A Synthesis of Evaluations
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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...
Remembering the "Forgotten Half"
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In recent years, we have re­peatedly been forced to confront a troubling picture of declining knowledge and skills among the young people of the U.S., particularly those who do not attend college. These youths, who come increasingly from the poor and minority populations, were christened the "forgotten half" in the 1988 report released by the William T. Grant Foundation Commission on Work, Fami­ly, and Citizenship. The commission char­acterized the forgotten half as "the young people who build our homes, drive our buses, repair our automobiles, fix our tel­evisions, maintain and serve our...
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Allegations about the low performance of U.S. students compared to their counterparts in other nations repeatedly surface in the media. For example, in a recent sur­vey by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achieve­ment (IEA), the U.S. ranked 15th in science in a field of 17 nations. This low showing internationally is now accepted by policy makers and repeated as part of the conventional wisdom. Business lead­ers point with alarm to the declining skills of the labor force and proclaim that the U.S. economy will lose out to Asian and European competitors. There may...
Third-Year Results from Replications of the California Peninsula Academies
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This paper reports 1987–88 results from an evaluation of 11 academy programs in California high schools. Academies are schools within schools, combining academic and vocational courses in a program designed to reduce dropout rates. The evaluation used a matched comparison group for each cohort of academy students at each site. Results for in-school outcomes were generally positive. Focusing on one grade-level cohort for which graduation rates are available, the number of dropouts saved was estimated, along with the costs and economic benefits to society. The estimated net benefit from dropout...
Second-Year Results from Replications of the California Peninsula Academies
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This paper reports results from the first two years of an effort in 10 high schools to replicate the California Peninsula Academies. The Academy model combines the core academic curriculum with technical instruction in a particular occupational field. Local employers representing that field participate in various ways. The program is intended to improve the school performance of students who would otherwise be likely to drop out. Evidence presented here indicates that Academy students generally have compiled better grades and more course credits than students in comparison groups at the same...
Recent Changes and Prospective Trends
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California's increased high school graduation and college entrance requirements have changed course-taking patterns among California high school students. Enrollment has increased in all levels of math, science, and foreign language instruction. More students are enrolled in advanced placement classes. In addition, California's new state frameworks for math, science, and foreign language contain state-of-the-art instructional guidance for district curriculum leaders and teachers. These accomplishments reflect the goals of recent school reforms and address the belief that in order to be...
1986–87 Evaluation Report
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The School-to-Work and Academy Demonstration programs, funded under the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation's "Programs for Disadvantaged Youth," attempt to improve school retention and transitions to work for high school students in seven cities. This evaluation of the School-to-Work and Academy Demonstration programs entails both process and outcome components. The process component relies upon a case study description of each program, including a summary of its setting, design, management structure, and target group. Information for this segment of the evaluation derives from site visits, staff...
A By-Product of Reform
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Following the enactment of S.B. 813, the omnibus reform law of 1983, Michael Kirst of Stanford University and James Guthrie of the University of California, Berkeley, started the Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) Proj­ect. One of the goals of PACE was to provide policy makers with a "nonparti­san, objective, independent body" of information on public education. PACE also operates centers at the University of Southern California, headed by Allan Odden, and in Sacramento, headed by Gerald Hayward. Since it was estab­lished, PACE has published more than 20 papers and reports that...
California's Community Colleges in the Post-Proposition 13 Period
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The experience of California's community colleges in coping with the crisis created by the passage of Proposition 13 suggests critical elements necessary for recognizing problems and mitigating chaos. As Paul Valery so succinctly put it, "The problem with our times is that the future isn't what it used to be." There are many of us who would relish the notion of going back to simpler, less chaotic, more predictable futures. That is purely wishful thinking, particularly for those of us who toil in the community college vineyard. The future promises to be more, not less, complex. The major...
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Vocational education in California is experiencing increasing criticism and significant enrollment declines. Between 1982–83 and 1984–85, for example, industrial arts enrollment dropped 16 percent and home economics enrollment declined 21 percent. While associating declines in these courses with the increased academic offerings and requirements for high school graduation and college entrance that occurred simultaneously bears further study, vocational education enrollment began decreasing shortly after Proposition 13 in 1978, long before new academic standards were imposed. This substantial...
A Critical Linkage
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The adoption of new CSU admission requirements closely parallels other state-level action over the last few years, calling for a more coherent pattern of academic course work in California high schools. Cumulatively, these multiple forces have produced significant pressures on high schools to increase academic offerings and to meet the new standards. Although the proposed changes were generated from an array of sources, they are remarkably consistent and send a set of reasonably clear signals to schools. The pressure for change combined with a substantial influx of state dollars has resulted...
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This survey and analysis is part of a larger study, "A Study to Determine How to Organize and Expand Public School Programs to Reduce Dropout Rates for High Risk Students: Pregnant and Parenting Adolescents," undertaken by the California Senate Office of Research and funded in part by the National Conference of State Legislators and the United States Office of Educational Research and Improvement. The Senate Office of Research contracted with PACE to examine existing secondary sources, such as available records of the California State Department of Education and the California State Department...
Vocational Education in California Public Secondary Schools
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Eleventh and twelfth grade students in California comprehensive high school and Regional Occupational Centers/Programs (ROC/ROPs) collectively spend about one million hours a day on vocational education. This represents a large investment of student time and public money, yet vocational education has potential that far exceeds its present performance. California students spend more than twice as much time in high school vocational classes as in ROC/ROPs. Most vocational programs are offered in both places, though possibly at a more advanced level in ROC/ROPs. California students who took a...