A recent report published by Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) concludes that California’s Department of Education is still not equipped to answer questions about the performance of the state’s 10,000 schools. California’s student data program, the California Longitudinal Pupil Assessment and Data System (CalPADS), collects data on student attendance, course enrollments, and state test scores, but is not linked with databases from other state agencies that also have important duties over child welfare and education.
The report concludes that existing data and technology are sufficient to evaluate and inform policymakers about how well the schools and students in them are doing, and what to do about those not performing well, but reiterates that California lacks resources and capacity at the state level to manage the data and make specific information gleaned from the data useful to policy makers available. The research team suggested the California Department of Education improve its management of CalPADS and that CalPADS should be integrated with other state data systems in order to help educators, policymakers, and researches have a better understanding of the K-12 system.
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