Berkeley - Patricia Gándara, a professor of education at the University of California, Davis, is a new co-director of Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE), an independent policy research center founded in 1983 as a joint venture between the schools of education at the UC Berkeley and Stanford University, the center announced today (Thursday, Feb. 6).
Gándara joins PACE co-directors Bruce Fuller, a professor of education at UC Berkeley, and Michael Kirst, a professor of education at Stanford. A PACE office is now open at the new UC Davis School of Educaiton.
PACE provides analysis and assistance to California lawmakers, education professionals and the general public about education policy - from preschooling and child development to K-12 school finance and higher education outreach.
Gándara's research addresses national and state studies of school reform, access to higher education, and language policy. She has worked extensively on issues of education policy in the California legislature, as a California Postsecondary Education commissioner, and as a social scientist with the RAND Corporation. Gándara is the associate director for the University of California's Linguistic Minority Research Institute and serves on the board of directors of West Ed, one of the nation's Regional Educational Laboratories, which serves Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah.
"Professor Gándara will provide PACE with a new capacity for English Language Learner policies and issues of transition from K-12 to post secondary education," said PACE co-director Michael Kirst of Stanford.
"Bringing PACE to UC Davis represents a unique opportunity to capitalize on the strengths of the new school of education at Davis and to form partnerships with several other policy groups with which we are integrally involved," said Gándara. "I anticipate that the whole state will be well-served by this new relationship."
"This is a strategic alliance that leverages the growing research expertise at the education school at UC Davis, its focus on training the next generation of education policy researchers, and proximity to the state capitol," said Bruce Fuller, a PACE co-director.
According to Dean Harold Levine at UC Davis's School of Education, the school's commitment and ability to bring together leaders from K-12 education, state policy-making and higher education will provide new opportunities for PACE's work to connect and improve educational policy, practice and research. Levine also welcomed PACE as an important partner in the school's emerging Institute for Education Policy, Law and Government, noting the central role of policy studies in the school's teaching and research.
Transformed from a division into a full school last year, the UC Davis School of Education is moving to triple the size of the faculty and almost double its student numbers by 2007-08, launch new graduate programs, broaden its interdisciplinary work, and further collaborations with K-12 schools and teachers. It currently teaches students minoring in education and offers fifth-year credential programs, master's degrees, and doctorates in philosophy and education.
PACE's office in Sacramento has closed, and longtime co-director Gerald Hayward officially steps down in April. In addition to its new UC Davis office, PACE plans at some point to reopen an office in Sacramento.