Heather J. Hough

Heather J. Hough
Executive Director,
Policy Analysis for California Education, Stanford University

Heather Hough is the executive director of PACE. Her research and analytic approach explores how a wide range of data on student outcomes—including academic, health and well-being, and experiential—can inform our collective understanding of student success, teacher and system performance, and the efficacy of programs and policies. She is committed to strengthening the impact of research on local- and state-level policymaking and implementation, with a particular focus on policy coherence, system alignment, and continuous improvement. Hough has worked in a variety of capacities to support policy and practice in education, including as the founding director of the research partnership between PACE and the CORE Districts; as an improvement advisor at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; and as a researcher at the Public Policy Institute of California, the Center for Education Policy Analysis at Stanford University, and the Center for Education Policy at SRI International. She has served on many statewide committees and work groups, and is currently a member of the advisory board for the Cradle-to-Career Data System. Hough received her BA in public policy and her PhD in education policy from Stanford University.

updated 2022

Publications by Heather J. Hough
Seven Key Facts
Students are considered chronically absent when they miss 10 percent or more of school for any reason. Left unaddressed, chronic absence can translate into students having difficulty learning to read by Grade 3, reaching grade-level standards in…
In October 2023, the California Department of Education released test scores for all students in Grades 3–8 and 11 for the 2022–23 school year. These results represent an opportunity to analyze whether and to what extent student learning has…
Early Insights from a CCEE School-Improvement Pilot
Student achievement in California has not rebounded after the precipitous declines of the COVID-19 pandemic, with English language arts (ELA) and math scores remaining well below prepandemic levels. Student attendance has declined dramatically, and…
The 2022 PACE/USC Rossier Poll
The 2021–22 academic year was profoundly challenging for California schools. Eight critical issues emerged as serious threats to student learning, the operation of schools, and even  the very institution of public education: (1) gun violence, (…