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Californians’ Support for President Biden and the A-G-E Factor

By Mark Baldassare

Most California likely voters approve of President Biden’s job performance, even as less than a third say things in the US are going in the right direction. How do Californians’ views on three key issues—abortion, guns, and the environment—explain their support for the president?

blog post

Exploring the Spike in Chronic Absenteeism among K–12 Students

By Laura Hill, Emmanuel Prunty

Nearly one in three California public school students were chronically absent in 2021–22, a share that is almost triple that in 2018–19. Rates of chronic absenteeism were highest among Black, Native American, and Pacific Islander students.

blog post

Are Summer School Programs Reaching Students Who Need Them Most?

By Darriya Starr, Niu Gao

Nearly three in ten California students attended summer programs in 2022, on par with the national average. In light of significant disparities in how the pandemic affected learning, we look at participation in these programs and the role new federal and state investments might play in expanding educational opportunities.

blog post

Test Scores Show Six-Year Setback for California Students

By Darriya Starr, Emmanuel Prunty, Joseph Herrera, Iwunze Ugo

Recently released standardized test scores show sharp declines in proficiency among the state’s fourth graders—reversing nearly six years of progress. The declines were sharpest among Black, Latino, and low-income students but do not appear to be tied to length of school closures during COVID.

blog post

Video: English as a Second Language at California’s Community Colleges

By Mary Severance

In fall 2021, California community colleges began putting in place major reforms to English as a Second Language pathways. PPIC’s Daniel Payares-Montoya, Olga Rodriguez, and Laura Hill discuss new research on early implementation efforts, including the impact of the pandemic.


English as a Second Language at California’s Community Colleges

By Olga Rodriguez, Laura Hill, Daniel Payares-Montoya

Colleges began implementing reforms aimed at improving English as a Second Language pathways in fall 2021—during a historic pandemic. We cannot yet disentangle the impact of reforms from the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, but an analysis of early implementation finds that colleges have made significant progress.


COVID-19 Emergency Funding and California’s Higher Education Systems

By Jacob Jackson, Kevin Cook, Darriya Starr

Federal dollars offered timely, substantial support to the state’s higher education systems during the worst of the pandemic. Funding for students, online instruction, and social distancing measures made up key spending allocations.

Policy Brief

Policy Brief: The Effects of COVID-19 on Transfer-Intending Students in California’s Community Colleges

By Cesar Alesi Perez, Jacob Jackson, Marisol Cuellar Mejia, Olga Rodriguez ...

After COVID-19 hit in spring 2020, enrollment fell among transfer-intending students at community colleges. Fewer students persisted through subsequent terms and fewer completed courses; however, more students reached critical transfer milestones than among pre-pandemic cohorts—a likely upshot of recent reforms.

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