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Targeted K–12 Funding and Student Outcomes

By Julien Lafortune

As students return to the classroom, record-high funding through the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) will help California districts address gaps after a year of remote learning. In this report, we examine school and district spending against trends in student outcomes to offer insight into whether the LCFF is meeting its goal of improving equity in education.

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COVID-19 Alters College Admissions

By Jacob Jackson, Olga Rodriguez, Niu Gao

UC and CSU are allowing greater flexibility in requirements for fall 2021 admission, but disadvantaged students may still face unique barriers to access.

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Students Prepare for AP Exams during COVID-19

By Niu Gao

Students who are less economically advantaged and those with special educational needs could face challenges in preparing for and taking AP tests this year.

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California’s Political Geography 2020

By Eric McGhee

California still leans Democratic overall, but independents are leaning Republican in many areas of the state. A closer look suggests that registering all eligible residents to vote could moderate more partisan places. Views on specific issues also follow their own geographic patterns.

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Achievement in California’s Public Schools: What Do Test Scores Tell Us?

By Paul Warren, Julien Lafortune

California’s student test scores show significant progress in English—but they also show stalled gains in math and persistent income achievement gaps. State actions to improve math instruction and support struggling districts could help boost student performance.

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How California’s Digital Divide Affects Students

By Courtney Lee, Justin Goss, Niu Gao

Although most K-12 schools have reliable internet access, certain groups of students—such as African American and Latino students and those in low-income households—are less likely than others to have reliable access at home.

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Are K–12 Students Keeping Pace in English?

By Paul Warren, Julien Lafortune

Across all grades, growth in average SBAC test scores in English outpaced proficiency standards, but in most grades racial disparities still persist.

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Are K–12 Students Keeping Pace in Math?

By Paul Warren, Julien Lafortune

The 2018 SBAC results of California's K–12 students show modest improvements over last year. But focusing on longer-term outcomes could be more instructive.

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K–12 Reforms and California’s English Learner Achievement Gap

By Laura Hill

English Learner (EL) students have been a key part of California’s K–12 system for decades. They currently make up about 21 percent of the public school population. English Learner status is meant to be temporary, and indeed, reclassified English Learners (those who are deemed English proficient) are among the best-performing students in the state. But students who remain ELs for longer periods generally have poor outcomes.

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