Publications

  • 12th Grade Course-taking and the Distribution of Opportunity for College Readiness in Mathematics

    Minahil Asim, Michal Kurlaender, Sherrie Reed. Policy Analysis for California Education. August 2019

    In this report we explore the patterns in mathematics course-taking among California public high school seniors. We describe what courses students are enrolled in and how course participation varies by key student characteristics, such as race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and performance level on the state’s 11th grade assessments. We also explore course-taking patterns for students eligible for California’s public four-year colleges—California State University (CSU) and the University of California (UC), and for applicants and admitted students at the CSU and UC.

  • Improving College Readiness: A Research Summary and Implications for Practice

    Michal Kurlaender, Sherrie Reed, Alexandria Hurtt. Policy Analysis for California Education. August 2019

    Given the importance of a college degree for both individual and societal economic prosperity, policymakers and educators are focused on strengthening the path to college beyond college entry. In this report, we synthesize the existing literature on four factors key to educational attainment—aspirations and beliefs, academic preparation, knowledge and information, and fortitude and resilience—and the implications of each.

  • Approaches to Reducing Chronic Absenteeism

    Mary Perry, Michael A. Gottfried, Kiarah Young, Cecelia Colchico, Kathy Lee, Hedy Chang. Policy Analysis for California Education. July 2019

    Acknowledging the importance of students simply being in school, California has made student attendance part of its accountability system. This brief covers a session in which it was pointed out that using chronic absenteeism as an accountability measure is new and its underlying causes are not well understood. Even as many schools face the expectation that they take action to address high rates of absenteeism, myths about school attendance persist.

  • Making Early Education a Priority: Evidence from the 2019 PACE/USC Rossier Voter Poll

    David N. Plank, Deborah J. Stipek. Policy Analysis for California Education. June 2019

    Governor Gavin Newsom campaigned on a “cradle to career” education strategy that identified childcare and early education as key priorities. The Governor’s 2019 Budget Proposal follows through with the inclusion of several initiatives aimed at increasing support for children five and younger.

  • College Affordability in Every Corner of California: Perspectives from the 2019 PACE/USC Rossier Poll

    Cecilia Rios-Aguilar, Michal Kurlaender, Austin Lyke, Teresita Martinez. Policy Analysis for California Education. June 2019

    California voters ranked college affordability as the second most important education policy issue in the 2019 PACE/USC Rossier poll, a concern reflected in Governor Gavin Newsom’s first budget proposal and in a number of bills currently progressing through the state legislature. Though desire for making college affordable is high among the average voter, California’s geographic and socio-economic diversity demand that lawmakers consider local contexts when designing and implementing new reforms.

  • Supporting Continuous Improvement at Scale

    Kathryn Baron, Christine Roberts, Sujie Shin, Yee Yang. Policy Analysis for California Education. June 2019

    Continuous improvement is a holistic and research-based approach to education grounded in the belief that every system is designed to achieve the results it gets; therefore, change must be systemwide, not piecemeal. California is a national leader in the continuous improvement movement that is spreading throughout local school districts as well as state and county offices of education. At its annual conference in February 2019, PACE convened a panel of California educators working on the cutting edge of continuous improvement. In this brief, they share their stories and lessons learned.

  • Quality Teaching and Learning in Pre-K Classrooms: What It Takes

    Kathryn Baron, Deborah J. Stipek, Beth Meloy, Anna Arambula, Vickie Ramos Harris, Lisa Guernsey. Policy Analysis for California Education. June 2019

    Access to affordable preschool programs is a crucial issue for improving kindergarten readiness for 3- to 5-year-olds, but research shows that the quality of teaching and learning in those programs is just as essential. Across the country, states are boosting preschool policy standards and strengthening educational requirements for preschool teachers. California has not been at the forefront of this effort. But newly elected Governor Gavin Newsom is making preschool quality a signature issue of his administration.

  • Empowering the Intersegmental Agenda: Opportunities for Research, Policy, and Practice

    Sherrie Reed, Cecilia Rios-Aguilar, Elisha Smith Arrillaga, Joel Vargas, Michal Kurlaender. Policy Analysis for California Education. June 2019

    Due to fragmented and misaligned segments of public education, many students lack access to educational opportunities that will ensure their success in college and career. This problem is one that may only be solved through better alignment and coordination between high school and college, between systems of higher education, and between education and economic development sectors.

  • Developing a Comprehensive Data System to Further Continuous Improvement in California

    Julia E. Koppich, Evan White, Simon Kim, Marcy Lauck, Noah Bookman, Andrea Venezia. Policy Analysis for California Education. May 2019

    Governor Gavin Newsom’s budget proposal for 2019–2020 includes $10 million to develop a statewide longitudinal data system—including early education, K–12, and higher education institutions as well as health and human services agencies— to better track student outcomes and improve alignment of the education system to workforce needs.

  • The Properties of Non-Academic School Performance Measures

    Rachel S. White, Morgan S. Polikoff. Policy Analysis for California Education. May 2019

    Although there is a robust body of literature studying targets for academic indicators within school quality systems few studies explore target setting for non-academic indicators. Focusing on elementary schools within the CORE districts, we investigate how moving performance targets for non-academic indicators affects school quality ratings.

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