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K-12 Reform

California Education Policy, Student Data, and the Quest to Improve Student Progress

California Education Policy, Student Data and the Quest to Improve Student Progress examines California’s approach to gathering and sharing data on student progress through the public education system. The four reports in the series look into the perspectives of state and local leaders with regard to the responsibility for gathering and sharing statewide educational data across systems.

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“Get Me from point A to Point B:” Student Perspectives on Barriers to Timely Graduation at the California State University

Nearly all students enter the California State University system intending to graduate “on time,” and graduation rates are increasing systemwide. Currently, less than a quarter of incoming freshmen graduate within four years and a third of community college transfer students graduate in two years. This study investigates the personal and institutional obstacles that students experience as they navigate through college on the pathway to timely graduation.

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Supporting High School Teachers’ College and Career Readiness Efforts: Bridging California’s Vision with Local Implementation Needs

This brief shares the perspectives and concerns of high school teachers in two districts regarding implementing the Common Core State Standards, specifically as the Common Core pertains to preparing more students for college and well-paying careers. The brief also makes state policy recommendations for ways to support teachers in their efforts to increase students’ college and career readiness, including through fostering alignment between K-12 and postsecondary and workforce partners.

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Leveraging the Common Core to Support College and Career Readiness in California

The report compares state policy leaders’ expectations for and high school educators’ early experiences with the Common Core. As the state passes the five-year milestone in implementation, the report recommends ways to better leverage California’s “college and career readiness standards” to help improve outcomes for graduating students.

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A New Vision for California Higher Education: A Model Public Agenda

This report draws on various reports and other sources of information to construct a model public agenda to address the mounting challenges facing California higher education, intended to inspire broad discussion potentially leading to an official public agenda for California higher education. The model envisions region-based planning and heightened collaboration at the regional level, guided by effective state-level policy leadership and high-level staff support to fulfill critical fiscal, advisory, and accountability roles.

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Next Generation Learning Challenges Innovation Briefs

This publication series, written by IHELP and funded and published by EDUCAUSE, looks at the strategies and tools used by Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) grant recipients to implement their new “breakthrough model” schools. NGLC is an initiative to improve postsecondary readiness and completion by identifying and scaling technology-enabled approaches to secondary and postsecondary education, especially for low-income students.

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Social Policy Report: Common Core Development and Substance


This new brief published by the Society for Research in Child Development uses research and literature to provide an overview of the Common Core Standards, including its development and implementation, its relationship to college and career readiness and its effects on educational practice. On pages 16-17 of the brief, Andrea Venezia provided a commentary entitled, “Tracking Common Core Implementation in California,” in which she discusses key challenges of implementation for grades 9-14 and provides an overview of some of California’s work in this area.


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Career Opportunities: Career Technical Education and the College Completion Agenda – Part II: Inventory and Analysis of CTE Programs in the California Community Colleges

This report is the second in the four-part series on career technical education in the California Community Colleges. It examines the full set of career-technical certificate and associate degree programs offered across the system as a basis for understanding how well the CTE programs are meeting students’ needs to identify, enroll in, and complete programs with real value in today’s labor market. In the report, researchers evaluate the findings against a set of criteria, based on a literature review, that characterize an effective CTE mission and identify key issues that will need to be addressed to increase the effectiveness of CTE.

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Beyond the Rhetoric: Improving College Readiness Through Coherent State Policy

his policy brief, jointly produced by the Southern Regional Education Board and the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, examines the college readiness problem and offers recommendations to help government and educational leaders strengthen their efforts to lessen the college readiness gap. IHELP Director Nancy Shulock participated in the workgroup that produced the report, which analyzes the causes of the college readiness gap and discusses how states could better address the problem.

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