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What Happens When Colleges Broaden Access to Transfer-Level Courses? Evidence from California’s Community Colleges

By Marisol Cuellar Mejia, Olga Rodriguez, Hans Johnson

California community colleges that have significantly expanded access to transfer-level courses—important steps toward degrees and transfers to four-year schools—have seen increased student success, particularly in English. Prompted by a new law (AB 705), placement and curricular reforms are now being enacted system-wide; it will be important to monitor their impact.


Common Core State Standards in California: Evaluating Local Implementation and Student Outcomes

By Niu Gao, Julien Lafortune

California adopted the Common Core State Standards to prepare K–12 students for college and careers—and to narrow longstanding achievement gaps. Most districts have implemented the standards, and student outcomes have improved modestly. But progress has been uneven. State tracking and support could help districts implement the standards successfully.

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Reforming California’s Community College System

By Hans Johnson, Olga Rodriguez, Marisol Cuellar Mejia

Community colleges are implementing a number of reforms designed to help more students get a degree or a certificate or transfer to a four-year institution.


English as a Second Language in California’s Community Colleges

By Olga Rodriguez, Sarah Bohn, Laura Hill, Bonnie Brooks

English language proficiency can facilitate social and economic mobility for non-native speakers—and California’s community colleges are key providers of ESL education. Now that a new law is motivating colleges across the state to reexamine their ESL programs, we need a better understanding of ESL students and the policies that help them succeed.

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