Publications

  • Special Education in California Schools: The Challenges and Solutions from Multiple Perspectives

    Sherrie Reed. January 2019

    This PACE policy brief identifies needed additional policy action needed to increase equity and improve outcomes for students with disabilities that persist in many school districts. The brief also highlights the endeavors of several public school districts where district leaders, school administrators, and classroom teachers are finding ways to meet the needs of students with disabilities in the current policy context.

  • What is California’s High School Graduation Rate?

    Cameron Sublett, Russell Rumberger. Policy Analysis for California Education. December 2018

    This report examines high school graduation rates in California. It reviews the various approaches to calculating high school graduation rates, focusing on the challenges and limitations of the most widely used rate, the Four-Year Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate (ACGR).

  • Advancing Equity Through the Local Control Funding Formula: Promising Practices

    Julia E. Koppich. December 2018

    California’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) ushered in a new era for California education policy. Enacted in 2013, the LCFF shifted control of most education dollars from the state to local school districts, allowing them to determine how to allocate their resources to best meet the needs of the students in their community. The LCFF also made it a matter of state policy to shine a spotlight on educational inequities and try to give districts the wherewithal to level the playing field for students who too often are left behind.

  • Where California High School Students Attend College

    Michal Kurlaender, Sherrie Reed, Kramer Cohen, Matt Naven, Paco Martorell, Scott Carrell. December 2018

    This report, part of an ongoing collaboration between researchers at the University of California, Davis and the California Department of Education, alleviates some of the unknowns about students’ postsecondary trajectories and provides a foundation for future research on college and career readiness.

  • Fostering Pre-K to Elementary Alignment and Continuity in Mathematics in Urban School Districts: Challenges and Possibilities

    Cynthia Coburn, Elizabeth Friedmann, Kelly McMahon, Graciela Borsato, Abigail Stein, Natalie Jou, Seenae Chong, Rebekah LeMahieu, Megan Franke, Sonia Ibarra, Deborah J. Stipek. Policy Analysis for California Education. November 2018

    In recent years, California has invested in improving early childhood education programs. Research shows the importance of high-quality early childhood education, but the disconnect from K–12 education threatens its long-term benefits. If the early grades do not build on the gains made in preschool, they likely will be lost. This brief, based on a longer technical report , describes the challenges facing pre-K–3 alignment and offers promising practices and policy recommendations.

  • The Network Solution: How Rural District Networks Can Drive Continuous Improvement

    Thomas Timar, Allison Carter, Nicodemus Ford. Policy Analysis for California Education. October 2018

    Rural school districts face unique challenges in procuring funds, recruiting staff, and obtaining high-quality technical assistance. This environment creates problems in identifying high-quality instructional materials and implementing best practices. A collaborative learning network can address these challenges by providing access to professional development, collaborative time with peer districts, and economies of scale. This report discusses rural networks, specifically Pivot Learning’s Rural Professional Learning Network, can cost-effectively provide expertise and build a professional culture.

  • Towards a Common Vision of Continuous Improvement for California

    Alicia Grunow, Heather Hough, Sandra Park, Jason Willis, Kelsey Krausen. Getting Down to Facts II. September 2018

    Under emerging policy structures in California, the responsibility for school improvement is increasingly placed upon local school districts, with County Offices of Education (COEs) playing a critical support role. In this system, districts are responsible for school improvement, with counties in charge of ensuring quality across districts and providing feedback and support where necessary. Underlying this major policy shift is the idea that local leaders are in the best position to drive real educational improvement and ensure quality across multiple schools and contexts.

  • Using Data for Improvement: Learning from the CORE Data Collaborative

    Heather Hough, Erika Byun, Laura Steen Mulfinger. Getting Down to Facts II. September 2018

    Experts agree that effective data use is critical for continuous improvement. However, there is a lack of understanding statewide about how data use for continuous improvement, with its adaptive and iterative nature, differs from data use for other purposes. In this paper, the authors discuss what data are most useful to inform continuous improvement at all levels of the system and provide a case study of how the CORE data collaborative uses a multiple-measures approach to support decision-making.

  • Intersegmental Partnerships and Data Sharing: Promising Practices From the Field

    Sherrie Reed, Patrick Lee, Michal Kurlaender, Ambar Hernandez. Policy Analysis for California Education. July 2018

    Collaboration between K–12 public school districts and higher education, as well as between education institutions, workforce groups, and community organizations, has the potential to improve college and labor market outcomes for individual students and for local communities. However, improvement efforts demand the use of longitudinal data to define the problem, set goals, and monitor progress. California has been behind in building such a longitudinal data system—linked across pre-K through postsecondary sectors—to track individuals’ education and labor market outcomes.

  • Superintendents Speak: Implementing the Local Control Funding Formula

    Julie A. Marsh, Julia E. Koppich. Policy Analysis for California Education. June 2018

    This report, the next in a series by the Local Control Funding Formula Research Collaborative (LCFFRC) , presents survey responses from a statewide representative sample of California superintendents. The survey complements the LCFFRC’s four years of in-depth case study work examining the implementation of the LCFF and provides a broad picture of superintendents’ views of and experiences with the law. As with previous LCFF research, this survey is designed to help policymakers and others better understand ways in which the LCFF is affecting resource allocation and governance in California’s K-12 education system. Results also indicate areas in which changes may be needed.

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