August 8, 2022 | The Mercury News

California kids experienced the second-largest increase in depression and anxiety among U.S. states from 2016 to 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic ushered in lockdown orders and school closures, a national child welfare advocacy group reported Monday. The Annie E. Casey...

August 4, 2022 | Times Higher Education

With university set to become a near-universal expectation for high-school graduates, the separate silos in which K12 and higher education have traditionally operated are increasingly being seen as barriers to equity. But what, realistically, can universities do to bridge the...

Supporting Principals

Commentary authors
Tomika Romant

School principals faced an uphill battle during the pandemic, juggling the shift to virtual learning, navigating COVID-related challenges, and grappling with staff shortages upon returning to in-person classes. Many are now contemplating leaving their positions due to overwhelming stress and inadequate support. The focus isn't just on getting through the pandemic but on understanding how to effectively support principals for better teaching and learning quality. Conversations and research highlight three vital aspects: schools need robust external support networks to address diverse student and staff needs beyond campus; principals must be enabled to concentrate on teaching instead of administrative COVID-related tasks; and fostering collaboration among principals through peer-to-peer learning networks provides essential knowledge and support. Moving forward, California's investment in education presents an opportunity to alleviate the burden on principals, but it's crucial to establish continuous learning structures and support systems to maximize these resources. Policymakers should prioritize supporting principals to ensure their roles remain challenging yet manageable, ultimately benefitting students and their overall academic experience.

June 21, 2022 | Early Learning Nation

Throughout the COVID-19 epidemic, children throughout the world have had limited (or no) access to consistent, structured teaching. From early in the pandemic, researchers and early learning specialists sounded the alarm over the probability of significant losses in reading and...

June 3, 2022 | Cal Matters

During the pandemic, public education became a highly contentious arena for vitriol around masking, vaccines and reopening schools. But those tensions did not culminate in a heated election for California’s top schools chief. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond...

The Importance of Formative Evaluation in California’s Universal Pre–K Rollout

Commentary authors
Anna J. Markowitz
Jade V. Marcus Jenkins

California’s plan to expand Transitional Kindergarten (TK) into a universal pre-K program for all four-year-olds is a significant investment in children and families. To ensure its success, the state should learn from research on other state pre-K programs and invest in a research infrastructure for formative evaluation. Evidence from various states, including California's TK program, highlights the benefits of quality pre-K, but challenges in implementation exist. A crucial study on Tennessee’s Statewide Voluntary Pre-K (TN-VPK) showed mixed outcomes, revealing the complexities of scaling such programs. The TN-VPK study faced limitations in data collection, making it challenging to link classroom features to children’s outcomes. California must fund a research system for ongoing data collection at the child, classroom, and school level to evaluate the implementation of its universal pre-K program. This infrastructure should focus on structural classroom features, classroom interactions, children’s experiences, and details about where children spend their non-school hours. Such an approach allows for continuous improvement and learning from both successes and challenges encountered during implementation. This investment will be crucial for California's universal pre-K program to create a high-quality educational system for its children.

May 19, 2022 | Daily Breeze

To the delight of the California School Boards Association, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s latest budget proposal has adopted what the CSBA calls “COVID attendance relief.” Newsom’s proposal would allow local educational agencies to be funded based either on their current-year average...

May 9, 2022 | The 74

A recent review of school guidance and communications from the Centers on Disease Control and Prevention argues that the federal agency failed often in its goal of providing timely, actionable information to states and districts around COVID-19 safety protocols. As...