1987–88 Evaluation Report
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This report presents findings from the third annual evaluation of the Partnership Academy Programs in California. These are high school-based, state-funded programs selected through a grants competition conducted by the state Department of Education. They are based on SB 605, passed during the 1987 legislative session. During the 1987–88 school year, there were twelve academies operating in the state: Two original Peninsula Academies, in the Sequoia Union High School District in Redwood City, begun in the fall of 1981; Eight replications begun in the fall of 1985, four of which are in the Bay...
Issues and Options for Early Childhood Programs
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The growing demand for compensatory education and for child care has generated a rash of federal legislation; many states have enacted new early childhood programs, most of them located within schooling systems, and many others are considering their options. This article examines the basic policy issues governments confront in early childhood education, including the content of programs, their financing, and the inevitable trade-off between cost and quality. The final section of the article outlines the available policy options. This article was originally published in the American Journal of...
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A comprehensive inventory of formal staff development activity and costs in 30 California districts yields a portrait of locally organized opportunities for teachers and reveals the policy stance taken by districts toward teachers and their professional development. Present patterns of resource allocation consolidate the districts' role as the dominant provider of teachers' professional development; other sources, including the university or the larger professional community of teachers, are less visible. Expenditures reflect a conception of professional development based almost exclusively on...
A Hypothetical Account and Research Review
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This monograph represents an attempt to consider the growing body of research on childcare quality in a new light. Over the past decade, early childhood educators and researchers have begun to identify a number of characteristics that most would argue are essential in providing quality out-of-home care for young children. Some researchers have focused on the relative salience of a particular aspect of care as an indicator of quality; important factors include adult-child ratio, group size, or caregiver training. Usually, the quality of adult-child social or verbal behavior is the measure...
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...
An Exploration of the Debate on School District Size
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Like a lady "of a certain age," school districts of a certain size have sometimes been considered to be, well, not the most desirable. The "wrong" size, for the last half century at least, has been size small. How small? That depended on the researcher: some felt that a thousand was big enough; some preferred ten thousand; and some never quite specified. But for a long time in America, the only good school districts were said to be large school districts. As with most educational issues, the pendulum is swinging back on the subject of district size. During the period from World War II to the...
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The changing conditions of children in California will necessitate significant increases in public expenditures. For example, the annual enrollment growth in schools alone will increase education expenditures by about 3 percent. Many of these additional children will require special services due to recent immigration, working parents, poverty, or family disorganization. Great strain will be placed on county and school district resources in order to keep pace with growth and tailor programs to the particular circumstances of various localities. The current system for financing children's...
1960 to 1988
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There have been significant changes in public school funding in the United States since 1960. Public schools have enjoyed a history of continuous increases in real funding in both total and per pupil terms during this period. While catalysts for this support can be traced in part to well-known critical events—Sputnik in the 1950s, poverty and equity programs in the 1960s, enrollment growth in both decades, school finance and property tax reform in the 1970s, and education quality reforms in the 1980s—to a large degree the long-term nature of continued rising school funds reflects underlying...
Chapter Highlights
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This report is an attempt to assemble a set of social indicators that suggest an overall portrait of the quality of California's children. It synthesizes material not readily available to policy­ makers; points out gaps in available data; and, where appropriate, offers limited policy recommendations. Data are included on physical and mental health, physical safety, sexual behavior, and academic achievement. Because children are largely dependent upon settings and services controlled by adults, the report also attempts to evaluate the conditions of the settings in which children develop...
Broadening the Vision of School Labor-Management Relations: A First-Year Progress Report
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The purposes of the Trust Agreement Project are (1) to develop new forms of school organization and new patterns of relationships among teachers and school administrators, and (2) to expand the range of labor-management discussions in education from the technical, procedural work rules that are the traditional purview of collective bargaining to substantive areas of educational policy. The 1987–88 Trust Agreement Project was a collaborative effort of the California Federation of Teachers and the California School Boards Association, under the auspices of PACE. Six California school districts­...
Looking Backward and Forward
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The first wave of school reform has crashed upon the education beach, but are other waves now forming out at sea? The year 1983 is generally regarded as the beginning of the current cycle of state education reform. The Nation at Risk report was released that year, but many states had sponsored education legislation before the report came out. The last states to engage in legislation on education—Washington, Indiana, and Iowa—joined in 1987. The spread of this reform is very impressive, and its consistency in concept qualifies it as one of the hallmarks in state policymaking. The 1986 report of...
What Did Senate Bill 813 Buy?
