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ERIC Number: ED499199
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jan
Pages: 109
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 56
Successful California Schools in the Context of Educational Adequacy
Perez, Maria; Anand, Priyanka; Speroni, Cecilia; Parrish, Tom; Esra, Phil; Socias, Miguel; Gubbins, Paul
American Institutes for Research
This report presents the results from a seven-month study of successful schools in California performed by the American Institutes for Research (AIR). It explored some of the concepts underlying the "successful schools" approach to defining education adequacy and considered their implications for analyzing educational adequacy in California. The successful schools approach seeks to determine the cost of the education needed to reach a specified level of educational outcomes by identifying districts achieving these outcomes and determining how much they are spending. This study sought to improve on this basic approach by selecting schools that have been consistently performing at a higher level than the one predicted by their demographics, rather than selecting successful schools that are above an absolute level of performance in a given year or over a given period of time. The AIR analyzed these schools that were "beating the odds" (BTO) with regard to student achievement and compared them to low-performing (LP) schools. Telephone interviews were also conducted with 23 schools from both groups to understand their resource allocation practices and to identify common themes in the factors principals deemed necessary for success. A major premise underlying all approaches to education adequacy is that success is directly linked to the resources available. This study explored this assumption by looking for evidence to confirm or disprove the idea that resource quantities constitute the primary distinguishing factor between successful schools and all others. Following an Introduction, Chapter 2 reviews findings from prior successful schools studies and discusses the strengths and weaknesses of these alternative applications. Chapter 3 describes the data and methods used to address the subsequent research questions for this study. Chapter 4 presents methods for appropriately conceptualizing "successful schools" for the purposes of this study, and presents analyses of these schools. Chapter 4 also analyzes the observed resources differences in these schools compared to "low performing" and other schools statewide. Finally, Chapter 5 presents the results of phone interviews with a subset of BTO and LP school principals in an attempt to assess the extent the resource findings from Chapter 4 are corroborated and to identify other factors said to be related to the educational outcomes produced by these schools. The final chapter of this report contains a discussion of possible implications for considering education adequacy in California. (Contains 34 exhibits.)
American Institutes for Research. 1000 Thomas Jefferson Street NW, Washington, DC 20007. Tel: 202-403-5000; Fax: 202-403-5001; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.; William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Palo Alto, CA.; James G. Irvine Foundation, San Francisco, CA.; Stuart Foundation, San Francisco, CA
Authoring Institution: American Institutes for Research, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Location: California
IES Cited: ED558161; ED554442