The Center for Applied Policy in Education (CAP-Ed) at UC Davis
facilitates the nexus of research, policy, and practice with a
commitment to eliminating inequities in schooling and providing
learning opportunities for diverse students. CAP-Ed connects
education leaders and practitioners with nonpartisan,
research-supported information and expertise from scholars and
policymakers. Our services and publications foster a thoughtful,
well-informed education system in California encompassing policy
makers and those implementing policy in schools and districts.
CAP-Ed Services & Practices
Publishing and distributing syntheses of current research and
policy to inform policymaking and policy implementation
throughout the education system.
Hosting seminars for policymakers and education stakeholders
with experts in key education topics.
Assembling collaborative systems and instructional rounds to
mobilize intersectional, reform-oriented networks.
Conducting new policy research on key education policy topics
such as school finance, accountability, and curriculum and
Current Programs & Services
Superintendents’ Executive Leadership Forum (SELF)
California Superintendents Collaborative Network
California Principals’ Support Network (CAPS)
California Institute for School Improvement (CISI)
CAP-ED Programs are Aligned with
California’s Quality Professional Learning Standards
Quality professional learning:
1) Uses formative and summative student achievement data,
disaggregated by race, gender, English language learner
status, special needs, foster youth, and/or poverty indicators,
to identify critical student needs that require improved
instruction, support, and leadership.
2) Incorporates disaggregated school climate data to identify
student social, emotional, and health and safety areas requiring
increased educator knowledge or skill.
3) Utilizes family and community information to assist educators
in meeting students’ needs.
4) Includes staff, community, family, and student opinions as
perception data to inform decisions.
Content and Pedagogy
Quality professional learning enhances educators’ expertise to
increase students’ capacity to learn and thrive.
1) Focuses on learning the content required in meeting state and
district outcomes for students.
2) Deepens and extends subject-matter knowledge within educators’
own discipline and across other disciplines.
3) Builds educators’ capacity to use curriculum frameworks,
instructional materials, equipment, and technology that support
the teaching and learning of subject-matter content.
4) Increases educators’ use of universal and linguistically and
culturally responsive materials.
1) Builds educators’ repertoires of evidence-based instructional
approaches for various content areas and diverse student learning
2) Creates multiple opportunities, in different settings, for
educators to practice and receive feedback on new skills.
3) Uses instructional technique and strategies that educators
then use with students.
4) Develops educators’ abilities to use formative and summative
assessment information to plan and modify content and
Quality professional learning focuses on equitable access,
opportunities, and outcomes for all students, with a
emphasis on addressing achievement and opportunity disparities
between student groups.
1) Uses summative and formative achievement and perception data,
disaggregated by gender, race, language, special needs, foster
youth, and poverty indicators, to identify critical student needs
that require improved instruction and support.
2) Enables educators to plan and implement evidence-based
instructional strategies that are responsive to students’ diverse
backgrounds and needs.
3) Helps educators understand that building on students’
abilities, perspectives, and potential contributes to increased
Design and Structure
Quality professional learning reflects evidence-based approaches,
recognizing that focused, sustained learning enables educators to
acquire, implement, and assess improved practices.
1) Focuses on clearly identified purposes and needs related to
educators’ capacity to increase students’ learning outcomes.
2) Is ongoing and requires consistent effort.
3) Requires dedicated time, within the school schedule, for
educator learning, practice, reflection, and collaboration.
4) Leverages extended time opportunities for educator learning,
practice, reflection, and collaboration.
Learning that is Embedded in Practice
1) Utilizes real problems of practice as a base for new learning.
2) Clarifies how to apply and use learning.
3) Incorporates deliberate practice of new learning with frequent
reflection, feedback, and support, so that knowledge and skills
become fully integrated.
Collaboration and Shared Accountability
Quality professional learning facilitates the development of a
shared purpose for student learning and collective responsibility
for achieving it.
1) Establishes professional communities of practice to support
mutually agreed-upon student learning goals and outcomes.
2) Sets clear purposes, goals, and working agreements that
support the sharing of practices and results within a safe and
3) Integrates a common understanding of the terminology and group
process skills involved in establishing and sustaining a
professional community of practice.
4) Structures collective learning around an evidence-based cycle
of continuous learning and improvement, maintaining a consistent
focus on shared goals.
5) Supports educators in making practice more transparent,
through peer observation, common planning, and experimentation
Quality professional learning dedicates resources that
are adequate, accessible, and allocated appropriately toward
established priorities and outcomes.
1) Recognizes the leadership capacity of internal staff to
present, facilitate, or coach targeted professional learning.
2) Capitalizes on flexible staffing arrangements that allow for
3) Engages external expertise when necessary.
4) Requires external professional learning providers to be vetted
against rigorous criteria.
5) Includes parents, community members, regional partnerships,
institutions of higher education, county offices of education,
and others as professional learning providers and partners.
1) Requires that time for collaboration and learning is made
available in an ongoing and systematic way.
2) Develops a cycle of activities spaced over time, including
theory, demonstration, practice, feedback, reflection, and
3) Necessitates that current educator schedules increase time for
collaboration and learning.
4) Uses time within the school day for practice-embedded
learning, but also provides release time when needed.
Alignment and Coherence
Quality professional learning contributes to a coherent
system of educator learning and support that connects district
and school priorities and needs with state and federal
requirements and resources.
1) Uses local goals and state direction in following federal laws
and guidelines to improve individual and collective educator and
2) Frames educators’ development through preparation, licensing,
induction, and continuously improving practice.
3) Extends educators’ capacity to implement content and pedagogy
that prepare all students for national, state, and local
curricula and assessments.
4) Offers learning and practice activities that are directed
toward meeting educators’ professional and performance standards.
Bryk, Anthony S. Organizing Schools for Improvement :
Lessons from Chicago. Chicago: U of Chicago, 2010. Print.
Hattie, John. Visible Learning : A Synthesis of over 800
Meta-analyses Relating to Achievement. London ; New York:
Routledge, 2009. Print.
Many, T. W., Maffoni, M. J., Sparks, S. K., & Thomas, T. F.
(2018). Amplify Your Impact Coaching Collaborative Teams in
PLCs at Work. Solution Tree Press. 555 North Morton Street,
Bloomington, IN 47404. Retrieved from https://www.solutiontree.com/amplify-your-impact.html