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April 5, 2005 > RAND Study of Education

RAND Study of Education

These have been tough times for education in the state of California. Thirty years ago, California was consistently top-rated for educational quality and facilities. Currently, a flurry of pink slips and calls for corrective action have centered around school monies "guaranteed" by Proposition 98, a measure approved by voters in 1998.

The RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research organization, has conducted research and analysis on a variety of education topics. A news release, dated January 3, 2005, addresses the state of California's public school system. In almost every objective category - student achievement on national standardized tests, student/teacher ratio, teacher standards, real average teacher salary, dollars spent per pupil - the state's K-12 school system ranked near the bottom of all states.

Some positive trends were noted including "significant improvement in student math achievement and funding increases for school construction and repair." Stephen Carroll, a RAND senior economist and lead author of the report said, "California schools are lagging behind most other states and these findings suggest policymakers need to make major changes in order to repair the problems. Despite some improvements, the state has a long way to go to reclaim its standing as a national leader in K-12 education."

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