Getting Down to Facts

"Getting Down to Facts" is a research project of more than 20 studies designed to provide California’s citizens with comprehensive information about the status of the state’s school finance and governance systems.

Over an 18 months period from September 2005 to March 2007, the Getting Down to Facts Project brought together an extraordinary array of scholars from 32 institutions with diverse expertise and policy orientations. It represents an unprecedented attempt to synthesize what we know as a basis for convening the necessary public conversations about what we should do. “Getting Down to Facts” was specifically requested by the Governor’s Committee on Education Excellence, former Secretary of Education Alan Bersin, the President pre Tem of the California Senate, the Speaker of the California Assembly, and the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The project is not designed to recommend specific policies. Rather it aims to provide common ground for understanding the current state of California school finance and governance and for a serious and substantive conversation about necessary reforms.

The Quality Teacher and Education Act in San Francisco (QTEA)

In June 2008, the voters of San Francisco passed the Quality Teacher and Education Act (QTEA), which made changes to teacher compensation, support, and accountability. In collaboration with SFUSD, researchers have documented the passage of the policy and are engaged in a multi-year evaluation. The research questions for this study aim to uncover how QTEA is being implemented and how the policy affects the recruitment and retention of high quality teachers, the overall improvement of the teacher workforce, and the improvement or removal of less effective teachers.

School Leadership Research

School Leadership Research study examines the career paths of principals and teachers, district policies that affect the distribution of human resources across schools, and the impact of educator characteristics and mobility patterns on student outcomes. The research covers a broad range of issues in school leadership, including school leadership labor markets, school leadership preparation, how school leaders are distributed across schools, and school leadership retention, particularly in urban, low-performing schools. The research is funded by organizations interested in evaluating existing education policies in order to identify ways to improve those policies or develop new policies as needed. We have received financial support from The Institute of Education Sciences, The Spencer Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, and the Stanford University K-12 Education Initiative.

Teacher Policy Research

Teacher Policy Research (TPR) is a research partnership between the University of Virginia, Stanford University and the University at Albany that examines the behavior of teachers and administrators with the goal of developing policies that will attract and retain high-quality teachers and leaders, especially in low-performing schools. The research covers a broad range of issues in teacher policy, including teacher preparation, teacher labor market institutions, how teachers are distributed across schools, and teacher retention, particularly in urban, low performing schools. We have received financial support from the Carnegie Corporation, the City University of New York, The National Science Foundation, the New York State Department of Education, The Smith Richardson Foundation, The Spencer Foundation, the Noyce Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education.