A report by the Rand Corporation finds that California´s students rank among the lowest in the nation for academic achievement — across all racial groups — despite the state´s many reform efforts.
The study also finds that California´s per-pupil spending is among the lowest, and its student-to-teacher ratio is among the highest. The state also lags in building schools, though it is catching up thanks to billions in bonds that voters have approved in recent years. The study examines California´s results on national standardized tests, teacher preparedness and it´s spending on schools and facility construction.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O´Connell says that the study´s findings echo complaints that he and other education advocates have long held — that more money should be devoted to schools. California officials have launched aggressive education reforms, such as a class-size reduction program that gave schools extra money for having classes with no more than 20 students per teacher.
The program was so popular, though, that it created a statewide shortage of qualified teachers. And Rand researchers found that the state´s average ratio of nearly 21 students per teacher still remains higher than the nationwide average of 16-to-1.
Read the report at Rand Corp.´s Web site: http://www.rand.org