College affordability was ranked as the second most important education policy issue in the 2019 PACE/USC Rossier poll. Governor Newsom’s budget proposal and several bills in the state legislature reflect this concern. The diverse geography and socioeconomic status in CA demand local context consideration for designing effective reforms. Variation in concern over college costs is discussed by county and income and racial/ethnic groups. Proper evaluation and implementation of college promise programs and equity initiatives are suggested as fruitful avenues for addressing college affordability.
Public education in California shows progress, yet challenges remain in providing equal opportunities for all students. Poverty rates persist, and schools are highly segregated by race, ethnicity, family income, and language. While student outcomes are improving, significant achievement gaps exist, and California students perform worse than their peers in other states. Career technical education programs provide opportunities for diverse students, but there are gaps in tracking students' educational trajectories.
California needs a longitudinal data system to improve student outcomes. Meanwhile, regional partnerships between education institutions and community organizations are using data to improve outcomes. A guide was created to help leaders with data sharing and use, and presents the components of effective regional efforts around data sharing and use, with tools to dive deeper into specific factors within each component. The guide aims to serve as a framework, tool for reflection, and networking resource for intersegmental leaders.
The Early Assessment Program (EAP) is a national model for increasing the number of students who are prepared for college and careers upon graduating high school. It has been recognized by two national consortia as the model for designing new high school assessments aligned with Common Core State Standards. The report highlights the EAP's key features and potential to strengthen coherence and alignment in California's educational system, reviews research on its impact on student success, and suggests modifications to increase its value to students and educators.