Working paper

The Unequal Opportunity to Learn in California's Schools

Crafting Standards to Track Quality
Andrea Venezia
Julie Maxwell-Jolly
Research Professional


This paper, stemming from a PACE seminar, examines the idea of crafting opportunity to learn (OTL) standards—how the state might collect and analyze indicators of school quality that are predictive of student achievement. The idea is not new. Such standards were put forward by Congress over a decade ago. However, questions remain regarding which quality indicators can be feasibly monitored and which are empirically related to achievement gains. Developing, implementing, and monitoring such a system would be challenging. But, as the PACE seminar participants discussed, a well-designed OTL system would provide a tool in helping parents, the public, and policymakers know whether students are receiving the resources they need to succeed.

Suggested citationVenezia, A., & Maxwell-Jolly, J. (2007, February). The unequal opportunity to learn in California’s schools: Crafting standards to track quality [Working paper]. Policy Analysis for California Education.