Continuous school improvement & support

Continuous School Improvement and Support

California and the nation are at the crossroads of a major shift in school accountability policy. At the state level, California’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) process encourage the use of multiple measures of school performance used locally to support continuous improvement and strategic resource allocation. Similarly, the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) reinforces this local control, requiring more comprehensive assessment of school performance and a less prescriptive, local approach to school support.

Calls for “continuous improvement” in California’s K-12 education system are central to current discussions about school improvement in the state. Yet, definitions of continuous improvement vary, and knowledge of what continuous improvement looks like in practice is limited.

PACE research addresses the challenges of those working in this changing accountability landscape by providing descriptions of continuous improvement in diverse educational organizations and by identifying the supports and challenges necessary to take new improvement approaches to scale.

Recent Topic Publications
Weaving and Stacking: How School Districts Craft Coherence Towards Continuous Improvement
How School Districts Craft Coherence Towards Continuous Improvement
Using qualitative case study methods, we examine how educators describe continuous improvement and craft coherence for implementation. We find that educators attempted to build system-wide improvement capabilities, taking into consideration theories…
Assessing Voters’ and Parents’ Perspectives on Current Threats to Public Education: The 2022 PACE/USC Rossier Poll
The 2022 PACE/USC Rossier Poll
The 2021–22 academic year was profoundly challenging for California schools. Eight critical issues emerged as serious threats to student learning, the operation of schools, and even  the very institution of public education: (1) gun violence, (2)…
Generating Traction with Continuous Improvement
Lessons from Two Learning Networks
Continuous improvement has a prominent place in California’s approach to educational accountability. But while there are proof points that show the potential of continuous improvement, currently there is not evidence that continuous improvement…
From Policy to Plans: Supporting Students During COVID-19
Supporting Students During COVID-19
In the wake of COVID-19, the California legislature mandated that local educational agencies (LEAs) develop detailed Learning Continuity and Attendance Plans (LCPs) to address student learning and progress during the 2020–21 academic year. This…