About PACE


Improving education policy and practice and advancing equity through evidence.

PACE is an independent, non-partisan research center led by faculty directors at Stanford University, the University of Southern California, the University of California Davis, the University of California Los Angeles, and the University of California Berkeley. PACE bridges the gap between research, policy, and practice, working with scholars from California’s leading universities and with state and local decision-makers to achieve improvement in performance and more equitable outcomes at all levels of California’s education system, from early childhood to postsecondary education and training. We do this through:

bringing evidence to bear on the most critical issues facing our state;

making research evidence accessible; and

leveraging partnership and collaboration to drive system improvement.

Our Focus Areas

Over the past 10 years, California has made significant changes to its educational systems, including adopting new academic standards, transforming its approaches to funding and accountability, and shifting toward a more decentralized system of governance and finance. In September of 2018, Getting Down to Facts II took stock of how California’s education system is performing and what improvements are still needed, and found that California’s education system is moving in the right direction, but the state still needs to make major investments in public education to achieve success for all students. To this end, PACE is focused on building evidence and knowledge in key areas, to advance a vision for California in which:

  • Education is equitably and adequately funded, and leaders engage in efficient, effective, and transparent spending practices.
  • People and organizations have the skills and resources to continuously improve.
  • All students in California, particularly those who are historically underserved, have the opportunities and supports they need to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally, and in college, career, and life.

Our goal is to produce research within all levels of California’s education system, with a particular focus on alignment in systems. We focus on the following topics:

PACE Topics

What We Do

Research products

The cornerstone of PACE’s work is the development of research products that inform policy and practice in California. These products take the form of written materials (reports, briefs), as well as easy-to-consume derivative products that reach a broader audience (infographics, videos, commentaries). PACE products are developed to provide evidence for policy and practice in California. They are based on original research and analysis, the consolidation or translation of existing research, and/or documentation of best practices, all created by PACE’s network of diverse, prominent scholars.

Partnership & collaboration

PACE works with decision-makers to ensure that evidence is understood and utilized in every phase of policy development and implementation. In our partnerships, our aim is simultaneously to support our partners in continuous improvement and to share lessons more broadly to support better policy and practice statewide. PACE plays a critical role bringing together diverse stakeholders, providing opportunities for policymakers, researchers, practitioners, and advocates to work together on timely and high-leverage issues for education in California.

Communications & outreach

PACE’s goal is for education leaders across the state to use evidence in decision making. This starts with producing research that addresses their needs, followed by a comprehensive and multifaceted communications and outreach strategy. PACE regularly provides expert testimony on educational issues before committees
of the State Legislature and other policy audiences. PACE convenes seminars, conferences, and briefings for audiences throughout California, and engages in targeted outreach with key decision-makers and associations statewide.

We engage decision-makers at all levels of the system (e.g., school districts, counties, regions, state agencies and professional associations), through direct contact, membership associations, and coordinating bodies. To this end, our communications and outreach plan is multifaceted to provide both depth and breadth of engagement:

Communications and Outreach Plan