Category Archives: Research

Research

LPI report highlights districts closing opportunity gaps and their strategies

17 Sep
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Many districts in California have struggled to adequately support underserved student groups through changes in curriculum, school funding and student assessments in the last five years, but a recent report from the Learning Policy Institute found more than one hundred districts bucking that trend. They identified these districts as “positive outliers” in which children across different racial and ethnic groups were outperforming similar students in other districts on the state’s new math and reading tests. Many of these districts are also closing...

California sets record for high school sports participation while football continues decline

9 Sep
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Participation in high school sports in California set an all-time high for the seventh straight year in 2018–19, though the most popular sport, football, continued its trend of seeing substantial decreases in participation. The results indicate that many of California’s student athletes who left football didn’t stop playing sports altogether but instead are choosing to play other ones. The recently released California Interscholastic Federation Sports Participation Survey found that 814,004 students competed in high school sports last school year, marking...

New study finds high-need students see both benefits and pitfalls from LCFF

20 Aug
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Latino student
Six years after California policymakers enacted the Local Control Funding Formula for K-12 public schools, the goal of providing additional resources to high-need districts is being met. A new study, however, suggests several hurdles still need to be addressed to ensure all students receive the support they need. Researchers at the Public Policy Institute of California found that while more money is being funneled to districts serving larger populations of low-income students, English learners and homeless or foster youth, high-need...

Obesity rate remains high for California’s fifth-graders, racial disparities prominent

18 Jul
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Buy American - cafeteria
Showing only marginal improvement from years prior, 40.5 percent of California fifth-graders were overweight or obese in 2018, according to new data from the Kidsdata program of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health. Research has long shown that the physical health of students significantly impacts their ability to attend school and achieve academic success. Studies also clearly show that a disproportionate number of low-income students and students of color live without basic health supports and education, borne out in...

Report finds increased funding and access but low standards for California pre-K programs

19 Apr
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California increased its early childhood education funding and enrollment in 2017–18, but fell below the national average for meeting minimum quality standards, according to “The State of Preschool 2018” annual report from the National Institute for Early Education Research. The pre-K programs — composed of the State Preschool Program, Transitional Kindergarten, Head Start and special education — enrolled 242,297 children in 2017–18. More than 15 percent of all U.S. children in state-funded early education programs are in California, the research...

Districts encouraged to step up to the plate for summer meals

18 Apr
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Only 14 percent of children eligible for subsidized summer lunches receive one, according to new analysis from California Food Policy Advocates. Further, one in five low-income schools have no open summer meal site within one mile and more than 800 public schools have no open meal site within five miles. The numbers speak to the challenges that many of California’s K-12 public school students face in getting fresh, healthy meals and to the system’s gaps in coverage. Overall, about three...

Data illustrate need for greater focus on California’s homeless students

7 Mar
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school safety
In the 2016-17 school year, 4.2 percent of California’s public school students were identified as homeless, according to a new report from Education Leads Home. The state’s homeless student population that year of 262,935 marks a 4.16 percent increase from the 2012-13 school year. Researchers and advocates say the facts reinforce the need for state-level policymakers, district officials and board members to allocate additional resources toward the issue and to address root causes. Meanwhile, the Joint Committee on Legislative Audit...

Issues with impact: Highlights from CSBA publications in 2018

19 Dec
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California School Boards Association logo; www.csba.org
In 2018, CSBA’s staff, members and partners explored some of the most pressing subjects facing California’s schools and our 6.2 million students. We had a lot to choose from – the issues schools grapple with have never been more numerous, more varied or more complex. Here’s some of the most compelling writing on those topics from the past year. Thanks for reading in 2018; we look forward to providing more insight in the new year. Magazine Articles Trial by Fire:...

Report highlights lack of personal finance instruction in California schools

17 Jan
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pencils and coins
Can students in your district explain the difference between APR and AGI? What about a FICO score? Compound interest? Amortization? For students to be college and career ready, knowledge of personal finance is becoming increasingly important. Yet, a recent report from Center for Financial Literacy at Champlain College in Vermont gave California an “F” grade for failing to adequately provide students with a personal finance education. The report assigned A-F grades to 50 states and the District of Columbia based...

Teacher shortage continues, experienced teachers in demand

23 Aug
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math teacher
A new report from the Learning Policy Institute cites that about 90 percent of teacher vacancies are due to teachers leaving the profession, and posits that a national teacher shortage could be alleviated by improving retention. Further, by retaining experienced teachers, school districts could also boost student learning and reduce costs. There is a critical need for teachers in California. A 2016 survey from CSBA and LPI found that the state’s teacher shortage had reached alarming levels, with 75 percent...