A startling new infographic and presentation from The EducationTrust—West (ETW) exposes previously hidden gaps in California’s college and career pipeline, impacting more than four million students. Combining new data from the U.S.
California will need an additional one million college graduates by 2025. To meet this challenge, California’s college and career pipeline must serve as a true pathway to post-secondary success for all California’s students. New data from the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) highlight major gaps in college opportunity for the low-income students and students of color who are the majority of California’s student population. Fortunately, these data also reveal high schools throughout California that are making progress in closing these opportunity gaps. To read more, click here.
Advancing Educational Equity and Excellence in California: The Education Trust—West 2012 Policy Agenda
This year, 2012, promises to be a pivotal one for California’s students. From Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to reform our education finance system, to competing ballot initiatives to raise more funds for schools, to efforts to change the school accountability system, our elected officials will grapple with a host of high-stakes decisions with long-term impact.
At risk is our state’s economic future. To meet the demands of our economy, California will need one million more college graduates by 2025 than our education system is on track to produce. We cannot achieve this target without dramatically expanding college and career opportunities for the students of color and low-income students who are the overwhelming majority in California’s classrooms. As state leaders make critical choices about the future of our education system, they must correct the inequities that have led to unacceptable gaps in opportunity and achievement.
Just as students receive report cards that measure their performance and progress in school, The Education Trust – West develops annual report cards that grade California school districts on how well they serve their Latino, African-American, and low-income students. This brief summarizes the findings of our second annual district report cards.
The Cruel Divide: How California’s Education Finance System Shortchanges its Poorest School Districts
A new report released today paints a step-by-step picture of startling inequities in California’s system of education funding that harm our state’s poorest school districts. In The Cruel Divide: How California’s Education Finance System Shortchanges its Poorest School Districts, The Education Trust—West reveals that California’s highest poverty districts—those with the largest concentrations of low-income students—receive $620 less per student from state and local sources than the state’s wealthiest districts. For a mid-sized school district of 6,000 students, that amounts to over $3.7 million per year.
ETW has put together a web tool that allows you to search for a school district's per-pupil state and local revenues. Click here to access the tool.
Learning Denied: The Case for Equitable Access to Effective Teaching in California’s Largest School District
The Education Trust—West releases the findings of a two- year-long study of data from the second largest school district in the nation, revealing profound inequities in access to effective teaching. In Learning Denied: The Case for Equitable Access to Effective Teaching in California’s Largest School District, The Education Trust—West finds that low-income students and students of color in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) are less likely to be taught by the district’s top teachers – the very teachers capable of closing the district’s achievement gaps. These inequities are exacerbated by teacher mobility patterns and quality-blind layoffs.
Parents know what researchers confirm: The single most important school-based factor affecting student academic performance is the quality of the teacher in the classroom.
Teachers matter because when they have high expectations of their students, their students rise to meet them. Teachers count because they not only play an important role in raising student achievement, but they also have the potential to close long-standing achievement gaps that persist between low-income students and students of color and their more advantaged peers. Teachers matter to all students, but great teaching makes the most difference for our highest need students, who are least likely to have academic supports outside of school.
Most teachers say they teach because they love their students, and because they love helping them to learn. And it shows. Research shows that the single most important school-based factor in improving student academic performance is the quality of the teacher in the classroom. Students who have strong teachers year after year soar academically.
Unfortunately, too many teachers—from those who are the best in the state to those who are growing professionally— receive limited feedback, whether it is praise for a job well done or constructive feedback to help them grow in their craft.
California’s education system has long failed to meet the needs of the low-income students and students of color who are now a vast majority of our state’s student population. To close persistent achievement gaps, we must dramatically improve the learning outcomes of our highest-need students by leveraging proven strategies such as increasing the amount of time students spend in school.
Yet, for the last two years, California’s policymakers have made the inequitable decision to systematically reduce the amount of instructional time that school districts are required to provide. Given that California has some of the widest achievement gaps and lowest student performance in the nation, reducing learning time in our schools should not be an option.
Diploma Matters: A Field Guide for College and Career Readiness (Jossey-Bass) is written for practitioners who believe fully that the K-12 experience should prepare all students equally well for the full array of opportunities that await them after high school. Whatever they choose, high school graduates should be equipped with the knowledge and skills that will make them successful in both college and careers.
This field guide is intended to help state leaders, district superintendents, principals, and other site and district leaders gain a deep understanding of what it takes to ensure that students from all backgrounds have access to a rigorous course of study that leads to college and career readiness. It can also be a useful resource in the higher education arena as part of teacher preparation and administrator leadership programs. Readers will find a "toolkit" developed by The Education Trust-West. The tools in the kit help school leaders and teachers examine the current high school experience (Educational Opportunity Audit), and then develop a detailed action plan (Blueprint) to transform curriculum so that their students are ready for college and work.