Reports & Research

Updated: May 20, 2019

 

A new UCLA Civil Rights Project report...

The Promise of Historic Brown v. Board School Desegregation Ruling ‘At Grave Risk,’ Report Says

Sixty-five years ago, the Supreme Court declared that segregated public schools were “inherently unequal” and unconstitutional, smashing a 1896 ruling that permitted “whites-only” and “Negroes-only” schools. The historic Brown vs. Board of Education decision ordered that public schools must be integrated, launching a decades-long struggle to end systemic inequality in American life.

After all these years, a new report says that while Brown vs. Board may have led to desegregation in other parts of American society, it has been unsuccessful in its stated mission: to integrate public schools.

Now, the promise of the ruling is “at grave risk,” according to the report titled “Harming our Common Future: America’s Segregated Schools 65 Years after Brown.”...

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California Community College survey report...

More than Half of Community College Students Face Food Insecurity and Nearly 20 Percent Have Faced Homelessness

More than half the students attending a California community college have trouble affording balanced meals or worry about running out of food, and nearly 1 in 5 are either homeless or do not have a stable place to live, according to a survey released today.

Nearly 40,000 students from 57 community colleges participated in the assessment of basic needs security released by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice.

“California’s community colleges are the primary driver of upward social and economic mobility for millions of residents,” said California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley...

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A Stanford Study...

Study Suggests Design-Thinking Strategies Benefit Students

As schools focus on building students’ capacity to learn and solve problems outside the formal classroom, many educators have embraced “design-thinking” strategies as a promising approach.

The appeal of design thinking, which evolved out of strategies to improve product design, is that it fosters brainstorming and collaboration skills that are valuable in a changing world where many challenges don’t have textbook answers.

But do design-thinking strategies actually improve a student’s performance? Perhaps more important, will students use those strategies outside of school? Until now, both questions have been hard to measure...

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Statewide Public School Enrollment Dips...

Statewide Public School Enrollment Dips, While Numbers of Hispanic and Charter School Students Rise

The most recent state data for California’s K–12 public schools indicates that overall enrollment is down slightly, while the number of Hispanic/Latino and charter school students has risen slightly and the number of white and black students has dropped slightly.

The 2018-19 data, announced on March 28 by state schools chief Tony Thurmond, breaks down enrollment by ethnicity and grade, along with English language acquisition status, and can be sorted by county, district, or school. The data can be found at https://dq.cde.ca.gov/dataquest.

“This data provides a critical snapshot of all students in California, highlighting trends that show areas where students are improving, where they’re struggling and where additional resources are needed,” Thurmond said in a press release...

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New NSBA Report...

Report Addresses Essential LifeReady Skills for K-12 Students

On April 1, the National School Boards Association (NSBA) released “A Report of the Commission to Close the Skills Gap,” a joint initiative with more than ten leading industry groups. NSBA announced the report at its Annual Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to an audience of more than 5,000 school board members from across the country.

The report identifies six “LifeReady Skills” and features recommendations to help school districts ensure that students have every opportunity to learn these important skills. The Commission believes that high school graduates who have these LifeReady skills will be better prepared for (or have the tools to succeed in) college, career and life...

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New Stanford-Led Study...

Study Identifies Factors That Could Promote Resilience in Children Facing Extreme Adversity

Preschoolers’ ability to regulate their attention, behavior and emotions has been linked with their capacity to cope with difficult situations and thrive in the classroom. But most research into how children develop these skills — known as “executive functions”—has taken place in high-income countries like the United States.

A  led by Stanford Graduate School of Education Professor Jelena Obradović identifies several factors that appear to promote these skills in children from parts of the world with high rates of poverty, malnutrition and infectious disease.

“Executive function skills are really important for children at risk, but exposure to stressors undermines the development of these skills,” said Obradović. “If we can show what supports the development of these skills in a rural, disadvantaged context, we can better design interventions to compensate for those stressors.”...

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A Learning Policy Institute report...

