Why Heads are Scratching Over California’s Standardized Test Scores

Is there something weird about California’s standardized test scores?

Last year, 49 percent of California students who took the test scored as meeting the state’s reading and writing standards. This year, that number flatlined at 49 percent. So despite most teachers and students having an additional year to get familiar with the exam, and an additional year of instruction conceivably tailored to improve on student weaknesses identified in the test, California public schools were no better at getting students to master state English standards.

Oct 6, 2017 Matt Levin

How Sky-High Housing Costs Make California the Poorest State

When the cost of living is factored in, the Golden State has the highest poverty rate in the country. More than 20 percent of its residents struggle to make ends meet, according to recently released Census figures.That’s nearly 8 million people.

Sep 28, 2017 Matt Levin

Education Foes Fight to a Draw in Sacramento

The sun was already sinking below the horizon on the final night of the lawmaking year as nearly two dozen lobbyists stalked the Capitol’s brightly lit hallways, making sure lawmakers didn’t approve a new math and science school for disadvantaged students.

Sep 22, 2017 Jessica Calefati

Should California Look to Massachusetts to Fix its Housing Crisis?

It’s hard to fix a housing crisis.

Just ask the California Legislature. After months of tough negotiations to put together a package of bills aimed at plugging the 100,000 unit affordable housing gap, lawmakers finalized a deal just 24 hours before adjourning for the rest of the year.

Sep 15, 2017 Matt Levin

Donating for Impact? Don’t Restrict Your Dollars

Funders may tell you that restricted funding increases nonprofit transparency, but what exactly are funders so afraid nonprofit leaders will do if given the flexibility and implied trust that comes with unrestricted funding?

Sep 11, 2017 Bree Cahill

They Come Hat in Hand for California’s ‘Green’ Money

It should come as no surprise that when the California Legislature recently began the process of divvying up proceeds from the state’s cap-and-trade auctions, a cavalcade of local officials, community activists and lobbyists rushed to Sacramento, with hands out.

Sep 6, 2017 Julie Cart

Here We Go Again: California Does the Taxes Two-Step

At this point, it’s practically a California tradition.

First, state judges find a loophole in California’s constitutional bulwark against new, higher taxes. Then conservative legislators and anti-tax activists rush in to patch the hole with a new ballot proposition.

Sep 1, 2017 Ben Christopher