Research

A collection of reports, research and analysis about issues in public education that affect educators, schools and students.

“Creating Trauma-Informed Learning Environments” – This brief from WestEd offers five important actions teachers can take to design trauma-sensitive learning environments.

“Closing the Opportunity Gap” – This Learning Policy Institute report identifies CA school districts in which students across racial/ethnic groups are outperforming their peers in other districts, explores how they achieved these outcomes and makes policy recommendations to replicate their success.

“State of Denial: California Charter Schools and Special Education Students” – This CTA/UTLA report shows that privately managed charter schools under-enroll special education students in comparison to neighborhood public schools. This discrepancy had an impact of $97 million in three major school districts alone.

How Are School Districts Spending Their LCFF Funds?” – This study by the Public Policy Institute of California shows that higher-need school districts spend more per pupil on educator salaries, non-teaching salaries, and books and supplies than low-need districts.

“Bias in Preschool? Study Says Yes But It Can Be Unlearned” – New study by researchers at Northwestern finds that children show bias at a surprisingly young age.

“California Teachers Spend Most Nationwide on School Supplies” – On average, teachers nationwide spent $459 a year of their own money on supplies for their classrooms, more than $200 less than the national high of $664 annually spent by California teachers. See this Economic Policy Institute report for a state-by-state breakdown.

“Simple Practice Yields Big Results” – While some social emotional learning interventions can cost more than $500 a student, a Wisconsin researcher recently found significant impacts to students’ well-being with a simple writing exercise that costs the equivalent of $1.35 per student.

“Beyond Suspensions: Examining School Discipline Policies and Connections to the School-to-Prison Pipeline for Students of Color with Disabilities” – This report by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights shows that special education students are suspended at a high rate, especially African-American students with disabilities.

“The Impact of Expanding Public Preschool on Child Poverty in California” – This report examines the effects on child poverty of expanding access to state-funded preschool for qualifying three- and four-year-olds. According to the Public Policy Institute of California, expanding access to full-time care to all low-income children could lower child poverty by up to 24 percent.

“NEA Charter School Laws Report Card” – The NEA’s report cards on charter laws provide specific road maps for states who want charter schools that work for all students and are accountable and transparent to taxpayers and the communities they serve.

“Journalism Education” – The Education Week Research Center, with the assistance of the Journalism Education Association, conducted an online survey of nearly 500 K-12 journalism educators to learn more about the current status of the programs in which they work. This report examines survey results regarding President Trump’s criticism of the media, student interest in journalism, challenges related to censorship and student press freedom, and student trust and confidence in the mass media.

“California Education GPS” – An eight-point plan by public education leaders to obtain increased, sustainable K-12 funding, expanded access to data systems and a fuller commitment to early childhood education in California.

“Graduation Initiative 2025” – Graduation Initiative 2025 is the California State University’s ambitious initiative to increase graduation rates for all CSU students while eliminating opportunity and achievement gaps.

“The State of Higher Education for Latinx in California” – Latinx students statewide are making progress in higher education but further steps are needed to close a continuing ethnic achievement gap, according to this report by the Campaign for College Opportunity.

The teacher pay penalty has hit a new high: Trends in the teacher wage and compensation gaps through 2017” – Public school teachers nationally are paid nearly 20 percent less than workers in professions that require similar education and training. This analysis by the Economic Policy Institute examines how bad it is and why.

Making ESSA’s Equity Promise Real: State Strategies to Close the Opportunity Gap” – This Learning Policy Institute report outlines the strategies and efforts taken by states to end inequity in education and ensure all students have equal opportunity to succeed.

Getting Down to Facts II: Current Conditions and Paths Forward for California Schools” – How is California’s PreK-12 education system performing and what improvements are needed? This report from Policy Analysis for California Education finds that the state’s education system is moving in the right direction but still needs additional resources to put major reforms into practice.

Fixing Chronic Disinvestment in K-12 Schools” – The Center for American Progress examined systematic underfunding of public education in states across the nation, finding that lawmakers are shortchanging students by cutting taxes on the backs of public schools.

Keeping the Promise of LCFF in Charter Schools” – The first systematic analysis of charter school Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs), this report by Public Advocates Inc. found critical financial and engagement information missing, unavailable or incomplete at a shocking number of charter schools.

Global California 2030: Speak. Learn. Lead.” – California Department of Education‘s initiative, which aims to expand language programs in K-12 schools so that half of all students are working toward proficiency in two or more languages by 2030.

The Roots of STEM Success: Changing Early Learning Experiences to Build Lifelong Thinking Skills” – Science education for most children in California begins in elementary school, but it should start much sooner — in infancy, even — for children to achieve their full potential as young scientists, according to this report by the Center for Childhood Creativity.

Higher Education in California” –This report by Public Policy Institute of California highlights the state’s most pressing higher education challenges in seven key areas: California’s higher education system; addressing California’s skills gap; expanding college access; improving college completion; increasing equity and diversity
Investing in public higher education; and making college affordable.

Supporting Dual Language Learner Success in Superdiverse PreK-3 Classrooms: The Sobrato Early Academic Language Model” – In early childhood education and care programs across the United States, there is a growing need for effective approaches to teaching in classrooms where children come from a variety of cultural and linguistic backgrounds. This report by Migration Policy Institute focuses on one approach.

Career Technical Education in California” – With 800,000 high school students enrolled in a career technical education class, vocational training is critical to meeting the state’s workforce needs, according to a report by the Public Policy Institute of California.

Statewide Survey: Californians and Education” – A majority of Californians give their local schools high marks and think inadequate funding is the biggest problem facing public education, according to this Public Policy Institute of California report.

Unlocking Learning: Science as a Lever for English Learner Equity” and “Unlocking Learning II: Math as a Lever for English Learner Equity” – These reports by The Education Trust-West provide a blueprint for increasing access and achievement in science and math for California’s 1.37 million English learners.

California’s Future: K-12 Education” – This report by the Public Policy Institute of California finds that despite half of California’s 6 million K-12 students being classified as economically disadvantaged, and a quarter working toward English proficiency, education funding still lags more than 6 percent below the national average.

Local Control Funding Formula Resources – California Department of Education provides a variety of resources and information about the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), which determines how all public education agencies are funded.