Getting Down to Facts:
"Getting Down to Facts" is a research project of more than 20
studies designed to provide California’s citizens with comprehensive
information about the status of the state’s school finance and
governance systems. The overall hypothesis underlying this research
project is that improvement to California’s school finance and
governance structures could enable its schools to be more effective.
an 18 months period from September 2005 to March 2007, the Getting Down
to Facts Project brought together an extraordinary array of scholars
from 32 institutions with diverse expertise and policy orientations. It
represents an unprecedented attempt to synthesize what we know as a basis for convening the necessary public conversations about what we should do.
“Getting Down to Facts” was specifically requested by the Governor’s
Committee on Education Excellence, former Secretary of Education Alan
Bersin, the President pre Tem of the California Senate, the Speaker of
the California Assembly, and the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
project is not designed to recommend specific policies. Rather it aims
to provide common ground for understanding the current state of
California school finance and governance and for a serious and
substantive conversation about necessary reforms.
The project addressed three broad questions:
- What do California school finance and governance systems look like today?
- How can we use the resources that we have more effectively to improve student outcomes?
- To what extent are additional resources needed so that California's students can meet the goals that we have for them?
Down to Facts researchers took a two-pronged approach to uncovering the
most valuable information for California policymakers. First they
looked broadly at California’s school finance and governance system in
order to identify the most important factors that facilitate or hinder
the effective use of education resources in California. Second, they
targeted a number of crucial areas that a priori appeared
particularly important to address in an in-depth exploration of school
finance and governance. The researchers aimed to make the best
possible use of existing research findings, identifying important holes
in existing research and determining whether there were empirical
studies that could be performed in the given timeframe to fill some of
these holes. The new empirical work stems from this approach. As a
result, the studies each provide a strong review of the literature with
targeted new empirical additions. Click here for a full list of studies.
independent research project was made possible by grants from The Bill
& Melinda Gates Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett
Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, and The Stuart Foundation.