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ERIC Number: ED510173
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Aug
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Learning What Works: Continuous Improvement in California's Education System. Policy Brief 08-4
Loeb, Susanna; Plank, David N.
Policy Analysis for California Education, PACE (NJ1)
What will it take to bring about dramatic improvements in the performance of California's education system? The fact is, everyone does not know. California does not know how to collect the kind of educational data that would allow it to accurately measure the performance of schools and students, or to evaluate the effectiveness of different educational policies and practices. Individuals design and implement policies in ways that make it difficult or impossible to identify whether new approaches improve performance or increase learning. In this report the authors argue that to raise student performance and satisfy public expectations, California's education system must be transformed into a continuously improving system that encourages innovation, carefully measures the effectiveness of different policies and practices, and--most importantly--learns from experience. The essential features of a continuously improving system include: (1) clear and specific goals; (2) timely, reliable information; (3) strong capacity; (4) decision-making flexibility; and (5) aligned incentives. The key to change is the commitment to learning how to do things better, and to continuously improve the performance of the schools and of the children under their care. Reorganizing the education system to support continuous improvement will make it possible for California to keep its promises to students, and help to ensure the continued prosperity of the state. (Contains 1 figure and 3 endnotes.)
Policy Analysis for California Education, PACE. 3653 Tolman Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-1670. Tel: 510-642-7223; Fax: 510-642-9148; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: James Irvine Foundation; William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Authoring Institution: Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE)
Identifiers - Location: California