This article examines the poor grades for California K-12 Public Schools in the K-12 Education Week “Quality Counts” 2015 Report.
US schools have an average grade of C with an average score of 74.3.
First we present the scores of the quintiles of the distribution of the 50 states.
The top ten states range from a top score of 86.2 and grade B down to 75.9 with grade C+.
The next ten states range down to a score of 75.2 with grade C.
The third ten range down to 71.5 with a score of C-.
The bottom ten starts at 69.2 with a grade of D+ down to 64.2, with a grade of D.
California ranks as the 42nd state at 69.2 with the D+ grade.
With the range of states scores from 64.2 to 86.2, which covers a range of 22 points, California is just 5 points from the bottom. One way to understand this is to look at the Finance scores.
(The rankings include the District of Columbia.)
The US scores have an average of 75.3 and a grade of C.
The high score is 89.3, and the low is 59.1.
California’s score is 67.0, is ranked 40th, and is graded a D+. Of the range of scores of 30.2 from low to high, California is 7.9 from the lowest score.
To see why this is, the US average expenditure per pupil is $11,735 per year. California’s average expenditure per year is $8,308 in 2012. This is only 71% of the US average.
Furthermore, only 7.9% of California’s districts spend above the US average.
California’s recent increases will not show up until future surveys.
Under finance, California’s Equity score is 86.4, rating a B. However, its Spending score is 47.6, getting an F!
As a percent of taxable income that the state spends on education, the US average of states is 3.4%. California spends 2.7% on education. This is only 80% of the US average.
The California Budget Project points out that the student to teacher ratio for California K-12 in 2012-2013 is 24.7 to 1, while the US average is 14.5 to 1. California’s ratio is 70% higher than the US average.
Ed-Data reports for the Irvine Unified School District expenditures of $8,167 per pupil, compared to state averages for Unified School Districts of $8,734, or all Districts of $8,794.
The average US achievement is scored 70.2, with a range from 57.1 to 83.7, and a grade of C-. California does better here with a score of 67.8 and a rank of 33rd, but still only earns a D+. The range of scores is 26.6, and California is 13.1 or about half way above the bottom. Still, that is not what we expect for the best our state can do.
California ranks 42nd here with a C grade, while the US average is a C+.
In 2010, according to NCHHEMS, 61.7% of California’s graduating seniors went on to advanced education, comparable to the US average of 62.5%.
The California Postsecondary Education Commission, however, has lower numbers for 2008 for seniors going on to advanced education. They have a total of 49.7% going on to advanced education, with 8.4% going to UCs, 12.1% going to CSUs, and 29.3% going to community colleges.
Irvine was previously in the 48th Congressional District, and that had in 2008: 11.8% going on to UCs, 9.0% going on to CSUs, and 33.1% going on to Community Colleges, for a total of 54.0%.
The Education Week data has us graduating 82.0% of high school students, placing us 22nd among states. The US average is 81.0%.
Ed-Data for California has for 2012-13 the graduation rate of 80.4%, with the rate for males being 76.9%, and for females being 84.1%. They report a dropout rate of 11.4%, which, unfortunately, is highly ethnicity dependent.
Ed-Data also says that the percentages of high school graduates completing UC/CSU required course is 39.4%.
Using 2009 data, the percent of Californians 25 and older with bachelors degrees was 29.9%, above the US average of 27.9%. The range among states was from 17.3% to 38.2%.
In 2009, the percent with advanced degrees in California for age 25 and older was 10.9%, close to the national average of 10.3%. The range among states was from 6.7% to 16.4%.
Types of California Schools:
Here are some data from the California Department of Education.
California has 6.24 million students in public schools for 2013-2014. (Our population is 37 million.)
Of these, 0.51 million students are in Charter schools. Charter schools are also public schools and accept any student. They are supposed to be funded at the same rate as public schools but are claimed to be underfunded by 9%.
Private schools have 0.53 million students as of 2008-9, or 7.9% of students then.
Since one factor in California education may be ethnicity related, we note the diversity of California.
Hispanic or Latino students are 53% of public school students, at 3.32 million.
White, non-Hispanic students are 25% at 1.56 million.
Asian students are 8.7% at 0.54 million.
African American students are 6.2% at 0.38 million.
California has 1.3 million students classified as English learners. This is a high fraction, since the US has 4.4 million such students.