Monthly Archives: July 2010


21st Century Assessments: Implications for California

21st Century Assessments: Implications for California
A policy forum co-sponsored by SCOPE and PACE

The United States’ shrinking graduation rates and slipping ranking on international assessments have prompted the Obama administration to encourage states to develop different student assessments — ones that reliably measure the higher-order thinking that will keep our students competitive in the 21st Century global economy.

A panel of leading education researchers, administrators, educators, funders, and community partners convened for a daylong forum to discuss assessment policies and practices that support improved student achievement in California.

This forum took place in Sacramento, and was sponsored by the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) and Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE). Featured speakers included SCOPE Co-Director Linda Darling-Hammond and PACE Executive Director David N. Plank.


Welcome and Introduction

David Plank, Executive Director, Policy Analysis for California Education

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Keynote “Overview of Assessments and Standards”
Linda Darling-Hammond, Professor of Education, Stanford University and Co-Director, Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education

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To view a copy of the slides used for this presentation, click here.

Panel 1: “Experiences Beyond California: International and State Perspectives”

  • Practices in Canada and Internationally: Carol Campbell, Executive Director, Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education.  View slides.
  • Practices in Singapore: Lay Choo Tan, Chief Executive, Singapore Examination and Assessment Board. View slides.
  • Practices in England: Jeffrey Goodwin, Independent Consultant, Assessment, Curriculum, Research. View slides.
  • The Costs of Assessments: Lawrence Picus, Professor, USC Rossier School of Education. View slides.

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Panel 2: “Assessments in California”

  • David Plank, Professor, Stanford University, and Executive Director, PACE (Chair)
  • Bob Lenz, Chief Education Officer and Co-founder, Envision Schools. View slides.
  • Monica Martinez, President, New Tech Network. View slides.
  • Edys Quellmalz, Director of Technology Enhanced Assessments & Learning Systems, WestEd. View slides.
  • Susan Schultz, Associate Director for Teaching, Learning and Assessment, Stanford University. View slides.

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Panel 3: “Policy Strategies: Bringing Effective Assessment to the Classroom”

  • David Plank, Professor, Stanford University, and Executive Director, PACE (Chair).
  • Geno Flores, Chief Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction, California Department of Education (effective July 1, 2010).
  • Gary Hoachlander, President, The California Center for College and Career (ConnectEd).
  • Maggie Mejia, Former Superintendent, Sacramento City Unified School District.
  • Gerry Shelton, Chief Consultant California State Assembly, Education Committee.

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Concluding Remarks.
Linda Darling-Hammond and David Plank

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Decentralizing Resources in Los Angeles High Schools – California’s Quality Education Investment Act

In a new PACE Working Paper, Margaret Bridges and Bruce Fuller from the University of California, Berkeley; Andrew McEachin and Icela Pelayo, from University of Southern California; and Neal Finkelstein from WestEd, San Francisco worked together to inquire about the use of the Quality Education Investment Act funds.

In 2006, Gov. Schwarzenegger and the California Teachers Association struck an innovative deal to focus about $2.6 billion on the state’s lowest performing schools over a seven-year period. The resulting Quality Education Investment Act (QEIA), approved by the legislature, assumes that mandated core reforms will lift student learning: reducing class size, equalizing levels of teacher experience among schools, and hiring additional counselors. During the program’s early years, district officials and principals hold considerable discretion in how they allocate QEIA dollars. This is consistent with Sacramento’s recent push to deregulate some categorical-aid programs, awarding fiscal discretion to local educators.

In this Working Paper, the authors undertook a modest inquiry within four Los Angeles high schools to learn (1) how QEIA dollars were spent in the first year of implementation, (2) who was involved in decision-making at school and district levels, and (3) the conditions under which dollars were coherently focused on improving teaching or the instructional program.

New PACE Publication