The Change California Needs

California Schools Are Falling Behind and Sacramento Special Interests and Politicians are Blocking Progress

At a time when we need to prepare our kids for the 21st Century economy, California public schools rank near the bottom in the nation in reading and math.

Instead of pulling together to fix the problems facing our public education system, Sacramento special interests and politicians are putting their own interests first and blocking needed change.

 

The Top Challenges Facing California’s Public Schools Today

More than half of high school graduates need remedial help to pass college English or math. Today in California, over 50 percent of high school graduates cannot pass beginning college English or math classes without basic remedial assistance.

Meanwhile only 30 percent of California’s ninth grade students will end up graduating from college.

 

Our students rank near the bottom in the nation in reading and math.

According to the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress, California’s public school students ranked near the bottom in the United States in reading and math scores.

Fourth grade students ranked just above Washington, DC, New Mexico, and Alabama.

And eighth graders finished ahead of only Florida, Nevada, Arkansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, New Mexico, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Washington, DC. Overall, California student performance in relation to other states has not changed much over the last decade.

 

We have one of the biggest achievement gaps in the country.

California has one of the biggest gaps between low-income and non-low-income student test performance in the United States.

In 2017, just 36 percent of low-income California students met or exceeded standards in eighth grade English, while 68 percent of non-low-income students did the same.

When it comes to fourth grade reading, we have the second largest achievement gap in the country. These gaps exist not only between low-income and non-low-income students, but are especially pronounced among minority communities.

California spends too much on administration, and too little in the classroom.

At a time when we should be investing in our classrooms, cutting bureaucracy, and ensuring every classroom has a high performing teacher, California instead prioritizes raising salaries for top administrators.

As parents and students who care deeply about the future of public education in California, we believe our state deserves better.

When it comes to solutions, unfortunately, the special interests and politicians in Sacramento have failed to create the change we need, and have in some instances even blocked progress altogether, including:

Thankfully, there’s a growing movement of students, parents, and public education advocates working to make the fundamental change we need in California public education.