Published
Summary
Although all students change schools when they are promoted from one school level to another, some students also move from one school to another for reasons other than promotion. The practice of students making non-promotional school changes is referred to as student mobility. Past research has documented that student mobility is widespread in the United States and often detrimental to the educational achievement of students. Yet little of this research has focused on the secondary level or examined mobility from the school perspective. This study examined three important aspects of student...
Published
Summary
Although all students change schools when they are promoted from one school level to another, some students also move from one school to another for reasons other than promotion. The practice of students making non-promotional school changes is referred to as student mobility. Past research has documented that student mobility is widespread in the United States and often detrimental to the educational achievement of students. Yet little of this research has focused on the secondary level or examined mobility from the school perspective. This study examined three important aspects of student...
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Summary
Spring 1999 PACE Newsletter, Volume 2, Number 1.
Abundant Hopes, Scarce Evidence of Results: Executive Summary
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Summary
It’s difficult to find anyone who is happy with public education. From your neighbor to our political leaders, everyone is eager to reform the schools. Polls show that even if we are satisfied with our elementary school down the street, we are distressed about the quality of public education overall. This is where the consensus begins and ends. Contention arises immediately over the next question: What’s the best strategy for improving the public schools? What policies and long-term institutional changes can be implemented that will steadily boost children’s learning? This PACE report focuses...
Part II
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Summary
Recently, we published Child Care Indicators, 1998: Part I. The present report represents Part II of this same series—aimed at providing local and state-level policy makers more complete data on the current capacity of the childcare system, as well as indicators of where growth in family demand may be observed in the coming years. Part II provides three new sets of information. First, it adds county-level aggregates for all zip code indicators reported in the Part I volume. Raw counts, such as the number of child slots inside preschools and centers, simply represent total counts for each...
Abundant Hopes, Scarce Evidence of Results
Published
Summary
It's difficult to find anyone who is happy with public education. From your neighbor to our political leaders, everyone is eager to reform the schools. Polls show that even if we are satisfied with our elementary school down the street, we are distressed about the quality of public education overall. This is where the consensus begins and ends. Contention arises immediately over the next question: What's the best strategy for improving the public schools? What policies and long-term institutional changes can be implemented that will steadily boost children's learning? This PACE report focuses...
A Reappraisal
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Summary
Two stylized facts dominate current educational policy thinking in the U.S. The first is that public schools are ineffective. The second is that they are ineffective because they are not accountable for producing high academic achievement. At one extreme, these stylized facts are interpreted to mean that public education cannot be made more efficient. According to this view, the public sector is structurally incapable of delivering high quality educational services to the diverse student populations in schools. It is too bureaucratic, too unionized, and a monopoly. Improving schooling requires...
Part I–Preliminary Figures
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Summary
California's childcare system has long been comprised of a vast and vibrant collec­tion of service providers, community organizations, and activists. Decentralization and diversity represent rich strengths within the childcare community. But this decentralized history also has resulted in limited planning capacity in Sacramento and a paucity of sound data on the supply of, and the rise in family demand for, childcare. Never has the need been greater for solid data on the supply of and demand for childcare—indicators that are useful to local and state-level planners and policymakers. Parents'...
How Do Local Interests and Resources Shape Pedagogical Practices?
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Summary
This reports argues that much of what actually occurs in bilingual education depends on the discourse and resulting policies at the school district level, and that is one reason why the construction of "bilingual education" varies so greatly and can be seen so positively or so negatively by the very clientele it is supposed to serve. Not surprisingly, within each school district the very definition of second language education centers on interpretations of bow to deliver it—specifically on whether and how to recruit bilingual teachers and whether to implement curricula that are at all oriented...
A Study of Eight States and the District of Columbia
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Summary
This report provides findings from a study titled "How Are School Districts Responding to Charter Laws and Charter Schools?" This research aimed to identify: (1) the impact of charter schools on school districts; (2) the ways school districts had responded; and whether districts had experienced systemic change as a result of charter laws and the opening of charter schools. The study was conducted in 1997, six years into the nation's experiment with charter schools. It focused on eight states and the District of Columbia and included case studies of 25 school districts affected by charter...
Implications for Equity, Practice, and Implementation
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Summary
In July 1996, California embarked on its largest ever education reform: a nearly $1 billion class size reduction effort to improve literacy in the primary grades. Now in its second year, the Class Size Reduction (CSR) initiative provides $800 (up from $650 the first year) per student to schools that reduce class size to 20 students or fewer in first grade, second grade, and then third grade and/or kindergarten. The impetus for CSR came from several factors. A revived state economy created a revenue windfall. Under Proposition 98, a minimum amount of this surplus must be allocated to education...
How Do Parents Adjust to Scarce Options in Santa Clara County?
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Summary
In winter 1998, the PACE research center began a phone survey of low-income and blue-collar parents. Most were mothers who had signed up on one of three child­care waiting lists maintained by different agencies within Santa Clara County. This survey was conducted at the request of the county's Social Services Agency (SSA). PACE's immediate aim was to help the agency simplify and streamline the fragmented process by which parents attempt to find childcare. This mandate is contained within the state's welfare reform legislation that was approved by the legislature and governor in 1997. In...
Uneven Faith in Teachers, School Boards, and the State as Designers of Change
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Summary
Cantankerous debates over the quality of public education—for nearly two centuries—have recurrently preoccupied parents, civic activists, and political leaders. Today the future of public schooling is the issue that most worries voters in California and nationwide, according to recent polls. In tum, political leaders and candidates have put forward a variety of school reform proposals. A new election season is underway. Politicians and civic activists are eagerly responding to the public's concern over how schools can be effectively improved. In February, PACE and the Field Institute completed...