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California spends a huge amount of public money, more than any other state, to support K–12 grade schools. These schools now serve more than 4.8 million students, and in 1988–89 the state expects to expend almost $23 billion for their financial support. State funding for schools represents an awesome amount of money in an absolute sense, and it occupies the largest proportion of the state's overall budget. As if these two factors alone were insufficient to draw attention to school funding, at least two other conditions have been evolving which render education finance an even more visible...
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...
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In early November 1987, Superintendent of Public Instruction Bill Honig issued two pages of charts and accompanying narrative entitled The Average Costs of a California School 1985–86. This document presented a brief, composite picture of California school expenditures for fiscal year 1985-86 (the most recent year in which full fiscal information was available) in order to provide a "clearly understandable picture of California schools and how they spend their resources." In summary form, this analysis divided school expenditures into four categories, or cost centers. The description of a...
Graduate Follow-up Survey
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The first class of participants in four of the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation's "Jobs for the Disadvantaged" programs graduated in June 1987. The telephone interview survey described in this report gathered information on the educational and work status of these graduates six months later, along with similar information for a matched comparison group of nonparticipants in each site. There were relatively small numbers of graduates in these four sites: 74 program and 45 comparison-group members. While response rates were high—94 percent among program participants and 88 percent among...
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Can broad state-level initiatives for school reform actually improve local schools? Using data collected in California, this article answers that question affirmatively—but it also reminds readers that successful local implementation of state-level initiatives depends on several factors. Since 1983, when publication of A Nation at Risk touched off a national desire to reform education, many states have enacted comprehensive legislation intended to improve their schools. Such legislation typically increases high school graduation requirements, encourages a more substantive curriculum, defines...
1986–87 Evaluation Report
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In the fall of 1985, ten academy programs were established by the State of California as replications of the Peninsula Academies. PACE evaluated these 10 academies in 1985–86. This report presents findings from a second evaluation covering the academies' 1986–87 school year.
Program Successes and Evaluations Under 'Jobs for the Disadvantaged'
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In early 1980, the Clark Foundation launched an ambitious series of demonstration programs designed to address the high rate of school dropouts and youth unemployment in several U.S. cities. These programs shared a focus on disadvantaged minority youth, but they varied in their structure from site to site—from a focus on job search and placement in Grades 11 and 12, to academic skills and vocational training throughout high school. Beginning with the 1984–85 school year, the evaluations' emphasis moved from technical assistance and process evaluation to assessing changes in student outcomes. A...
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This is the fourth edition of Conditions of Education in California. It is the most extensive and inclusive issue yet. It has been altered in both content and format. The content has been expanded. In addition to previously appearing components such as enrollments, curriculum, governance, human resources, student performance, and finance, a special features section has been added. This year, education reform processes are the topic of this new section. Next year, we will select a different topic on which to concentrate. Of course, we continue in this edition to include the sections on the...
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...
Part I: Study Findings
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In 1983, California enacted a comprehensive bill (Senate Bill 813) containing dozens of education reform provisions. The scope of the proposed changes had no previous parallel. The bill's many ideas for school improvement, if implemented, potentially could have altered the curriculum and instructional practices of virtually every school in the state. However, despite the bill's sweeping scope, and the large accompanying revenue increases, it included neither a proven effective reform philosophy nor a cohesive school change strategy. At the most fundamental level, Senate Bill 813 represented a...
A Preschool Through High School Concern
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Americans generally hold the belief that success comes through education. And in many fields, the years of schooling required for employment have risen dramatically. Despite this emphasis on education, however, thousands of students continue to drop out. Understanding why students drop out is important in developing effective dropout prevention strategies. But by focusing on the specific act of dropping out and emphasizing associated consequences, educators have often neglected the search for earlier clues. As students progress through the grades, their experiences shape their thinking about...
Part II: Background and Technical Appendices
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In the early 1980s, a study of California secondary students' pathways through high school documented an erosion in secondary school curriculum. Electives had replaced academic courses; student exposure to sound mathematics, science, and U.S. history had dropped; and courses taken to graduate from high school had failed to aggregate into a clear body of knowledge. In 1982, the California Business Roundtable proposed a series of reforms to remedy these system declines. Also in 1982, Bill Honig, then a member of the State Board of Education, won election to the office of superintendent of public...
Public and Personal Investments, Program Patterns, and Policy Choices: Executive Summary
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The California Staff Development Policy Study was initiated by the legislature and governor in response to a steady escalation in the number and costs of staff development programs. Results of the study will be used to assess the possibilities and limitations of staff development as an instrument of state and local policy intended to improve the quality of classroom teaching and learning. For purposes of this study, staff development is defined as any activity that is intended partly or primarily to prepare paid staff members for improved performance in present or future roles in the school...
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...