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Opening "Windows of Opportunity" in Education


by Thad Nodine, Senior Fellow, Education Insights Center
(Cross-posted on the Californiana Blog, a project of the Center for California Studies)

A new cohort of California Education Policy Fellows met recently at Asilomar for three days of conversations about challenges facing education. The 20 Fellows, all education policy professionals in California, heard from luminaries in the field who shared their wisdom about the conditions necessary for effective policy change and new ideas about competition in the marketplace for ideas. 

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Finding a Balance between Local Control and State Guidance

November 2017
by Andrea Venezia, Executive Director, EdInsights & Laura Jaeger, K-16 Research and Policy Director, EdInsights

When it comes to implementing College and Career Readiness (CCR), our research over the past two years tells us that educators do not want to reinvent the wheel. They want local control of key decisions, but they also want guidance from the state about which models to consider. In this blog, EdInsights Executive Director, Andrea Venezia, and K-16 Research and Policy Director, Laura Jaeger, consider the challenges that Educators are facing as they try to find a balance between local control, on the one hand, and state guidance on the other, so as to support equitable opportunities for all students statewide.

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Evaluations for Better Education Policy and Practice: What Do Students Say?

October 2017
by Connie Tan, Evaluations Director, EdInsights

Student voices can provide powerful insights to inform education improvement, and yet too often evaluations of education programs overlook students’ perspectives and experiences. In this blog Connie Tan, Evaluations Director at EdInsights, shares her observations from four years of evaluating a range of education programs. Rather than craving a college experience full of academic and career exploration, students are hungry for guidance in identifying a suite of courses that match their interest, followed by supports and structure that puts them on a path to graduate or transfer. These lessons can serve as an impetus for action and improvement at the campus and system levels.

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California's "System" for Student Data Reporting Is A-maze-ing

September 2017
by Colleen Moore, Assistant Director, EdInsights

California collects expansive data about students in its systems of public education, but the data are collected and maintained in systems that are not connected, were designed for different purposes, are subject to different regulations, and often use different data definitions. Colleen Moore, assistant director at EdInsights and author of California’s Maze of Student Information: Education Data Systems Leave Critical Questions Unanswered, writes about how these disjointed systems contribute to fragmented education programming and policy making.

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A New Core Commitment in the Community Colleges: Partnering Across Systems

August 2017
by Andrea Venezia, Executive Director, EdInsights

In the new vision statement of the California Community Colleges—adopted last month by the Board of Governors—Chancellor Eloy Oakley committed to lead the work of partnering across systems. In this blog, Andrea Venezia, Executive Director of EdInsights, reflects on the importance of this commitment and suggests that it could signal new ways in which California's education system can work together—and that students could reap the benefits.

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Using Networks to Build Cross-System Capacity in California Education

July 2017
by Jodi Lewis, Communications Director, EdInsights

California's K-12 and postsecondary systems have little connection through governance, finance, or data systems, and few incentives to develop, track, or meet cross-system goals for students. There's a powerful role for networks to bridge gaps in education, which is why EdInsights launched two this year: California EPFP and the CSU Student Success Network.

In this blog, Jodi Lewis, co-director of California EPFP, reflects on the value of network-based approaches to build capacity to improve student success.

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A Season of Change in California Education

June 2017
by Andrea Venezia, Executive Director, EdInsights

It’s a remarkable springtime in California, and not just because of the historically vibrant blooms. A flurry of new education policies are being implemented, and the public schools, the California Community Colleges, and the California State University (CSU) are undergoing large-scale shifts. What’s exciting about these changes is their focus on student learning and success and their potential to advance educational attainment and reduce opportunity gaps among Californians.

In this blog—the first in monthly series—Andrea Venezia highlights a few reforms that we think warrant attention, challenges that might lie ahead, and how EdInsights is addressing these and other issues to help improve student learning, engagement, progression, and completion. 

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EdInsights publications and presentations are available for the public to view and share.

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