Lessons Learned
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This policy brief, the author reviews the recent experience of the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) with the development and approval of Proposition A. Proposition A (also known as the Quality Teacher and Education Act, or QTEA) included a parcel tax mainly dedicated to increasing teachers’ salaries, along with a variety of measures introducing flexibility to the current salary schedule and strengthening accountability for teacher performance. Based on interviews with key stakeholders in the district, the author describes how the district and union worked together in SFUSD both to...
A Primer
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A new PACE Working Paper has been released in conjunction with our Learning About New Forms of Teacher Compensation Conference on March 30 and 31, 2009. Written by Julie Koppich and Jessica Rigby, this policy primer is designed to provide baseline information about new forms of teacher pay that are emerging around the country, to support the local conversations and negotiations that will lead to the development of innovative compensation systems. It identifies reasons why teacher compensation is high on local, state, and federal policy agendas, describes some of the new pay programs that have...
Moving Beyond the Stereotype
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In a new PACE Policy Brief, Katharine Strunk from the University of California-Davis analyzes the Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) negotiated between school districts and local teachers’ unions in 464 California school districts. She shows that CBAs vary widely across districts, which suggests that school boards and unions are taking advantage of the flexibility inherent in contract negotiations to develop creative solutions to specific local problems. She also shows that CBAs in school districts educating high-need students are the least likely to include provisions that depart from...
School Finance and Governance in California
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Getting Down to Facts is the largest independent investigation ever of how California governs and funds public education. It was commissioned at the request of a bipartisan group of California leaders, including the governor’s Advisory Committee on Educational Excellence, the president protem of the California Senate, the speaker of the California Assembly, the superintendent of public instruction, and the state secretary of education. The purpose of this unprecedented project was to describe California’s school finance and governance systems, identify aspects of those systems that hinder the...
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In this PACE Policy Brief, Julia E. Koppich puts forward a set of policy recommendations aimed at improving the quality of teaching in California’s schools. She argues that California can help to bring about sustained improvement in teaching and learning by experimenting with new policies in several areas, including professional development, evaluation, compensation, and the structure of teachers’ careers. Her policy brief includes descriptions of innovative programs in each of these areas that are now being implemented in school districts across the U.S. As Koppich notes, many of the changes...
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In a PACE document prepared for the Convening on California Education Policy on October 19, 2007, Julia E. Koppich and Amy Gerstein present a set of policy recommendations that address issues related to human capital and personnel in California’s education system. They offer nine specific recommendations under three main headings: Differentiated Roles and Compensation, Evaluation and Accountability, and Making Successful Practices Visible.
Collective Bargaining and Student Achievement
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Despite a statutorily narrow scope of bargaining, the scope of topics of union-management discussions has widened over the last 20 years, resulting in the birth of reform, or professional, unionism. But over the last half decade, professional unionism has waned. School management often refuses to see unions as partners; politicians fail to view unions as legitimately speaking for education change; and unions themselves are reluctant to assume added responsibility. This article advocates a change in labor law, requiring union and management to negotiate student achievement goals as a way of...
What Are Their Effects, and What Are Their Implications for School Finance?
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This work was conducted for the California school finance and governance project, Getting Down to Facts: A Research Project to Inform Solutions to California’s Education Problems. California and states across the nation are attempting to meet the challenge of staffing classrooms with high quality teachers. Each state has designed and implemented a web of policies targeted at teachers—from regulations on teacher education programs and certification to salary structures and recruitment and retention incentives. Despite the plethora of teacher policies, little is known about the variation in the...
Full Report
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As policymakers have struggled to make informed decisions about effective ways of strengthening the state’s teacher workforce, the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning’s Teaching and California’s Future initiative (TCF) has provided California policymakers with objective and timely data. The TCF initiative publishes a report each year that provides detailed data on the teacher workforce and labor market and describes teacher development policies, with a focus on how they impact teacher quality and teacher distribution.
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Californians and their leaders have been distracted for too long by a budget crisis and a special election. Our attention must return to the challenges facing our schools. What we really need now is a meaningful public discussion about quality teaching and the urgent need to expand California’s ranks of excellent teachers. We need to talk about how we attract our best and brightest to teaching, how we prepare them to be most effective, and how we support them and keep them teaching as professionals. We need to talk about making sure that California has the teaching force it needs for its 6.3...
A Survey of California Teachers’ Challenges, Experiences, and Professional Development Needs
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Listening to Teachers of English Language Learners is the product of collaboration among PACE, the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning (the Center), and the University of California Linguistic Minority Research Institute (UC LMRI). Founded in 1983 as a cooperative venture between the schools of education at UC Berkeley and Stanford University, PACE is an independent policy research center whose primary aim is to enrich education policy debates with sound analysis and hard evidence. From issues around pre-schooling and child development, to K–12 school finance, to higher education...
Implementation of Training and Retention Initiatives in the Bay Area
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Nationwide, public attention has increasingly focused on the need for a variety of early care and education arrangements to meet the changing needs of families. The demand for early care and education has grown for families from all socioeconomic sectors, intensifying as participants in welfare-to-work programs enter the workforce, and as work requirements for these programs become more stringent. In addition, research affirming the importance of children’s initial years for their later social and cognitive development has heightened public awareness of and concern for the quality of care...
California’s Teaching Force, 2004: Key Issues and Trends
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This report, which compiles secondary data from various state agencies and analyzes these data, consists of chapters on Teacher Supply and Demand, Teacher Preparation and Recruitment, and Teacher Induction and Professional Development. Key findings follow: The state’s teaching force is aging, and an impending bulge in teacher retirement is likely to create significant new demand for teachers. Our projections indicate that the gap between teacher supply and demand will peak in 2012-13 at around 52,000 teachers. Even including interns in the supply of teachers, the gap will still be 38,000...
