Conditions of Education in California

Tuesday, June 9, 2015 - 10:51am

School health centers (SHCs) are well situated to support students who are bullied and victimized at school, because they provide crisis intervention, mental health care, and broader interventions to improve school climate. Recent research examined the association between urban adolescents’ experiences of school-based bullying and victimization and their use of SHCs. Findings suggest that SHCs may be an important place to address bullying and victimization at school, but confidentiality concerns are barriers that may be more common among bullied and victimized youth.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - 9:41am

Postsecondary readiness has become a centerpiece of major education policy initiatives, but few systems are available to track students’ progress toward this goal, and even fewer focus on anything beyond academic achievement. To address this gap we developed a college-readiness index for middle school students. Given its predictive power and its focus on affective traits like motivation and behavior, the index may help educators intervene early and appropriately to keep students on track.

Monday, May 25, 2015 - 10:23am

Military-connected adolescents tend to experience unique stressors that, in conjunction with normative adolescent stressors, may contribute to higher suicide risk. Findings from a recent study of California youth emphasize the need to address suicidality among military-connected adolescents and their families.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015 - 8:16am

Increased learning time in literacy instruction is a strategy that has been deployed broadly to support struggling leaders, but little work has explored whether the same approach can boost average readers. Recent research finds that additional literacy coursework in middle school for readers of average ability produced counter-intuitive impacts that differed by race, with Black students faring less well on subsequent measures of literacy.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 1:10pm

High rates of absenteeism limits the potential of California’s children and costs school districts and the state billions of dollars each year. Research into the drivers of chronic absenteeism have generally been limited to documenting the presence of individual and family factors. New research looks instead at whether going to center-based care in prekindergarten might be linked to chronic absenteeism once in kindergarten.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015 - 8:57am

Although researchers have analyzed the impact of financial incentives on teacher behaviors and work conditions, few studies have looked inside schools to examine how current teachers interpret their rewards, to gauge how payouts affect their willingness to participate in these programs, and to explain the conflicting evidence about the effects of incentives. In recent research focused on teachers’ views of these pay incentives, findings identify design considerations that may affect the potential of educator incentive programs to operate as intended.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - 8:46am

Voluntary gaps in college tenure, be they for professional reasons or otherwise, are common occurrences in the United States. Existing studies of voluntary academic leave (taking a “gap year” or “gap semester”) have focused on causes, while studies of collegiate internships have focused on labor market effects. We estimate the impacts of these two occurrences on returning academic and other collegiate outcomes.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - 9:31am

Many new teacher evaluation systems include measures of both student growth and teacher classroom observations. Although much of the policy attention focuses on student growth or value-added measures, interview and survey data from 6 urban school districts suggests principals rely less on test scores than classroom observations in their human capital decision making. In particular, the consistency, transparency, and specificity of observation data seem to provide benefits for principals seeking to use these data to inform decisions around teacher hiring, assignment, professional development, and dismissal.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 11:11am

Research has long shown that healthy children are better learners and that school programming targeting students' health can encourage long-term wellness and promote academic success. To this end, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention promotes their Coordinated School Health (CSH) model as a strategy for improving student health and capacity for learning, with a district-level wellness coordinator at the center. New research provides the first evidence indicating that when district-level wellness coordinators become involved in school health, there can be increased integration of wellness programs within and across schools, reaching more students equitably and leveraging existing resources.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015 - 8:24am

Recent research finds that having peers who are Limited English Proficient (LEP) is associated with lower achievement in middle school, particularly for non-LEP students. The overall language mix of LEP students has little if any discernable relationship with achievement. For LEP students, having more LEP peers speak their mother tongue is positively associated with reading achievement and negatively associated with mathematics achievement.


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