Archive for April 18th, 2018

AERA Distinguished Public Service Award (2017) Lecture

April 18th, 2018

Public Policy Impact of Education Research : A 54 Year Career Perspective

The use and impact of education research by policymakers has been of high interest and concern for over a half century. There is some empirical data and commentary that is both positive and negative about whether there is much policy impact from high quality research. It does not help that there has been exponential production of questionable advocacy research funded by special interests and foundations that is disseminated through a variety of digital sources and platforms.

This speech resulting from the Lifetime AERA public service award is different from the usual way these concerns are addressed . The author is both an educational researcher as a Stanford Professor since 1969 ,and policymaker for 54 years starting with the Johnson Administration in 1964 , the US Senate in 1967, and concluding with 15 years on the California State Board of Education (most as President)over a 43 year span. Consequently, a personal perspective is provided of some theories, concepts , and data concerning the policy impact from independent and objective education policy research. The personal component focusses upon why and how particular research studies guided and influenced the substantial overhaul of Ca state policy from 2010 to 2018 while the author was President of the State Board, and an adviser to Governor Jerry Brown. The California analysis is historical because the author was a state policymaker in Governor Brown’s first 2 terms from 1975-1983 as well as using research in federal policymaking 1964-1969.

The objectives of the speech are both to highlight particularly incisive and useful research to overhaul the policies of the largest state, and to reflect on which theories/concepts of research diffusion and use are most applicable to the recent Ca situation. The data is anchored in a study of a state where its enrollment exceeds that of the 22 smallest states, and a majority of the 6.4 million students is Hispanic, and only 25% white. Useful research is demonstrated in various phases of the state policy cycle beginning with problem recognition and concluding with evaluation of implemented policy.The paper is relevant to grounded theory that is a form of qualitative research designs. Lincoln and Denzin (2005) viewed qualitative research as a practice of examining studied subjects in natural settings and then transforming and making sense of the studied phenomenon.

The speech begins with various theories of how education research does and does not influence policy beginning with a 1965 federal government vision similar to agricultural extension agents and federal labs. It covers such approaches as design based implementation research, implementation science, positive deviance, networked improvement communities, and Carol Weiss theories of research diffusion through knowledge creep and percolation. The authors own experience is utilized from a perspective of co- founder for Policy Analysis for CA Education in 1983-2004 at Stanford , UC Berkeley, andUSC that focused on research generation and dissemination for improving Ca state ed policy.

The speech then moves to an overview of systemic state reform beginning in 2011 in California that demonstrates the use of particular research undergirding the distinctive Ca way to improve state education policy. This part demonstrates that independent and objective research can make a huge difference in what policy a state designs and implements over a 8 year period with a rising tide of revenue, a united and sustained political coalition, and a number of big research based ideas. This section will discuss a wide array of policies including new curriculum, teacher development, finance, and linkages to postsecondary education. The speech concludes with several 2018 positive state policy outcomes (graduation, test scores etc) that may be related to state policy change.

Transportation At College: What Can Work For You  

April 18th, 2018



Attending college for the first time can require a lot of planning. One aspect to consider is how you will get around once you get on campus. Cost, campus size, class schedule, and safety are all important factors in this decision. Here are a few options for getting around once you get to the college of your choice.


Driving may be a logical option for you if you attend a large university or have a class schedule that is spread out among many different buildings. If you choose to take a car to school, there are several things to think about. First, you will want to make sure Freshman or first year students are permitted to drive. Some schools have rules prohibiting this for space reasons. You will also want to check on the cost to purchase a parking permit. Make sure that your permit is valid at each building you will need to park. If you are attending school out of state, you will want to make sure your insurance is valid in that state. Auto insurance quotes can give you an idea what it will cost to keep your car updated while in school.

Campus Transport

Many large campuses offer campus transportation in the form of shuttles. This is convenient for many students who do not wish to bring a vehicle to school. The major benefit of this is that it is usually much cheaper than parking and maintaining a car. The downside of this arrangement is that you will have to plan your day around the shuttle schedule to make sure you can get to where you are going on time. This may not work if you have only a few minutes between classes. It may also require you to give up precious sleep to meet your shuttle early. It is also worth talking to some current students at the university that you hope to attend. They will be able to tell you the reliability of the shuttle schedules and give you additional tips for getting around.

Walking and Bike Riding

This method of transportation is always popular for college students. First of all, it is basically free and extremely convenient. Nearly every campus has bicycle racks for storage. It may also help you keep off that freshman weight.However, this may not be an option during severe weather months. It also generally takes time to get around large campuses, so you will have to plan for this as well. The main aspect to consider with walking or riding a bike is safety. You may not want to walk or ride alone after dark or in remote areas. You may also not want to cross any extremely busy highways or interstates. When you visit the campus, look around to check what bike trails and lanes are available. Watch out for students riding or walking. Chances are, if you do not see much pedestrian traffic, there is a great chance that students have assessed that mode of transportation as being slightly unreasonable. Feel free to talk to students that you see walking or riding as well. They can be your best resource for planning.

Getting around your campus can be easy. Since there are usually multiple options, it may mean that you use more than one method. If you know that you will have to utilize campus transportation, your academic advisor can help you plan classes with enough time to get from place to place. Students that already attend the university or college can help shed light on various transportation issues on your campus. Usually residence life services can advise you on your ability to park your own car. Campus security can help you assess if walking in certain areas is safe. There is no one solution, but you will find that a little bit of planning and knowledge will make getting around easy.

Mikkie is a freelance writer from Chicago. She has a passion for advanced learning, reading, and health and fitness. She is also a mother of two who loves sharing her ideas on education, learning, health, fitness and yoga. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing the little ones around or can be found at the local climbing gym or doing yoga.