Let’s Get Down to Facts
For the second time in a decade, Stanford University and Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) have released a report showing that California lags in providing high quality public education, especially for our most vulnerable children. Getting Down to Facts II, released Monday, includes the work of over 100 leading researchers and highlights the immense challenges California public schools still face.
The report includes over 30 separate studies on student success, governance, personnel, finance and equity in California’s public education system. Politicians should have paid attention to the first report a decade ago, but this one, too, is full of data showing that bold change is needed.
The problem is, California’s kids can’t afford to wait another decade. And they clearly can’t rely on politicians in Sacramento to make change. That’s why we’re supporting Marshall Tuck for Superintendent of Public Instruction – he’s actually worked in schools and improved student outcomes. He’s not a politician, he’s a champion for kids, and he’ll actually tackle the problems Getting Down to Facts II identifies. Here’s just a few of those, for example:
- California is not preparing students for college. In one example, researchers tracked the first group of 11th graders who took the Smarter Balanced test in California and found that just 30% met the college-readiness standards in both English language arts and math. What’s worse: There were significant gaps by race and ethnicity and poor students and English learners were the least likely to be college ready.
- California is not providing an equitable education to English learners. The report was clear: “English learners in California do not have equitable access to grade-level core content instruction, partly because ELs may be tracked into lower-level content area classes and because English language development classes often crowd out content instruction.”
- California’s education data systems are incomplete and ineffective. Even in this tech-savvy state, “…access to data is severely limited, significant gaps in data remain and the CDE [California Department of Education] does not have the capacity to use the data effectively to guide policy decisions.”
There’s a lot to be done. California’s kids deserve better – and Marshall Tuck knows that. He’ll invest more in teachers, equip our schools to prepare students for the 21st century, push for universal pre-k and work to maximize the potential of technology with our data systems. That’s why we’re on #TeamTuck. Join us.