Is the “California Way” the Right Way?
Research Highlights Major Shifts in State Policy Under Brown Administration… and Their Effects

California’s massive overhaul of its education finance and accountability systems since 2012 has begun to increase supports and improve outcomes for historically marginalized students, according to a report released on February 21 by the Learning Policy Institute (LPI). That overhaul, in concert with the state’s implementation of new content standards aligned to the Common Core State Standards, has impacted every level of the k-12 education system, requiring changes in both culture and practice at the classroom, school, district, county, and state levels. The state’s equitable funding plan, together with its move towards a more holistic - and less punitive - accountability system has come to be known as the “California Way.”

The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) replaced the previous K-12 finance system, which experts described as “highly centralized, complex, irrational, and inequitable by any measure.”...

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A LPI research report issued...

What Does the Research Really Say About Preschool Effectiveness?

Students who attend high-quality preschool programs reap benefits that can last through school and their lives, according to a review of research released today by Learning Policy Institute (LPI). The study includes reviews of rigorous evaluations of 21 large-scale public preschool programs which find that children who attend these programs are more prepared for school and experience substantial learning gains in comparison to children who do not attend preschool.

Research on early learning programs in the 1960s and 1970s revealed that benefits for children lasted into adulthood, inspiring many states to invest in preschool programs. However, recent evaluations of two programs-Tennessee’s Voluntary Pre-K program and Head Start-found mixed results, leaving policymakers and the public confused about whether or not investments in preschool programs actually do make a difference to student success...

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A report by Center for American Progress...

“Smart Investments” Recommended for Safer Schools

Overview

To ensure safe and healthy learning environments, policymakers and schools must invest in evidence-based solutions - not reactionary spending that only makes the public feel safer.

Introduction and summary

On April 20, 1999, the nation watched in horror as the news cycle flooded with images of Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, where two students killed 12 classmates and one teacher and wounded many others inside. https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education-k-12/reports/2018/12/19/464445/smart-investments-safer-schools/ The shooting at Columbine High School marked a turning point for the American public school system. This mass school shooting made Americans feel less confident in the security of school buildings, which were once considered safe places for students to learn and grow. State and federal governments immediately responded to the Columbine shooting by investing in visible security measures such as school resource officers (SROs), metal detectors, and surveillance equipment...

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Learning Policy Institute research...

High School Graduation Rates Leave Off Where the Real Work Begins

In the past several iterations of state and federal accountability systems, high schools have been judged by their 4-year graduation rate, among other measures. While this is a seemingly innocuous data point (after all, the classic high school narrative flows from freshman to senior in 4 years), measuring school success by how many students fit this typical profile has some harsh consequences. In particular, accountability systems that rely on a 4-year graduation rate discourage schools from continuing to offer services, support, and courses to students who take longer to earn a diploma. Instead, we should be doing everything we can to encourage and support schools in serving their highest need students, not penalizing them for doing so.

Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), for the first time, schools, districts, and states have the opportunity to move beyond this narrow definition of success by adding extended-year graduation rates to their accountability systems. So far, 35 states have done just that, taking an important step in ensuring that every student succeeds...

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New Stanford Graduate School of Education Research...

Research Finds Direct Link Between High-Achieving Schools and Students’ Self-Doubt

“Big-fish-little-pond” is a concept well known among education professionals: As the theory goes, students in higher-achieving schools will compare themselves with their peers and consider themselves less capable, while equally performing students in lower-achieving settings have more confidence.

The effect appears in all subjects, from math to science to history, and at all levels of education. Low-income and high-income students exhibit it. Countries all around the world see it.

While the phenomenon has been observed in many studies over the years, no large-scale, cross-national analysis credibly showed causation. There was always the possibility, then, that another factor, such as an unobserved trait of individual students or their parents, explained why students in high-performing schools exhibited more self-doubt...

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A California Dept. of Public Health Warning...

State Public Health Officer Warns Consumers About Risks of Wearing Decorative Contact Lenses

On October 24, California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith warned consumers about the risks associated with wearing decorative contact lenses.

"Advertised as color, cosmetic, fashion and theatrical contact lenses, decorative contact lenses are especially popular around Halloween," said Dr. Smith. "Wearing any kind of contact lens, including decorative lenses, without proper consultation of an eye care professional can cause serious injury." 

The sale of contact lenses without a prescription is illegal. The right to dispense, sell or furnish contact lenses is limited exclusively to licensed physicians and surgeons, licensed optometrists, and registered dispensing opticians...

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