California: the education state. Right?
Uh, maybe not.
Excerpted from Julie Watson’s article in the Sacramento Bee:
A group of prominent lawyers representing teachers and students from poor performing schools sued California on Tuesday, arguing that the state has done nothing about a high number of schoolchildren who do not know how to read.
The advocacy law firm, Public Counsel, filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court to demand the California Department of Education address its “literacy crisis.” The state has not followed suggestions from its own report on the problem five years ago, the lawsuit said.
“When it comes to literacy and the delivery of basic education, California is dragging down the nation,” said Public Counsel lawyer Mark Rosenbaum, who sued along with the law firm Morrison & Foerster.
English assessments found less than half of California students from third grade to fifth grade have met statewide literacy standards since 2015. Both traditional and charter schools are failing, Rosenbaum said.
Of the 26 lowest-performing districts in the nation, 11 are in California, according to the lawsuit. Texas, the largest state after California, has only one district among the 26.
One of the plaintiffs is an 11-year-old student identified only as Katie T. When she completed fifth grade at La Salle, she was at the reading level of a student just starting third grade and was given no meaningful help, the lawsuit said.
State assessments found 96 percent of students at the school were not proficient in English or math, according to the lawsuit. Only eight of the school’s 179 students were found to be proficient when tested last year.
David Moch, another plaintiff, is a retired teacher who taught at La Salle for 18 years. Moch said he had fifth graders in his kindergarten class.
Teachers were not given training or help to deal with the situation and programs that did seem to make a dent were discontinued, Moch said.
So let’s see: the students don’t learn reading or math, and the teachers claim they get no training or help to deal with the fact that students don’t learn reading or math…
…which is why, of the 26 lowest performing districts in the country California, with 12% of the population, has 42% of them.
But…but…isn’t California an elevated, smarter/hipper/more progressive society which the rest of the United States should be learning from?
Y’know? Maybe California ain’t as great as it thinks it is. Maybe California is an education disaster.