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Lesson 10.5

Learn More:
Organizations and Resources

A selection of the best education sites out there

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We're all fishing for the truth, but there are many competing points of view about how education ought to work. We created Ed100 to equip you with a well-rounded basic understanding of the facts and the big ideas. Along the way, the lessons have included links to help you learn more.

Now, don't be sad. Yes, this is the last of the lessons (you did read them all, right?), but there's plenty more in our blog. Also, at the risk of being obvious, if you are hungry for more, the internet is loaded. This lesson suggests some sites, resources and blogs worth knowing about.

Essential Education-focused Periodicals and Blogs is the daily news source of record for education in California. It's free.

The following sources are focused on education issues and are generally even-handed in their treatment of information. These sources are rigorous in their fact-checking, acknowledge errors and avoid both hype and name-calling.

  • EdSource (free) EdSource is the daily news source of record for education in California, closely read by district leaders and those who make state policy. If you want to be in the know, subscribe online. Ed100 has prepared you to be an informed reader.
  • EdWeek (Subscription) At the national level, the newspaper of record for the education sector is EdWeek. Most of the web site is protected behind a pay wall ($70 per year as of 2018), which is the only reason Ed100 rarely links to it. The content is high quality.
  • Ed Policy in California (free) This weekly blog by Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) emphasizes academic research relevant to education in California. PACE advises California policy leaders about research findings relevant for education policy decisions.

Reference resources

  • The Legislative Analyst Office (LAO) The LAO provides non-partisan policy analysis to advise the California legislature, particularly with regard to fiscal issues. Its reports are not promoted to the public, but are generally regarded as definitive.
  • Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) For opinion poll data related to education issues in California, check PPIC. This organization’s poll questions tend to be neutrally worded, and they are published for public use. (Advocacy organizations, by contrast, tend to hire their own private pollsters for opinion research.)
  • The California Budget and Policy Center explains budget issues clearly and reliably, at considerable depth and with surprising promptness.
  • SCOPE) provides helpful resources (including webinars) for education professionals to advance high-quality, equitable education systems in the United States and internationally.
  • The Learning Policy Institute (LPI) conducts research about effectiveness in education policies and practices, and tries to spread the word about them.
  • GreatSchools This site helps parents make informed choices about where to send their kids to school. It also includes many plain-language explanations of education issues, mostly with a national emphasis.

Government(ish) sources of public data

  • The Ed-Data Partnership This site provides access to a wealth of official data about California schools, districts and counties. It is the best place to look if you are trying to compare your district to other districts. Uniquely, it provides a certain level of detail about how districts use money, including comparisons of teacher pay. The site also makes multiple-year comparisons possible.
  • DataQuest Look here for data about test scores, dropout statistics and more. Buckle up. Just because the data is there doesn't mean you can find it.
  • The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Dig here for access to national and international public data.
  • Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) The Minnesota Population Center provides free access to census data. If you are the sort who loves statistics, this is the best-kept secret in public data.

California-based advocates

  • ChildrenNow This organization emphasizes policy advocacy for children’s issues including education. Its annual report card is widely read. ChildrenNow also helps small organizations participate in statewide policy advocacy by organizing them to participate in joint communications on an opt-in basis.
  • Education Trust-West This California-focused organization focuses on equity in educational opportunity, using data as its core tool for persuasion. The organization publishes "report cards" for districts as well as a major research report, policy paper or other insight every few months.


The following periodicals, blogs and podcasts are widely read and influential. Each brings its own editorial perspective.

  • Flypaper by the Thomas Fordham Foundation (free online) This is an education policy blog with a playful style. It is generally regarded as conservative-leaning. They have a podcast, too.
  • Education Next (free online) This quarterly periodical emphasizes national and international education policy and research. It tends to feature commentators with a positive view of charter schools and a skeptical view of teacher unions.
  • Edutopia (free online) This monthly magazine and blog hub emphasizes teachers and teaching, and is loaded with creative ideas. It can be fairly jargon-heavy, especially in its robust comment stream, where teachers interact about the ideas.
  • SchoolFinance101 (free online) Rutgers professor Bruce Baker is passionate about the potential for research to help support good education policy choices. He is perhaps even more passionate (sometimes to the point of rudeness) about revealing flaws in research methodology and the abuse of statistics.

But Wait, there's more!

For most of the organizations listed above, publishing is a key part of the work that they do. There are many, many other organizations who have something to say and their own way of getting the message out. Some of them are listed below. There are zillions of "education" blogs and education scholars.

Here's the thing, though: you don't have time to follow them all. Nobody does. That's part of the reason why EdSource and EdWeek are so important: if something really notable happens, they'll probably cover it. Once you complete Ed100, your best next move is to subscribe to EdSource (which is free, fair, and focused on California).

Below is a sampling of some organizations and sites that you should know about, even if you don't follow them. The list is in no way exhaustive.

