To Keep Students Safe and Learning, California Needs Strong State Leadership

Written by Heather J. Hough, Policy Analysis for California Education; Jennifer O’Day, American Institutes for Research; Arun Ramanathan, CEO, Pivot Learning; and Carrie Gloudemans Hahnel, Independent Education Consultant Published by our partners at Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) In preparing for the next school year, California state policymakers must set clear statewide expectations for […]

Confronting a Racist System

At the beginning of the week, we released a brief statement from Pivot Learning condemning the murder of Mr. George Floyd. As the week has progressed, I wanted to share some additional personal reflections. Decades ago, I walked into my first classroom of students with emotional disturbance. The first thing I noticed was that nearly […]

Open Forum: Unfunded pensions are hurting California students and teachers

Our recent report, The Big Squeeze: How Unfunded Pension Costs Threaten Educational Equity, continues to bring attention to the issue of rising pension costs and how schools are being impacted. An op-ed published in the San Francisco Chronicle sounds the alarm about the equity crisis facing California public schools due to unfunded pensions costs. Learn more […]

Why California Local Funding Requires State Leadership

I’ve played plenty of Scrabble in my life, but I’d never heard the word “subsidiarity” until it was used as a way to explain Local Control Funding Formula. According to Wikipedia, subsidiarity is a principal of decentralization originating in the Catholic Church that, “in its most basic formulation holds that social problems should be dealt […]

Baseball Can Teach Education a Lesson

I wish that discussions of education data were as interesting as my conversations on baseball statistics. Contrary to my reputation as an Ed Dork, I do not wake up every morning, grab my phone and check out EdWeek, EdSource and Eduwonk for the latest Ed news. I wake up, grab my phone and check out […]

Four Steps to Merge Special and General Education

As a great man once said, it’s déjà vu all over again. The State Board of Education has announced an effort to merge special and general education. On one level, this is great news. For much of the past decade, students with disabilities have disappeared from policy discussions around the big shifts in standards, instruction […]

Would I Tell My Daughter to Teach?

My youngest daughter asked for a teacher’s kit for her birthday. A few days later, her bedroom had been transformed into a mini-classroom. On the wall, she’d posted the classroom rules and attached a tiny blackboard. She was standing in front of a multitude of stuffed animals and describing the day’s activities using the pointer […]

For Small School Districts, Smaller Can Mean Better

We’ve all heard that “bigger is better.” A bigger slice of pizza is better. A bigger paycheck is better. A bigger school district is better. Actually, hold it right there: that one might not be true. Big districts get all the attention. Their leaders make headlines when they announce their latest initiatives. They have hundreds […]

I’ve Seen the LCAP’s Future, And it Ain’t Pretty

I’ve been reading a lot of California district’s Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs) lately. After the first few, I felt this acute sense of deja vu. I knew there was a time years ago when I also sat in a dusty office, surrounded by stacks of paper covered with check boxes and objectives and targets. […]