Monthly Archives: February 2010


February 12 Seminar Podcast

pace seminarOur February 12 seminar, “Grading the California High School Exit Examis now available for streaming or download. The speaker, Julian Betts, is Professor of Economics and Chair of the Economics Department at the University of California, San Diego.

The CAHSEE has been criticized as being unfair to English Learners, special education students and some racial groups, as well as being ineffective in raising student achievement. Some have called for eliminating passage of the CAHSEE as a graduation requirement for California students. Betts discusses whether the CAHSEE requirement and related funding for intervention is helping or hurting students academically, with a focus on who has been failing the exam, how early we can identify students at risk of failing, and how and when school districts might intervene to help students at risk of failure. He also discusses the state’s policy options in the current budgetary climate. The speaker was introduced by PACE Executive Director David N. Plank.

Listen to the audio of this seminar:

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There's Lots to Learn from L.A.: Policy Levers for Institutional Change

A new PACE policy brief reviews the history of the Los Angeles Unified School District over the past five decades, a history that reveals an organization pulled up from its early 20th Century Progressive Era roots.  Decades of reform efforts have provided a lively audition for what a new institution of public education could look like. But public policy and the surrounding political system have created an atmosphere of continuing crisis rather than a new institutional stability. In this policy brief Charles Kerchner reviews the recent history of LAUSD, drawing from the recent book, Learning from L.A.: Institutional Change in Public Education. He shows how successive reform efforts have sketched out the design of a more effective educational system, and identifies five policy levers that can help to create a new institutional structure for public education, in LA and beyond.

Leaders for California's Schools