Yearly Archives: 2008


Two new seminars added to the 2008-2009 seminar series

Two additional seminars have been added to the Seminars for Education Policymakers and Scholars 2008-2009 series. On January 30 , 2009, Isabella Furth and Steve Rosell of Viewpoint Learning, Inc will present “From Values to Public Judgment on K-12 Education Reform in California”, and on February 13 , 2009, Jay Chambers, Larisa Shambaugh, and Jesse Levin of the American Institutes of Research will present “Student-Based Funding in Oakland and San Francisco: Implementation and Policy Implications”. Read more about our seminar series on our Seminars page.

Smart Schools, Smart Growth – Investing in Education Facilities and Stronger Communities

Working paper series – California Builds Better Schools by PACE and the Center for Cities and Schools,
at the University of California, Berkeley.

California is midway through one of the grandest public infrastructure projects ever attempted.
Over the coming decade school officials will complete an $82 billion effort, building new
schools and renovating old facilities, supported by taxpayers and private investors. But are state
officials and local planners building schools mindfully to advance educational quality and lift
local communities?

Linking Research to Policy and Practice

These PowerPoint slides are from a December 5, 2008 joint presentation by PACE, School Innovations and Advocacy, and the Sonoma County Office of Education. The presenters were PACE Executive Director David Plank, SI&A’s Peter Birdsall, and Cindy Pilar from the Sonoma County Office of Education.


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November 14, 2008 Seminar podcast

pace seminarAn audio broadcast of our recent seminar “Is No Child Left Behind Dead? Crafting an Effective Federal Role in School Reform” is now available. The November 14th seminar featured a round-table discussion to assess NCLB from a variety of perspectives, asking what we have learned since 2001, and can the federal government rethink it historical mission of equalizing education opportunity and results. The speakers included Bruce Fuller, Jorge Ruiz-de-Velasco, Bill Lucia, and Patricia Rucker, with an introduction from PACE’s Executive Director David N. Plank.

Listen to the audio of this seminar:

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October 17 , 2008 Seminar

“Do Financial Incentives Help Low-Performing Schools Attract and Keep Academically Talented Teachers?”
Richard J. Murnane – Harvard Graduate School of Education
Jennifer L. Steele – RAND Corporation
John B. Willett- Harvard Graduate School of Education

In 2000-01 and 2001-02, California offered a competitive $20,000 incentive called the Governor’s Teaching Fellowship (GTF) to academically talented teacher licensure candidates who agreed to work in the state’s low-performing schools. To estimate the GTF’s causal impact, this study treats the fellowship as a natural experiment and compares the early-career decisions of academically talented teachers licensed before and during the availability of the GTF.

Our apologies, but this seminar predates our audio recording feature

Conditions of Education in California 2008

As the Year of Education draws to a close, PACE is reviving its signature publication, Conditions of Education in California, in order to sustain focus on the long-term comprehensive educational reforms that California needs. In this edition of Conditions of Education in California six of California’s leading policy scholars provide analysis of the urgent educational challenges facing our state. The six authors provide baseline data on the current performance of California’s schools and students, and make specific recommendations for policy changes that will support long-term improvement. PACE plans to resume regular publication of Conditions of Education in California in order to track California’s progress toward a more efficient and effective educational system.

Learning What Works: Continuous Improvement in California’s Education System

In a new PACE Policy Brief, Susanna Loeb and David N. Plank argue that to raise student performance and satisfy public expectations California’s education system must be transformed into a continuously improving system that encourages innovation, carefully measures the impact of different policies and practices, and—most importantly—learns from experience. Loeb and Plank identify the essential features of a continuously improving system, which include clear and specific goals, timely and reliable data, strong capacity to support change, decision-making flexibility, and aligned incentives. They explain how each of these features supports continuous improvement, and discuss the differences between a continuously improving system and the education system that California has now.

July 11, 2008 Seminar

"Alternative High Schools"
Jorge Ruiz-de-Velasco and Milbrey McLaughlin

Milbrey McLaughlin from Stanford and Jorge Ruiz-de-Velasco from the Earl Warren Institute in the Law School at Berkeley will present their policy brief on alternative high schools. Each year, more than 10% of California’s public high school students attend some kind of "alternative" program, most notably continuation, community, and community day schools. The California Alternative Education Research Project is an ongoing effort to examine California’s alternative education system in order to shed light on these programs and raise important issues regarding hoe the state’s public schools are meeting the needs of California’s most vulnerable teenagers. This seminar reviews the project’s initial research study. Alternative Education Options: A Descriptive Study of California Continuation High Schools. It looks at the study’s finings about the students who attend these programs and their academic achievement, and it also describes their basic structure and the policy context for these schools, the largest of California’s alternative programs.

Our apologies, but this seminar predates our audio recording feature