Stanford’s recently released Getting Down to Facts II illustrates both the challenge and opportunity we collectively face: families’ lack of access to affordable, quality early learning experiences has a detrimental effect on children’s achievement in the K-12 system. In this Fox&Hounds opinion piece, Gabriel Sanchez, Director of Communications for First 5 LA and 20-year veteran of California politics asks, can Gov. Newsom’s talk of “cradle to career” solutions re-position education as a lifetime pursuit and ready our children for success? The author states that it will take continued work by advocates to build upon what the state Legislature has done recently to arrive at an answer
- | EdSource
Over the same period, the average teacher retention rate in districts statewide dropped from 90 to 88 percent, according to a recent report on teacher shortages produced by the Learning Policy Institute as part of the Getting Down to Facts II research project, which examined numerous challenges facing California education. Like the Oakland data, those rates include teachers who moved to another district, retired or switched professions.
| Los Angeles Times
Concern for equity — reducing the gap between rich and poor by giving kids a smart start — drives the governor’s priorities. The budget underwrites more home visits to expectant parents with limited incomes to bolster their parenting skills. It funds more early developmental screening — as a research brief authored by Stanford University’s Deborah Stipek states, the state does a poor job of identifying kids with disabilities that could otherwise be addressed early on.
PACE Executive Director Heather Hough and Samantha Tran, Senior Managing Director of Education Policy at Children Now, discuss early childhood education on the California Community College's Chancellor's Office Podcast. The podcast was hosted by Eloy Ortiz Oakley, Chancellor of the California Community Colleges.
Key topics discussed included excitement around the Governor-Elect Newsom's focus on cradle to career education, the role of community colleges, how to develop credentialing programs and adequate salaries for educators serving pre-K programs, as well as the core issues of funding.
In this guest commentary, California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and Assemblyman Kevin McCarty state their support for Pre-K for all to help every young child in California.
The authors quote Stanford’s Getting Down to Facts II report, which stated that more than 30 percent of California’s low-income 4-year-olds and 66 percent of low-income 3-year-olds lack access to quality pre-k. These children enter kindergarten unprepared for school and seldom catch up. This achievement gap has long-term repercussions, not just for children’s long-term success, but also for our state’s economy as a whole.
Superintendent Thurmond and Assemblyman McCarty state, “We have school age daughters who were fortunate to attend preschool and we’ve seen firsthand the difference it’s made. Every child in California deserves that same opportunity, and that’s why we are advocating for pre-kindergarten education for all kids.”
In this article, John Fensterwald, Yuxuan Xie, and Justin Allen, identify key California education issues for 2019 and make their predictions on what will happen for each.
Other issues for the authors' analysis and predictions include charter schools, teacher strikes, 11th grade testing, and school funding.
As pressures grow on schools to address students’ physical and mental health, including the stress and trauma they may experience in their homes and neighborhoods, many California educators are acknowledging that they don’t have the resources they need to respond appropriately.
California now ranks 39th nationwide in its school nurse-to-student ratio and its ratio of counselors to students is last, according to research by Columbia University economics professor Randall Reback that was published as part of the Getting Down to Facts II report series released in September.
Reback found that less than half of California’s public-school students have regular access to physical health care — such as a full-time school nurse or an on-site health clinic — in their schools, and less than half of California’s elementary school students have access to mental health care in their schools.
California’s Legislature won’t reconvene until 2019, but on the first day of session, Democratic lawmakers introduced two major education bills, calling for nearly $40 billion more in state spending on schools. And Governor-elect Gavin Newsom publicly supports many of the same education initiatives being pushed by legislators
As California rings rings in a new administration, CALmatters provides a guide to some of the education items lawmakers will likely debate next year to include: universal preschool, per-pupil spending, data systems, and the realities of funding new initiatives.
Many education advocates and school officials point out that California’s per-pupil spending, when adjusted by cost of living, ranks among the bottom tier of states. Stanford researchers have found that the state needs to spend $25.6 billion more—a 38 percent increase—than it currently is for all California students to meet learning expectations.
| K - 12 Daily
In order to improve long-term student outcomes, policymakers must establish a data system that connects K-12 schools to community colleges and four-year universities, according to a report released last week by the Public Policy Institute of California.
“Right now, California’s education data systems are fragmented,” Jacob Jackson, a PPIC research fellow, said during a presentation on the report. “Without connecting this data across systems we don’t have a full picture of a student’s development.
PPIC’s research is the second analysis from a major academic institute to reach the same conclusion after studying California’s school data systems.
Earlier this year in a report published by a team of scholars affiliated with Stanford University, who found that the state’s cumbersome and unorganized data management system hinders the ability of policymakers to make even the most fundamental decisions regarding California’s school performance.
| CBS Sacramento
Assemblyman Kevin McCarty introduced three bills supporting the California State Preschool Program on Monday.
AB 123 would expand the California State Preschool Program to include 4-year-old’s who live in school attendance areas where 70% or more of the children are enrolled in free or reduced-lunch programs. The bill also aims to offer preschool classes for 3-year-old children who live in poverty.
Assemblymember McCarty cited a September report “Getting Down to Facts II” which stated, “California’s children are behind before they enter Kindergarten. The system needs a continued focus on closing achievement gaps through multiple approaches including enhanced early childhood education.”
| East County Today
Assemblymember Kevin McCarty Introduces a Robust Pre-K for All Legislative Package
On Monday, Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) introduced a trio of childhood education bills that would improve access to schooling for 3, 4 and 5 year olds.
