General Question

henry_david's avatar

Are California's public schools really that bad?

Asked by henry_david (67points) March 27th, 2008

The best place to “get the pulse” of how well-educated people are is at a film. I often hear the most idiotic things coming from people that I’ve almost lost faith in the education here.

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11 Answers

Rememberme's avatar

Education your own personal responsibility. Even in wonderful schools with excellent teachers, students lack the ability to motivate themselves. Which is easy to do considering the redundancy of public/private school.

In California there is a diverse group of people, but one demographic is notorious for pulling down school test scores. Hispanics have a different ideology when it comes to education. For many families, when grandma is sick the kids stay home, when the children get to a certain age it is time for them to get a job and start a family. Many parents don’t think their children can/should go to college. The school boards have a difficult time encouraging them.

nocountry2's avatar

I had a great education – it felt like a private school education in a public school setting (Clovis unified school district). However, my mother was a school administrator and pretty much hand-picked all my teachers, so I’m sure that helped…

thegodfather's avatar

California does reasonably well in their assessments (check out WASC data, Western Association for Schools and Colleges). All too often folks focus on a couple key districts where scores are lower, etc. My high school was very challenging. The school’s average ACT score was around 26. Nearly everyone in my senior class got accepted to a four-year university upon graduating. So I have a high opinion of California public schools, personally.

TheHaight's avatar

I loved the “public” schools i went too, Its truely up to the student to do a good job.

henry_david's avatar

I love the responses! You see, I’ve always attended private schools, and so only have experience with public schools with friends who go there. The public high school that really surprises me is Newport Harbor, just down the road from me. They have a shortage of textbooks and the classes sound easy as all get out. One student there, an old friend, has a 3.8 GPA and is having difficulty with college admissions because of the school he attends. Then again, there are plenty of people at my school that aren’t well-educated, and we have some pretty good teachers here. Go figure.

nomtastic's avatar

First of all, rememberme’s comment is veeeeeery thinly veiled prejudice. Hispanic/Latino students don’t necessarily “pull test scores down.” I am surprised no one responded to this earlier.

The big deal about CA schools is that they used to be #1 in the country, but with prop 13 (1978), property taxes were frozen in CA, which used to be the biggest sources of funding for schools. So now I think CA schools hover in the low 40s across the nation.

As for the great public universities in CA, I recently heard cited that only 18 percent comes from public funding!!

TheHaight's avatar

yeah, I just read the first paragraph of remembermes…
And now I barely noticed the part that he/she said “one demographic is notorious for pulling down test scores” and later brings up Hispanics. I agree with nomtastic, a tad prejudice.

henry_david's avatar

Sorry for not saying anything. :-(

Rememberme's avatar

I encourage ya’ll to look into “No child left behind”. Basically, It is setup to break down test scores by different demographics (Income, race, ect.) If ONE of the demographics does not meet AYP (adequate yearly progress) then the entire school fails. If the school fails multiple years in a row then the students can choose to go to a different school.

I was not trying to target hispanics in my comment, however statistics show that they do pull down schools’ test scores. This not only happens in CA but all around the country. Personally I would like to see NCLB be abolished.

nomtastic's avatar

fine, that may be demographically true. but the causal link you pose is very shady – that it’s not part of their culture to do well in school. it leaves out all of the mitigating circumstances, you know?

Allie's avatar

i went to school in Davis, CA (yay ‘06 Blue Devils!). Thankfully, there is such a sense of community among Davisites that whenever the schools needed funding, the residents would vote to tax themselves and help the schools. So… Thanks, Davis!

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