A massive and much-anticipated study by Stanford researchers says that the state’s education system is fundamentally broken and that additional funding alone won’t assure that students learn to read, write and calculate at grade-level.
Systemic reform, in addition to more money, is necessary in order for all students to achieve the academic expectations California has set for its 6.3 million public school students, researchers found. Those changes should cover everything from how the state directs money to districts to how it collects data on student performance to what training it requires of teachers and the ability of principals to hire and fire school staff, the report says.
The report calls for targeting funds to high-need students, notes the San Francisco Chronicle.
The study appears to support the idea that children with higher needs should attract more education dollars to a school or district. Traditionally, that approach is known as the “weighted student formula.”
AP quotes educators who estimate it would cost $23 billion to $32 billion on top of the state’s current $66 billion school budget, to educate all students to the state’s goals.
Update: Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee has more.
In related news, some 45 percent of new students at California State University campuses require remedial English; nearly 40 percent must take remedial math, according to a CSU report. In 1996, the CSU trustees set a goal for reducing remediation, but progress hit a plateau four years ago. CSU admits students who rank in the top third of the graduating class statewide. Typically, applicants have a B average or better in college-prep classes.