A report released in September, “Getting Down to Facts II” summarized the issue, “California’s children are behind before they enter Kindergarten. The system needs a continued focus on closing achievement gaps through multiple approaches including enhanced early childhood education.”
| Capital Public Radio
Democratic Assemblymember Kevin McCarty of Sacramento introduced three pieces of legislation on Tuesday aiming to provide free preschool to about 100,000 more children from low and middle-income households in California.
Stanford Professor Deborah Stipek has investigated the state of early childhood education in California and said the bill is a very good start for achieving quality pre-K. But she said that unlike other states, California doesn't collect enough information on schools to really say if current funds are being spent wisely.
“Until we have better data it's hard to be confident that we're getting what we're paying for,” Stipek said.
Stipek said that bill , AB125, will ultimately benefit teachers.
“People don't stay in the profession for very long on average,” Stipek said, “which means that children for the most part have relatively inexperienced teachers.” She says the bill will create a more stable and more experienced teacher pool.
| Capitol Public Radio
Governor-Elect Gavin Newsom is promising universal preschool for the next generation, and with Democrats winning a supermajority in the state Legislature, education in California is likely to see some big changes.
Newsom's plan includes preschool for all children, which estimated to cost around $2 billion a year.
Susanna Loeb, an education scholar who’s investigated the state of pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education in California, says the state falls far behind others in providing consistent, high-quality early childhood learning. She thinks universal preschool will help.
| Fox and Hounds
One Stanford University study says that California needs to spend billions more on the state’s PreK-12 public school system. Another Stanford study says that too-generous public pensions are robbing core government programs of needed funds. Will the two disparate ideas end up in a budget package?
A Stanford University and Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) report entitled Getting Down to Facts II comes ten years after an initial look at California’s education system taking into account all the changes over the past decade. Most newsworthy out of the report was the finance item declaring the need for a 38% increase in education funding to make California students ready for college and careers.
The dollar increase was pegged at about $25 billion, equivalent to about 19% of the state’s general fund.
Alcalá will face twin challenges of running and rejuvenating the Department of Education, which must clarify its role for both supporting and holding districts accountable in the evolving era of local control. Gov. Jerry Brown did not appreciably increase the department’s budget during his last eight years in office. An analysis of the department in the Getting Down to Facts research project concluded that the department was understaffed and underpaid, making it difficult to attract and keep key personnel.
The state board must approve Alcalá’s appointment. There are currently two deputy chief superintendents, Glen Price and Michelle Zumot.
The alliance intended the website to serve as a guide for parents and the public that may be unaware of the significant shifts in policy under Gov. Jerry Brown and the State Board of Education that he appointed. To support its recommendations, the website frequently cited findings in the project Getting Down to Facts, three dozen studies that looked at the state of K-12 education and its needs.
Not surprisingly, the alliance led its eight-step “journey to create a high-achieving public education system” with a call for substantially more funding to counter what the research nonprofit WestEd calls a “silent recession” facing districts due to rising teacher pension and special education costs, aging school buildings and, in many districts, declining enrollment. The alliance wants Newsom and the Legislature to set targets to raise per-student funding to the level of the top 10 states in the U.S. — a goal that would cost tens of billions of dollars more per year.
| Capitol Weekly
Carol Kocivar, past president of the California PTA and current legislative advocate for the group, said the initiative is a “smart way” to raise money for the state’s schools.
She pointed to the September study “Getting Down to Facts II” coordinated by Stanford University and disseminated by Policy Analysis for California Education which said that California was $25.6 billion short in 2016-17 of the money needed to meet goals set by the state Board of Education. While California spent about $12,204 peer student, the state needed $16,890 per student to meet the state board’s goals. Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts spend $16,890 per pupil.
| Napa Valley Register
Newsom appeared to intuit this long before that report emerged. Newsom told the Oakland-based EdSource lobbying group California and the nation need “a new way of thinking about education as a lifetime pursuit. Our role begins when babies are still in the womb and doesn’t end until we’ve done all we can to prepare them for a quality job and successful career.”
So far, Newsom has not proposed any specific programs to make his vision real, but it’s clear government spending on education can change outcomes. The Stanford-PACE report found that spending $1,000 more per student at the high school level produced “significant increases in high school graduation rates and academic achievement, particularly among poor and minority students.”
| Long Beach Unified School District
A report by Harvard University researchers on teacher evaluation systems in California describes innovative practices in the Long Beach Unified School District.
The report titled “Can Teacher Evaluation Programs Improve Teaching?” by Virginia Lovison and Eric. S. Taylor of Harvard University is part of the “Getting Down to Facts II” series of research projects focused on a wide array of California education issues.
Long Beach was highlighted in the latest report for connecting individual teacher evaluation results with resources and strategies for improvement using the school district’s online myPD system for professional development.
| UC Davis School of Education
Over the past decade, California’s PreK-12 education system has seen a variety of reforms— new academic standards and assessments, the Local Control Funding Formula, advancements in data systems—yet despite these changes, a new research project reports that California lags behind other states when it comes to important educational metrics. California’s students still face some of the largest achievement gaps in the nation, schools continue to see a lack of adequate funding and many young Californians miss out on high-quality early childhood education.
School of Education researchers Michal Kurlaender and Sherrie Reed, along with graduate students in the Graduate Group in Education and Department of Economics, recently contributed to Getting Down to Facts II, a national collaborative research project led by Stanford University and Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE). The peer-reviewed project’s 36 technical reports and 19 research briefs provide education leaders and policymakers with an overview of how California’s PreK-12 education system is performing in the areas of student success, governance, spending and personnel.