PACE Event

The Future of Education in California

PACE Research and Policy Conference

With a new administration taking shape in Washington and elections on the horizon in California the moment is right to bring together researchers, policymakers and practitioners for an informed discussion about what the future holds for California’s education system, and what it will take to support continuous improvement in the performance of schools and students.

This year’s conference focuses on three main themes: funding adequacy, teacher quality, and inter-segmental alignment. Adoption of the Local Control Funding Formula shifted power and responsibility from Sacramento to County Offices of Education, school districts, and charter schools. Continuous improvement in the state’s education system consequently depends not just on crafting smart policy, but also on supporting and learning from innovative practice at the local level.

Our Policy/Research Conference will present recommendations for policy along with evidence-based ideas for improving practice in each of these three areas. With regard to funding adequacy, for example, we have scheduled a morning session to discuss the definition and measurement of adequacy along with finance policies that could help California move closer to adequate funding for our schools. We have also scheduled an afternoon session that introduces innovative budgeting practices that have been adopted in several California school districts. We have similarly scheduled two sessions on each of the other two themes, one of which will address state policy issues and the other of which will present information on local innovations that can support improved performance.

The conference will also feature three keynote sessions. In the first of these State Board of Education Mike Kirst will discuss the education policy changes that have been made under Governor Brown and the agenda for the remaining two years of the Brown administration. Chris Edley from the Opportunity Institute will present the keynote address, which will focus on how California can protect and advance the interests of all students in a national political and policy environment that has become far less sympathetic to equity concerns. In the concluding plenary session Mike Petrilli from the Fordham Institute and Mike Smith (formerly Deputy Secretary in the U.S. Department of Education, among many other things) will discuss the education policy changes that may be in store as the new administration takes

Introductory Remarks by David Plank

Michael Kirst on Accomplishments and Unfinished Business

Funding Adequacy for California’s Schools
Susanna Loeb, Vernon Billy, Bill Koski, Ana Matosantos, Rick Simpson

Quality Teachers for All Students
Julie Marsh, Cory Koedel, Katharine Strunk, Shannan Brown, Joan Bissell, Mary Vixie Sandy

Christopher Edley on Race, Equity and the Continuous Improvement of our Education System

Mike Petrilli on A New Regime in Washington: What Does It Mean for California’s Education System?

Promising Practices in School District Budgeting Under LCFF David Plank, Joe McKown, Arun Ramanathan, Stefanie Phillips, Myong Leigh

Improving College Access and Success: What Do We Know About Students, What Do We Know About Institutions? Research Evidence to Inform Policy Discussions Michal Kurlaender, Cecilia Rios-Aguilar, Kimberly Rodriguez, Monica Henestroza, Christian Osmeña, Joel Vargas