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Summary
This volume presents the results of a survey of California adults conducted on behalf of PACE by The Field Institute. All interviewing was conducted in either English or Spanish by telephone, January 29–February 2, 1998, from The Field Institute's central-location, telephone-interviewing facilities in San Francisco. The survey was completed among a representative sample of 1,003 California adults. The sample for the survey was developed using random digit dialing methods, which give all adults with telephones (including those with listed and unlisted telephone numbers) an equal chance of being...
Variation by Geographic Location, Maternal Characteristics, and Family Structure
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Summary
More than half of all U.S. infants and toddlers spend at least 20 hours per week in the care of a nonparent adult. This article uses survival analysis to identify which families are most likely to place their child in care, and the ages when these choices are made. Using data from a national probability sample of 2,614 households, the median age at first placement is 33 months, but age varies by geographic region, mother's employment status during pregnancy, mother's education level, and family structure (one vs. two parents, mother's age at first birth, and number of siblings). Controlling...
California Families Face Gaps in Preschool and Child Care Availability
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Summary
This report details stark inequities in how preschool and childcare opportunities are distributed among four California counties, across communities situated within these counties, and among the state's 200 localities with the most families receiving welfare benefits. Despite spending $1.2 billion each year on preschool and childcare programs, no single state agency has been able to assess the overall supply of these programs or the distribution of supply. Over half of California's 3.3 million preschool-age children (age 0–5 years) live in households with a working mother. Half these...
Minority Pay Gap Widens Despite More Schooling, Higher Scores
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Summary
An earlier version of this paper was published by the Economic Policy Institute, Washington, D. C. African Americans and Latinos historically have fared poorly, relative to whites, in educational attain­ment (years of schooling), educational achievement (test scores), and average wages. One would ex­pect that, if education gaps between minority and white youth are narrowed, the wage gaps for these youth should narrow as well. If this turns out not to be the case, a political intervention (such as affir­mative action or other policies) in this imperfect market system may be justified. This...
A Challenge for the New PACE
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Summary
Fall 1997 PACE Newsletter Volume 1 Number 1
Standards and Assessments
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Summary
Paper prepared for presentation at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL, March 24, 1997 (revised April 1, 1997). This case study traces the evolution of California's curriculum-related reforms, especially those which have influenced mathematics and science, and examines such reforms within the larger framework of the state's shifting political and policy context. Central to this study is the question of what role the California Department of Education played in relation to other state agencies and actors in developing curriculum policies. Although...
A Synthesis of Evaluations
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Summary
This report by PACE was commissioned by the University of California to inform deliberations of the Outreach Task Force on strategies to enhance university participation by students who are disadvantaged or from groups that have been historically underrepresented. The report reviews evaluations of current outreach programs, identifies effective practices, and makes recommendations for the improvement of programs and of the methods used to evaluate programs. The report presents an analysis of what has been learned about outreach programs in order to inform deliberations relative to the...
The Influence of Household Support, Ethnicity, and Parental Practices
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Summary
Accumulating evidence shows that young children benefit develop­mentally by participating in quality childcare centers and preschools. But we know little about which family characteristics and home practices influence parents' selection of a center-based program. This article reports on the influence of the family's social-structural attributes, ethnicity, and parental practices on the likelihood of selecting a center-based program, after taking into account economic characteristics. The odds that parents enroll their child in a center-based program are greatest when mothers are more highly...
1993–96
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Summary
Questions about the feasibility of and political support for new forms of pupil assessment have become major issues. With the California Learning Assessment System (CLAS), California became a pio­neer in these new forms of assessment. For a variety of reasons however, parents, con­servative religious groups, the California School Boards Association, the Califor­nia Teachers Association, and the governor all raised objections to the as­sessment during its 1993 implementation. As a result of this dissent, CLAS is now discontinued, but many questions re­main. Answers to them can shed light both...
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Summary
In 1975, California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. signed the Rodda Act into law. Formally known as the Education Employment Relations Act (later changed to the Public Employment Relations Act), this statute gave the state's public school teachers the right to bargain collectively and negotiate with their employer legally binding contracts governing the terms and conditions of their employment. Though the Rodda Act is on California's books, the law's provisions are not unique to this state. Laws in the 37 states that authorize collective bargaining for teachers are patterned on the federal...
Child Care and Development Services for Children and Families: Phase III Final Report, Part 2
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Summary
Phase III was designed to further analyze the preliminary recommendations and to utilize the assistance of childcare and development community to re­design childcare and development policy. Professional judgment and experience was sought from representatives from the three lead agencies and the childcare and development field. For six of the nine tasks included in the project, work groups were assembled to discuss new proposals and ideas for improving services within the state. Over 80 people spent thousands of hours contributing their experience and expertise to these efforts. Three...
Child Care and Development Services for Children and Families: Phase III Final Report, Part 1
Published
Summary

Phase III was designed to further analyze the preliminary recommendations and to utilize the assistance of childcare and development community to re­design childcare and development policy. Professional judgment and experience was sought from representatives from the three lead agencies and the childcare and development field. For six of the nine tasks included in the project, work groups were assembled to discuss new proposals and ideas for improving services within the state. Over 80 people spent thousands of hours contributing their experience and expertise to these efforts. Three...