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 Pub Number  Title  Date
REL 2023002 Supporting the California Department of Education in Examining Data to Inform the Setting of Thresholds on the California Alternate English Language Proficiency Assessments for California
Staff from the California Department of Education (CDE) will present findings to the State Board of Education (SBE) from a project CDE conducted with analytic technical assistance from the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) West. The SBE meeting will take place on May 18 and 19, 2023 at the California State Board of Education, 1430 N Street, Room 1101, Sacramento, California. This item is currently placed as the third item the SBE will take up, making it likely to be presented around midday on May 18.

At the meeting, CDE plans to present the findings and implications from analyses it conducted of student achievement on the state’s alternate English language proficiency and English language arts assessments. REL West staff will attend the presentation in order to briefly describe REL West’s technical assistance role and support the CDE in addressing any questions posed by Board members about technical aspects of the data analysis that cannot be answered by CDE staff. The technical memo and slide deck will be made available on the REL website soon after the presentation to the Board.
REL 2022134 California’s Special Education Local Plan Areas: Funding Patterns, Inclusion Rates, and Student Outcomes
California requires each school district to belong to a Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) for special education planning and governance. The California Department of Education (CDE) and the State Board of Education (SBE) are interested in the impact on the surrounding small and midsized districts when large districts become single-district SELPAs. Given one of the original motivations of SELPAs was economies of scale, the state wanted to examine the association between different SELPA types and district configurations and outcomes, including SELPA funding patterns, inclusion rates of students receiving special education services in the general education environment, and academic outcomes for students receiving special education services. This study examined those differences using publicly available data. The findings provide mixed evidence for the possible implications of large districts leaving multidistrict SELPAs to form single-district SELPAs. The study found no meaningful association between different SELPA and district configurations and academic outcomes for students with disabilities—including graduation and dropout rates—and proficiency rates in math and English language arts and on the alternative assessment. Several meaningful differences with regard to funding and inclusion were found. For example, when comparing multidistrict SELPAs with and multidistrict SELPAs without a large district, multidistrict SELPAs without a large district received larger per pupil apportionments and had higher inclusion rates. Also, when comparing small districts in multidistrict SELPAs with and multidistrict SELPAs without a large district, inclusion rates were higher for preK students and lower for K–12 students in SELPAs without a large district. The larger amount of per pupil special education funding in multidistrict SELPAs without a large district may help to alleviate some concern about the impact of large districts separating from surrounding small and midsized districts to become their own SELPAs. The CDE and the SBE may want to further examine which regionalized programs are implemented by SELPAs of different compositions and how they benefit small districts. Further research could consider more complex analyses to better understand the outcomes that may be due specifically to membership in a single-district versus a multidistrict SELPA.
REL 2021040 Supply and Demand for Middle‑Skill Occupations in Rural California in 2018–20
The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which the workforce supply in four rural California regions aligned with the occupational demand in "middle-skill" jobs that require more than a high school diploma but less than a bachelor's degree from 2017-2020. The study team used historical degrees and certificate awards to calculate the average annual number of credential completions between 2017 and 2020 and projected occupational demand during this period by using data from the Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI) data system. The report includes analysis at the regional level and across all four regions. The report found that 83,756 middle-skill workers annually are needed to fill available jobs in the four rural regions, but education institutions granted credentials to meet only 24 percent of the employer demand. The study also found that most of the available "middle skill" jobs pay a living wage at the entry level, and that the demand for most middle-skill occupations in rural California are projected to increase over time. The authors recommend that educational institutions identify opportunities to prepare more students for credentials in the programs that are aligned with in-demand occupations, such as expanding existing programs or starting new ones. They also recommend that local government, workforce investment boards, and chambers of commerce identify alternate sources of qualified labor to fill open positions such as "overqualified" local workers or qualified workers from outside each region.
REL 2017181 Projections of California teacher retirements: A county and regional perspective
This report updates a previously published report by projecting California teacher retirements, at the state and county level and by specific teaching fields, during the period from 2014/15 through 2023/24. Teacher retirement projections are based on the current ages of teachers and historical age- and county-specific retirement rates. The study finds that 25 percent of all of California's 2013/14 teachers are projected to retire by 2024. Great variation exists across counties in the proportion of the 2013/14 teacher workforce projected to retire by 2024, with a low of 19 percent projected to retire in Sutter County to a high of 61 percent in Sierra County. This suggests that counties across the state will confront very different staffing situations over the 10-year period due to projected retirements. In terms of the geographic distribution, the more rural counties that are projected to have higher retirement rates tend to lie along the state's northern coast and along the state's northern and eastern borders; lower proportions of retirements are projected in and around the metropolitan areas of San Francisco, Sacramento, Orange County/Los Angeles, and Fresno. This report also projects teacher retirements within specific teaching fields, including math, science, English language arts, and special education. Results from these field-specific projections show that, at the state level, from 22 to 26 percent of teachers in these various fields are projected to retire over the 10-year period. However, within these particular fields there is wide variation across counties in projected retirements. With research showing that graduates of teacher preparation programs tend to prefer living close to their hometowns, coupled with a projected statewide shortage of college-educated adults through at least 2025, careful local workforce planning will be essential, particularly in counties projected to experience high proportions of teacher retirements.
REL 2011016 Projected School Administrator Needs through 2017/2018 in California: The Effects of Projected Retirement and Projected Changes in Student Enrollment over Two-Year Increments
This technical brief projects the need for new school-site administrators (principals and vice-principals) in California by region in two-year increments over 2010/11–2017/18. It builds on an earlier Regional Educational Laboratory West report that projected the aggregate need for school administrators over 2008/09–2017/18 based on projected retirement and projected changes in student enrollment (White, Fong, and Makkonen 2010). Both studies divide the state into 11 regions, and both report projected demand for local administrators as a change from the 2007/08 baseline workforce. By disaggregating the study period into two-year increments, this brief provides more specific data for education organizations—particularly the Association of California School Administrators and the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association—to more accurately target workforce planning and training programs for new school-site administrators.
REL TR01208 Characteristics of California School Districts in Program Improvement: 2008 Update
This descriptive analysis updates an earlier study of California's Title I school districts in program improvement. California's accountability system continues to identify problems at the district level overlooked at the school level.
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