By Doug Ford
Last Friday I attended the PACE Research and Policy Conference at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento. PACE is the acronym for Policy Analysis for California Education. When the founders decided to start it in 1983, “there was an urgent need for objective, non-partisan information about the condition of California’s education system. Following the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978, which indirectly limited public education funding, the state’s schools were thrown into turmoil. …” (from the PACE brochure: “Looking Back, Looking Forward, 25th annual celebration, 1983-2008”).
Since 1983, PACE has “remained a powerful force in analyzing policy and disseminating information for policy-makers in Sacramento and school administrators throughout the state.” Most of the participants in PACE are professors in schools of education at California universities. One of the founders was Michael Kirst, president of the California State Board of Education during Governor Jerry Brown’s first two terms as governor and again now. He is professor emeritus at Stanford University and has been a leader in improving knowledge about education in California for more than fifty years.