Policymakers in California have begun to look beyond the API and ask how to hold schools accountable based on a broader set of information about performance. One strategy for doing so is through a system of school inspections, a common accountability policy in many other countries. This seminar will discuss the benefits of school inspections and explore the main policy decisions for designing such a system, with a particular focus on England’s approach.
Our most recent seminars have been recorded and are available for streaming or download. Older seminars are also listed, although audio is not available prior to November 2008. Upcoming seminars can be found on the Seminars page.
As California implements the Common Core State Standards and discusses ways to better link K-12 and postsecondary education systems, it is critical to understand how well the state’s current postsecondary and career readiness standards relate to each other and to the Common Core. The panelists will discuss initial findings from a project focused on whether college and career readiness standards in the Health Sciences (entry-level in postsecondary, entry-level in the workforce, and exit-level in high school) require the same levels and types of knowledge and skills.
The Early Assessment Program (EAP) is an academic preparation program developed jointly by the California Department of Education (CDE), the State Board of Education, and the California State University (CSU).
Recent news headlines have drawn attention to budget cuts that districts pursue in response to the state’s revenue shortfalls. But policymakers and state agencies need to consider more than episodic revenue declines or relative rankings of districts. Instead, policymakers need to consider how state fiscal conditions are changing a given district’s performance over time. The state’s volatile tax base and centralization of school finance are associated with long-term unpredictability in state aid in California.
Since 2009 the Department of Education has allowed local school boards to reallocate $4.5 billion in previously regulated categorical aid, now folded into the Tier 3 ‘block grant’. The UC-RAND research team reported earlier on case studies of 10 districts’ response to flexibility. This second PACE seminar will feature the results of their statewide survey of district chief financial officers and their analysis of statewide expenditure data. To what extent were Tier 3 dollars swept into district general funds? Which programs were hit hardest as re-allocations occurred?
To improve the preparation of California high school students for postsecondary education and careers, in 2006 the James Irvine Foundation launched a major initiative to develop what is now called the Linked Learning approach. The Foundation asked PACE to inform this effort by gathering evidence on the cost of Linked Learning programs. This seminar presents the results.
Educational assessment policy must produce measures of performance that are fair and accurate for all students in order to convey clear and helpful information to educators, parents, and the students themselves. Achieving these objectives is especially challenging when it comes to the nation’s 5 million K-12 public school English learners (ELs). English learners are linguistic-minority students not sufficiently proficient in English to be able to benefit adequately from regular classroom instruction and demonstrate their knowledge and abilities using English.
The career technical education (CTE) mission of the California Community Colleges is a vital part of the agenda to increase college completion and shore up economic competitiveness; yet this area of college academic programming gets too little emphasis and support. There is growing evidence of high market value of certificate and associate degree programs in select areas. There is also evidence that career-oriented programs can increase student motivation and improve outcomes, helping to meet workforce, equity, and productivity goals for California postsecondary education. Yet the attention given to CTE has not matched that given to the junior college transfer mission or to developmental education.
At this event, Patricia Gándara and Gary Orfield, Co-Directors, The Civil Rights Project at UCLA and Kimberly King, Assistant Professor, California State University, Los Angeles, presented research findings on a series of reports designed to analyze the impact of fiscal cutbacks on opportunity for higher education in the California State University system (see article on the research series in Diverse Issues in Higher Education).
A panel of education researchers and policy experts convened in Washington DC on May 16 to explore the findings of a new report that makes the case for bold new student testing models that are fairer and more valid than their predecessors. The report, The Road Ahead for State Assessments, was released by the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy and Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE).