Monthly Archives: March 2010


March 5 Podcast – Similar Middle Grades Students, Different Results

The podcast of our March 5 seminar “Similar Middle Grades Students, Different Results: Why Some Schools Do Better,” is now available online. The speakers are Mike Kirst, Professor Emeritus at Stanford University, and Founding Director of PACE, and Trish Williams, Executive Director of EdSource.

EdSource, in collaboration with faculty from Stanford University, has conducted a large-scale study of middle grades practices in California and their relationship to student outcomes on 6th-8th grade CSTs in English Language Arts, Math, and Algebra. The EdSource study is based on extensive surveys of 303 principals; 3,752 ELA and Math 6-8th grade teachers; and 157 superintendents of districts throughout the state. The analysis was designed to identify practices and policies that differentiate higher from lower performing schools after controlling for student background.  This study of the middle grades is the largest of its kind ever conducted, and was released in February 2010.  It can be found online at http://www.edsource.org/middle-grades-study.html.  The speakers were introduced by PACE Executive Director David N. Plank.

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February 26 Podcast – Early Learning: Science for Policy Makers

The podcast of our February 26 seminar “Early Learning: Science for Policy Makers,” is now available. The speakers are Alison Gopnik, Ph.D., Professor of Developmental Psychology, UC Berkeley, and Bruce Fuller, Ph.D., Professor of Education, UC Berkeley.

Lifting early school achievement depends on the quality of early learning environments—but what do we know about these environments that most effectively stimulate young children’s growth? How can we enrich children’s daily activities? Leading scientists discuss key findings on quality, including play, close interactions with caregivers, and exploration—all which have been shown to have lasting effects on children’s development. President Obama’s new budget includes $9.2 billion in state challenge grants to elevate preschool quality, and rising Title I dollars allow school districts to address preschool quality. UC Berkeley researchers discuss recent empirical findings and clarify the implications for these new funds and early education policy in California.

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February 26 Podcast – Postsecondary Preparation and Remediation

The podcast of our February 26 seminar “Postsecondary Preparation and Remediation: Examining the Effect of the EAP at CSU” is now available. The speakers are Michal Kurlaender, Assistant Professor of Education policy at the University of California, Davis, and Jessica Howell, Assistant Professor of Economics at California State University, Sacramento.

The Early Assessment Program (EAP) is an academic preparation program developed by the California Department of Education, the State Board of Education, and CSU. The stated purpose of the program, now in its fifth year, is to bridge the gap between K-12 educational standards in English and mathematics and the requirements and expectations of postsecondary education at the California State University. In this seminar Kurlaender and Howell discussed how participation in the Early Assessment Program affects college going behavior and the need for remediation in college. The speakers were introduced by PACE Executive Director David N. Plank.

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