Despite progress on state accountability plans, the myriad of plans and the painstaking nature of their rollout make it difficult for those in the education policy world to paint a comprehensive picture of how states and district leaders are—or are not—holding schools accountable for how well they serve students.
PACE in the News
Another push to expand use of SAT in California amid criticism of test
SAT or not SAT? What’s the best way to assess California 11th graders’ readiness for college? In this EdSource article, journalist John Fensterwald describes the range of opinions on this important issue. Some families feel that the SAT “perpetuate the opportunity gap,” and resent families who can afford SAT coaching and test prep and, in the extreme, commit crimes to get children into prestigious colleges. Some District superintendents view a free and universal SAT as a great equalizer, vital to qualifying more low-income and minority students for college.
California school expenses for employee pensions on average doubled to about $1,000 per student over the past four years according to newly released state data. Those increases will continue to rise for two more years. The Legislature mandated the increases, partly to make up for the sharp decline in the value of the pension funds for school employees and other public workers during the Great Recession in 2008.
California lawmakers are feeling pressure to respond to a nationwide cheating scheme that cuts at the heart of higher education’s legitimacy. This pressure wasbest expressed as California Assembly Member Kevin McCarty asked the question that’s been reverberating since the story broke last week. “How do we reassure the public that the system is not totally rigged?”
State Policies to Advance English Learners’ Experiences and Outcomes in California’s Schools, one of 36 reports in Getting Down to Facts II, cited in EdSource article by Zaidee Stavely on new training resources supporting California preschool teachers to help bilingual children prepare for kindergarten.
Is the college admissions process about merit?
In a recent article from The Conversation, USC researchers Morgan Polikoff, Jerome Lucido, and Julie Renee Posselt, state that “merit” is more complicated than the public thinks. For universities, building a student body is not only about identifying the most academically accomplished students. Universities also rely on offices of admissions to protect their financial bottom lines and to project a certain image.
California Collaborative for Educational Excellence
PACE research is featured in a repository on chronic absenteeism created by the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE). The collaborative offers toolkits, materials and other resources.
Anthony Reardon, Speaker of the California Assembly
The California Assembly Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Childhood Education released its draft recommendations which quotes PACE’s Getting Down to Facts II report, Early Childhood Education in California.
USC Rossier School of Education
Getting Down to Facts II combines 36 studies that explore a broad swath of K–12 policy topics central to school equity. Among some of the report’s findings: Large accountability gaps persist; students are behind before they even enter kindergarten; data systems aren’t refined enough. And perhaps above all else: funding levels remain short of adequate.
In The 74, writer Kate Stringer reports on how the Long Beach Unified School District and other CORE Districts are tracking students’ growth in both academic and social-emotional skills. Long Beach Unified is part of the CORE-PACE Research Partnership, established in 2015 to focus on research that aims to deepen learning, while sharing lessons more broadly to accelerate improvement across the state.