  • The teachers unions (CTA and CFT): These are described in lesson 7.5.
  • The Association of California School Administrators (ACSA): ACSA serves and represents school and district leaders. It has about thousands of members and carries weight in Sacramento. Its conferences are well-attended. They cost money, but school districts usually budget for them.
  • The California School Boards Association (CSBA): CSBA provides training and support to members of school boards. It also advocates for state policies.
  • The California State Parent-Teachers Association (CAPTA) CAPTA provides resources for its members, including training for parents, and especially for PTA leaders. It is also a key partner of
  • Public Advocates This civil rights organization seeks policy change through law and litigation. It has had a long focus on equity in education in California.
So now it's done. /
You've reached the end! /
Wasn't that fun? /
Well, tell your friends!

If you think an essential organization, publication or blog has been callously overlooked here, please add a comment below. People DO read comments.

Updated July 2018, April 2019


To continue learning more about education issues as they change in California, this lesson particularly recommended signing up for one organization's free daily online reporting. Which ONE of the following is it?

Answer the question correctly and earn a ticket.
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Questions & Comments

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user avatar
francisco molina September 5, 2022 at 4:59 am
Thanks for your help, Ed100 is the only place for to learn about CDE and the current situation with the education system where is necessary our concern, because we are part of the control at each district.
user avatar
Leeydy RodriguezCobian January 27, 2022 at 2:06 am
Thank you for all the resources!
user avatar
Selisa Loeza1 January 27, 2022 at 7:01 pm
Thanks for joining Ed100! We look forward to hearing your thoughts throughout the course.
user avatar
Selisa Loeza November 16, 2021 at 8:15 am
I'm extremely grateful for this experience and treasure trove of info in this Ed100 course.

I appreciate how the course is fact-based, feels un-biased, is data driven and includes links to go down the lovely rabbit trails of education. Overall, this is the most thorough and cohesive experience teaching about the education system in California while remaining short and simple to understand.

I think it can be a pivotal resource for parents and others staff, teachers, community leaders, etc. and I'm already brainstorming new and exciting ideas to bring this to our PTA, school, and overall district.

Thanks, team!
user avatar
Breanna Kelly August 1, 2020 at 2:06 pm
Thank you for all of this information! I have signed up for, and look forward to diving into the Ed100 blog world next.
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Julie Grair April 7, 2020 at 4:45 pm
I noticed much of this curriculum mentions very little about school counselors and the role they play in education. Of course I'm biased because I am a school counselor and I believe I have a lot to offer education as a whole, particularly as it relates to college-going rates and the importance of promoting/preparing for college-going in education. I might consider including the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) as well as the California Association of School Counselors (CASC) as part of your list of organizations to know about. Just a thought.
user avatar
francisco molina April 9, 2020 at 9:18 am
I am absolutely agree, but Jeff did the last year a special blog about the same reasons. This was September 23 2019. Personally I prefer ASCA site because is open and very accessible, CASC just is for members, thats means only students and counselors.
user avatar
francisco molina August 20, 2019 at 4:05 am
Because the student population comes mostly from Hispanic families (representing over 60 % of students), over the half of them just speak Spanish. It would be good for all these sources of education to be bilingual.
user avatar
Brenda Etterbeek May 9, 2019 at 1:17 pm
Thank you for all these resources. Ed100 has taught me so much and I am grateful!
user avatar
Jeff Camp May 9, 2019 at 2:13 pm
Thanks, Brenda -- don't forget to have a look at the Ed100 blog, too. There's quite a bit in there.
user avatar
Susannah Baxendale March 28, 2019 at 11:19 am
Excellent array of places to find information and I appreciate that there are ones with different perspectives (identified). Sometimes I want to read what "the other side" is arguing so that I know what sort of ideas "my side" might be coming up against. I started Ed100 out of courtesy to a colleague in my PTA district; I continued because I tend towards compliancy and because I was learning; I finished because it really was interesting and so much to learn. I'll regard Ed100 as a reference tool and refresher on topics, and like Caryn C below, I'll sign up for EdSource for precisely the reason she gave!
user avatar
Caryn-C September 18, 2017 at 11:51 am
All good things must come to an end. I'm throwing myself a graduation party--you're all invited! Thank you, ED100. This has exceeded expectations on every level. I am grateful a resource like this exists and that I have members of my school community who are also investing their time in educating themselves about such a wide variety of complex issues. I genuinely look forward to discussing these topics with them.

And yeah, signed up for EdSource. You had me at "free, fair and focused on California".
user avatar
riledup2010 November 15, 2015 at 10:25 pm
Thank you, ed100. This has been and will be a valuable resource. As a first time parent in the Ca public school system, I found this site useful in understanding where we stand. I will say I am shocked and disappointed to learn that we rank so poorly in terms of funding. I thought that my middle class neighborhood would provide sufficient funds for schools... Thanks for breaking down prop 13 and other legislation that affects our kids. I look forward to being an advocate for my child.
user avatar
GiGi Griffin November 6, 2015 at 9:01 am
Which EdSource option would be best? Not sure if I should go with EdSource Today? In Depth? Or Leading Change? Or all 3?
user avatar
shadowzwench April 27, 2015 at 12:42 pm
ED100 has been a very informative resource. I am glad I had the opportunity to participate in these lessons.
user avatar
Mamabear April 12, 2015 at 2:38 pm
Yes, I have enjoyed reading and learning from these lessons. Thank you!
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g4joer6 April 22, 2015 at 11:46 pm
This is a great way to learn. Will refer to the info in this Learn More lesson in the future for sure.
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