WestEd partnered with Augenblick, Palaich, and Associates (APA) to produce an education finance study for the State of Arkansas. Our team conducted cost function analyses and led professional judgment panels to examine the relationship between spending and student outcomes.
We also developed case studies of districts that are “beating the odds,” and led mixed-methods research to recommend a definition of college and career readiness for the state.
California Bright Spots/Continuous Improvement Models
Our researchers developed and piloted a mixed-methods research methodology to identify “bright spots” or “continuous improvement models”—schools or districts whose underserved student populations are outperforming statistical expectations.
After using this methodology to identify an exemplary district, we worked with the district and its local county office of education to begin organizing learning visits for other district, county and state leaders to learn from the district’s successes.
WestEd conducted a cost adequacy and resource allocation study for the State of North Carolina, including researching: how much funding is needed to provide a “sound basic education,” how to revise the state funding formula to support a more equitable distribution of resources, and what supports and/or systems need to be in place to ensure the funds are spent efficiently and effectively.
Research and Facilitation Support for the Student-Centered Funding Formula (SCFF) Oversight Committee
WestEd provided research and evidence-based support, facilitation, and project management to the SCFF Oversight Committee to support their work to review and make recommendations to the legislature and the Department of Finance in two priority areas.
Through this work, WestEd staff worked closely with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, college presidents, chief business officials, researchers, advocates, community college students, and faculty on improvements to the state’s funding formula for California’s community college districts.
We conducted a study evaluating Utah’s school finance system to determine the extent to which current funding formulas met their intended purposes to provide equitable access to education in the state.
The study provides recommendations regarding how existing resources could be leveraged more effectively to meet the state’s goals and raise student achievement.