Our View of California schools

IT’S hard, and essentially meaningless, to talk about “the California schools” as a monolith.

Students, teachers, parents, administrators and school board
members experience each campus, and each classroom, individually, not in
some educational doctoral degree overview thesis.

Parents – perhaps contrary to what they would have said in
their youth – tend to view the time of their own school experience, with
its ups and downs, in a nostalgic glow. They lament the current system
as if every single change from their own time were bad, everything they
underwent good.


Some teachers are still great, some uncaring. Some schools
still deserve their reputation of excellence – some simply serve
uniformly upper-middle class families with the wealth and the
educational background themselves to demand or pay for the best.

But the public schools here do get studied as a monolith
nonetheless. And when Stanford University professors looked at the
California schools five years ago and said that they were in need both
of major structural reforms and deeper funding, it was hard to argue
with them.

Now, a University of California followup to that study says
that half a decade later, school spending is down, not up, due to the
recession and the lackluster economic recovery, and that educators and
politicians have been much better at talking about reforms than
implementing any of them.

One of the reforms we’ve long advocated is freeing California teachers from being forced to spend quite literally all their time teaching toward the standardized test.

Read more Our View at EDUCATION.