The Education Trust uses California high schools as a key part of its evaluation of why certain schools do better than others at improving the work of under-performing students. A California school is among those identified as being especially effective: Los Altos High School in Hacienda Heights.
Gaining Traction, Gaining Ground: How Some High Schools Accelerate Learning for Struggling Students.
Normally Californians don’t look to the East for analysis of their home state, but a new report from the Congressional Research Service provides a startling evaluation of the San Joaquin Valley. Researchers compared the valley to the Appalachians, a region that a Californian would normally see only by looking down the shaft of his proboscis. The astonishing conclusion: By some measures, the San Joaquin Valley is a poorer area than Appalachia. Depending on the exact statistical comparison, for example, poverty and welfare rates are higher.
California’s San Joaquin Valley: A Region in Transition
The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research describes the prevalence of diabetes in California. Among the findings: from 2001 to 2003, the disease increased significantly among men, but remained constant among women.
Diabetes on the Rise in California
The official high school dropout rate for California is just 13 percent. But the California Research Bureau compares 9th grade enrollment to the number of students who graduated four years later, and finds that almost 30 percent of the kids failed to get a diploma.
High School Dropouts, Enrollment, and Graduation Rates in California
The economic upturn from the high-tech bust is apparently helping cities to balance their books. The Public Policy Institute of California summarizes surveys of city officials both within the state and across the country, and finds that two-thirds say their cities were better able to meet financial needs in 2005 than the year before. And roughly the same percentage sees continued improvement next year.
Perspectives on State and Local Finance: Surveys of City Officials in California and the U.S.
In a place like Los Angeles, where there are lots of undocumented immigrants, how much economic activity is on the black market? The Economic Roundtable estimates that on a typical day in LA in 2004, there were nearly 700,000 people working off-the-books. Pegged at an average pay of $12,000 a year, those jobs would have accounted for $8.1 billion in annual payroll. That means the public sector, which has to provide services for everybody — both on-the-books and off — is losing $2 billion a year in unpaid employee benefits and insurance that is mandated by law. In a separate report, the same group also provides a general overview of the Los Angeles labor market.
Hopeful Workers, Marginal Jobs: LA’s Off-the-Books Labor Force
LA Labor Market: Strengths and Weaknesses
Health Care No wonder so many Americans are obese: The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research finds that even in health-conscious California, one in four adults does not walk at all for transportation or leisure in an average week. Perhaps this is simply because in the modern world people go to the gym instead, the treadmill having replaced the sidewalk, but it is still a disheartening statistic.
Half of California Adults Walk Less Than One Hour Each Week
The Legislative Analyst’s Office evaluates California’s effectiveness in providing health insurance for the hard-to-insure. The upshot is that the state is doing better, but the LAO also has recommendations for even more improvement.
Health Care for the “Hard-to-Insure”
A draft report from Cal-EPA on global warming suggests the state create a “public goods charge” on transportation fuels, which would in turn fund programs to reduce climate change emissions. If it were equivalent to a similar charge on electricity, the fee would be equivalent to 2.57 cents per gallon of gasoline at the wholesale level. The report strains to avoid the phrase “tax increase,” but it sure sounds about the same.
Climate Action Team Report to the Governor and Legislature
The tech bubble of the late 90s was a boon to the lucky few, but a bust for people at the bottom of the spectrum. The California Budget Project finds that between 1995 and 2000, wages for high-end earners in the Bay Area rose 18.7 percent. For low-wage workers, paychecks were flat.
The Rising Tide Left Some Boats Behind: Boom, Bust, and Beyond in the San Francisco Bay Area