Bay Area Childcare Retention Incentive Programs Evaluation: Year One Progress Report, 2001–02
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Nationally, more than half of children under the age of five are in nonparental care while their parents work. Research indicates that children benefit from being with well-trained, consistent early care and education (ECE) staff. Sensitive and responsive caregiving—characteristic of staff with a high level of training in child development—is associated with children’s positive cognitive, social, and emotional development. Staff retention is crucial, as frequent turnover impedes the formation of these positive, nurturing relationships and their benefits to children. However, there is evidence...
Summary Report
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This report was produced by the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning in consultation with our cosponsors—California State University, Office of the Chancellor; Policy Analysis for California Education; University of California, Office of the President; and WestEd. The report is based on research conducted by SRI International. California has gone through political upheaval, and now new leadership is facing enormous fiscal problems. There is a palpable public demand for more responsive government, and a cacophony of voices clamoring to be heard in a system where the rules of governing...
Which Families Use Subsidies and Home-Based or Center Care?
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Public spending on childcare and preschool has grown dramatically in recent years, rising nationwide from $6.8 to $14.3 billion between 1995 and 2000. In California, the childcare and early education budget has almost quadrupled, from $800 million in 1996 to $3.1 billion in the current fiscal year. Yet the share of low-income families who actually draw public child care support—for preschool or school-age programs—remains highly variable across states and communities. And little is known about the characteristics of families who are more likely to use child care subsidies, especially after...
Lessons for Early Education
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California previously embarked on a sizable experiment aimed at reducing the steady turnover of preschool teachers and allied childcare staff. The state’s taxpayers are now investing over $21 million annually in these county-run programs, offering salary supplements and incentives for professional development. These local experiments are blossoming largely in isolation from larger efforts in the public schools that also attempt to attract and retain a quality workforce. In just the past decade, nearly half of all states in the U.S. have mounted efforts to retain and boost the quality of...
The Early Impacts of Welfare Reform for California's Children, 1998–2000
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In 1996, the federal government passed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), which included the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. TANF altered the structure of the welfare system nationwide and prodded millions of welfare recipients into jobs or welfare-to-work activities. California’s reform program, the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids Act, known as CalWORKs, was enacted in 1997. The TANF and CalWORKs welfare reform initiatives included significant changes in the work support systems for parents...
Findings from the Child Care Providers Focus Groups
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As part of the CDSS-PACE Child Care Planning Project, PACE set out to learn how California’s childcare subsidy system and the CalWORKs program affects licensed and license-exempt childcare providers. PACE also wanted to understand the day-to-day issues facing providers as well as their opinions about the system within which they work. This report represents the findings from this study, and hopefully offers some insight into the lives and experiences of these crucial persons who care for the state’s young children. During the spring and summer of 1999, and again during summer 2000, PACE...
Lessons from San Francisco and Alameda Counties
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California’s public investment in early care and education programs has quadrupled since 1996, rising to almost $3.2 billion annually in the 2000 fiscal year. This sharp climb in political will to expand and improve the quality of childcare has several explanations. First, the steadily climbing employment rate for mothers with preschool-age children—rising from 15 percent in 1950 to over two-thirds in 1997 nationally—has sparked enormous demand for a variety of childcare providers and organizations. Second, federal and state governments, recognizing the potential influence of quality childcare...
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In January 2000, the California Children and Families Commission embarked on an effort aimed at expanding the availability and quality of early care and education programs available to families. The State Commission contracted with PACE to act as the lead agency for the initiative, which is focused on: recruiting and training early care and education providers where shortages exist; improving the professional preparation and in-service training of new center staff and family childcare providers to enhance their effectiveness in working with children; and implementing strategies designed to...
New Lessons for Los Angeles
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Reports abound on the shortage of quality childcare options for California families. Rising rates of employment among mothers with young children, initiatives to boost youngsters’ school readiness, and government’s recent push to move single mothers from welfare to work continue to spur family demand for organized childcare and preschool programs. New funding is moving down to county governments; California’s support for childcare expansion has quadrupled since 1996, rising to over $3 billion annually. In addition, parents spend billions in subsidies and private pay fees at centers, licensed...
New Education Policy Center's Goal Is to Be Information Resource for Policymakers and Michigan Educators
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For years, the Michigan State University College of Education made outreach to lawmakers and educational leaders a priority. But earlier this year, the college took an important step forward in its outreach efforts when it established the Education Policy Center at Michigan State University, a nonpartisan institution that has as its goal to provide those who make decisions about the state’s educational system with accurate and timely research-based information. It marks the college’s most ambitious and formalized effort to date in its long history of playing an important role in improving the...
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An old idea in economics, boosting purchasing power has become the novel device to expand working parents’ ability to buy child care. Rather than simply building more child-care facilities, policymakers have vastly expanded the availability of portable child-care vouchers. There’s no ambiguity over government’s interest in expanding early education and child-care programs. Since President Bush approved the first federal child-care program in 1990, outside of Head Start, federal funding has grown at a rapid clip, totaling $11 billion annually. In California, preschool and child- care funding...
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This report is the result of a study conducted for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services. With an expanding economy and increasing numbers of CalWORK's participants moving into the workforce, demand for childcare in Los Angeles County will increase. Yet, while earlier research pointed to a dearth of childcare, there is little data on where childcare is needed within Los Angeles County, as well as little information on specific types of care available like special needs care or care during non-traditional hours. In 1999, the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS)...