For too long, policymakers and researchers have been concerned with telling school systems what their problems are, but have provided insufficient support in helping them to figure out how to solve them. The Center for the Transformation of Schools (CTS) has been designed to serve as a thought partner for districts, counties and states to pursue whole child, whole community approaches to school system improvement.
The research we undertake is intended to help educational leaders figure out how to implement strategies that place a commitment to equity at the center of their work. We do this by moving beyond outdated approaches to education reform that tinker with the operation of schools but do little to alter the deeply entrenched disparities in performance. Our goal is to encourage comprehensive approaches to education that foster positive, healthy learning environments, and treat youth development and wellness as integral to the mission of preparing and inspiring future generations.
CTS CORE PROJECTS
CTS will team up with the Orange County Office of Education and the Butte County Office of Education to expand California’s Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) for educators and school systems. MTSS aims to better support the academic, behavioral and social needs of students statewide. A new $15 million grant from the state will allow the UCLA Center to develop evidence-based tools and specialized training to support restorative practices, bullying prevention and positive behavior strategies, as well as minimizing the use of exclusionary responses like suspensions and expulsions.LEARN MORE
Across the country, states are reconsidering new funding systems anchored in the needs of students and families. CTS’ research on California’s Local Control Funding Formula will bring new insight into how increased school funding can help to shift practices in schools.LEARN MORE
Zero tolerance discipline policies and punitive approaches to school discipline have proven to be ineffective at promoting safety and a positive learning environment for young people. Working with schools and juvenile corrections facilities, CTS is working to devise new approaches to school discipline that decrease disparities, and focus on getting students more engaged in learning by proving greater support and attention to social-emotional development that research shows is essential to student success.LEARN MORE
One of the ongoing challenges facing school systems across the country is a lack of learning and sharing of best practices among schools. Instead of focusing on efforts that promote competition, the new LA School Improvement Network (LASIN) consists of eighteen public, charter and private schools, and promotes collaboration on common challenges so that schools have the opportunity to learn from one another, and share research and strategies that can be used to promote sustainable improvement.LEARN MORE