Publications

  • Chronic Absence in California: What New Dashboard Data Reveals About School Performance

    Kevin Gee, Christopher Kim. Policy Analysis for California Education. February 2019

    In this policy brief, we describe the chronic absence performance levels of California’s districts, schools, and student groups using newly released data from California’s School Dashboard. We also examine the role that chronic absence plays in determining differentiated assistance. For schools with very high chronic absence rates (above 20 percent), nearly two thirds reported increases while about a third reported declines from the previous year.

  • Engaging District, School, and Teacher Leaders in Improvement

    H. Alix Gallagher, Angela Gong, Heather Hough, Kate E. Kennedy, Taylor N. Allbright, Eupha Jeanne Daramola. Policy Analysis for California Education. January 2019

    California’s shift towards continuous improvement in education makes understanding how districts and schools can learn to improve a more pressing question than ever. The CORE Improvement Community (CIC), a network of California school districts engaged in learning about improvement together, is an important testing ground to learn about what this work entails. 

  • Principals’ Perceptions: Implementing The Local Control Funding Formula

    Julia E. Koppich. January 2019

    In fall 2018, the Local Control Funding Formula Research Collaborative (LCFFRC) conducted surveys of stratified random samples of California superintendents and principals. Superintendent results were published in June 2018 in Superintendents Speak: Implementing the Local Control Funding Formula. This report, Principals’ Perceptions: Implementing the Local Control Funding Formula, is the companion account of principal survey results.

  • 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.

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