PACE in the News

  • Los Angles Times

    Half a century ago, the University of California helped catapult the SAT to a place of national prominence in the college admissions process when it began requiring all applicants to take the test and report their score. Now the UC system, by its sheer size and influence as the nation’s premier public research university, is again poised to play an outsize role in the future of standardized testing in America as its leaders consider whether to drop both the SAT and ACT as an admissions requirement.

  • EdSource

    Nearly 400 California school districts spend at least 50 percent less per student than required to provide an adequate education, according to a new interactive data tool published by EdSource. The news site developed the funding scale from a study conducted by the American Institutes for Research for Getting Down to Facts II, a comprehensive research project of PACE and Stanford University. The average shortfall for all districts is 38 percent, or $25.6 billion, in the 2016-17 school year.

  • Edsource

    Researchers don’t often see a quick policy impact from their work, but it happened for Jeffrey Vincent and Eric Brunner, coauthors of a PACE and Stanford University Getting Down to Facts II report, notes reporter John Fensterwald of EdSource.

  • Edsource

    Jeffrey Vincent, co-author of a report on school construction financing for Getting Down to Facts II, a PACE and Stanford University research project, told EdSource that the new funding formula for a $15 billion school facilities bond slated for the March 2020 ballot is a “much-needed first step” toward giving low-property wealth districts a fair share of the money, but doesn’t go far enough. State legislators and Gov. Gavin Newsom reached an 11th hour deal that would give small and low-wealth districts a larger share of the funds.

  • Los Angles Times

    Critics worry that a California State University proposal to increase admission requirements from three years of high school math to four years could make it harder for African American, Latinx, and low-income students to get into CSU, writes the Los Angeles Times. Michal Kurlaender, a UC Davis education professor and co-author of a PACE report on 12th grade math course-taking, told the newspaper that the plan could have unintentional consequences. While students enrolled in 12th grade math generally have higher college graduation rates, said Kurlaender, many schools serving low-income and underrepresented students don’t offer the courses.

  • Edsource

    With a Sept. 13 deadline looming to place a school facilities bond on the March 2020 ballot, EdSource reports that state legislators, the governor, and state finance officials are still negotiating how much money to include, whether it will cover only K-12 schools or include community colleges, and how the money will be distributed. Critics contend that the current funding formula favors wealthier districts. EdSource cites a report prepared for Getting Down to Facts II, a PACE and Stanford University research project, which found inequities in school construction funding based on districts’ property values.

  • Edsource

    A Los Angeles Unified School District plan to rank its schools on a 1-to-5 scale is getting pushback from some school board members who argue that school performance can’t be quantified by a single number, according to an article in EdSource. The article cites a 2019 voter poll of California’s revised School Dashboard, conducted by PACE and the USC Rossier School of Education. It found that Californians prefer the Dashboard’s system of using multiple measures to assess schools.

  • Edsource

    About 75 percent of all California high school seniors enrolled in a math class in 2016, 2017 and 2018, but only 47 percent of those students were enrolled in advanced math courses above Algebra 2, a study from Policy Analysis for California Education shows. White, Asian and high-income students were much more likely to take advanced math in their senior year, compared with African American, Latino and low-income students.

  • The Fillmore Gazette

    The Fillmore Unified School District is calling on state lawmakers to increase California public school funding to at least the national average by next year, and equal to or higher than the top 10 states in per pupil funding by 2025. The Fillmore Gazette reports that the school board of the Ventura County district unanimously approved the resolution, which refers to the series of financial reports in Getting Down to Facts II to support its claim that “California’s investment in public schools is out of alignment with its wealth.”

  • The Willits News

    School accountability is a fact of life, but the pressure to improve student achievement and school culture often leads to a quick succession of reforms that don’t last. Continuous improvement, a data-driven, systemwide strategy (getting a huge influx of funding from the Gates Foundation), shows strong results when done properly, writes Michelle Hutchins, Mendocino County Superintendent of Schools in The Willits News. Hutchins says two PACE reports, prepared for Getting Down to Facts II, provide “some fundamental steps California school districts need to take if we are to affect long-term change.”

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