This evaluation provides an assessment of The Hewlett Foundation’s California Education Policy Fund (CEPF) in the 2014-2015 year to inform CEPF’s annual grantmaking strategies. With an annual grantmaking budget of about $3 million, CEPF supports organizations advancing a wide range of policies that focus on “deeper learning” in California schools. CEPF specifically prioritizes grantees’ efforts in policy advocacy, research and communications designed to help California successfully implement new Common Core State Standards, high-quality assessments, new accountability systems and better aligned K-12 and higher education systems. CEPF also supports a network of funded organizations to meet regularly, share intelligence and learn together about advancing deeper learning policies in California.

The evaluation and associated interviews with policy leaders and grantees found important changes and developments between the first and second year of CEPF’s deeper learning focus, including:

— Grantees were more visible players in policy debates

— Grantee activities and effort were more tightly aligned with CEPF’s Deeper Learning goals

— Grantees organized to better unify their messaging and advocacy on two key education policy issues