on pre-school and education finance reform in California.

Making Sense of Career-Technical Education: Options for California

Norton Grubb, David Stern. Policy Analysis for California Education. April 2007

A PACE Policy Brief by W. Norton Grubb and David Stern. Career-technical education (CTE) is back in the policy spotlight, as Governor Schwarzeneggger and key legislators seek strategies to strengthen California’s much-criticized high schools. Some forms of CTE that integrate academic with occupational content could usefully be expanded to provide high school students with multiple pathways to college and careers.

California Principals’ Resources: Acquisition, Deployment, and Barriers

Bruce Fuller, Susanna Loeb, Nicole Arshan, Allison Chen, Susanna Yi. Policy Analysis for California Education. April 2007

The Unequal Opportunity to Learn in California's Schools: Crafting Standards to Track Quality

Andrea Venezia, Julie Maxwell-Jolly. Policy Analysis for California Education. February 2007

This paper, stemming from a PACE seminar, examines the idea of crafting opportunity to learn (OTL) standards—how the state might collect and analyze indicators of school quality that are predictive of student achievement. The idea is not new. Such standards were put forward by Congress over a decade ago. However, questions remain regarding which quality indicators can be feasibly monitored and which are empirically related to achievement gains. Developing, implementing, and monitoring such a system would be challenging.

Community Voices: California Preschool Directors Speak on Policy Options

Bruce Fuller, Kathryn Gesicki, Thea Sweo, Sunyoung Jung. Policy Analysis for California Education. January 2007

PACE’s statewide survey of 439 directors of community preschools, those funded outside of school districts, inquired about basic facts and their perceptions of long-term issues. Preschool access and quality remain unfairly distributed among California’s diverse communities. Persisting questions examined include how to grow more plentiful and higher quality preschools, and how to ensure a robust balance between organizations run by schools or community organizations.

District Dollars: Painting a Picture of Revenues and Expenditures in California’s School Districts

Susanna Loeb. Policy Analysis for California Education. December 2006

PACE Co-Director Susanna Loeb has published a report analyzing the revenues and expenditures of California schools districts. The report, entitled “District Dollars: Painting a Picture of Revenues and Expenditures in California’s School Districts” was co-authored by Jason Grissom and Katharine Strunk. It was released in March 2007, along with the other “Getting Down to Facts” studies. In their report the authors examine spending and revenues across districts and across time, and compare the patterns that they observe in California to patterns in other states.

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