State students’ scores stagnate

November 3, 2011

California public school students lag far behind most of the nation, 2010 math and reading scores just released suggest. [SFGate]

Only Mississippi and the District of Columbia turned in worse scores, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, better known as the “Nation’s Report Card.” The survey measures a sampling of fourth-and eighth-grade students on math and reading scores.

The good news is that California students’ scores were up slightly, reversing a years-long downward slide.

States with higher scores generally outspent others by thousands of dollars per student, according to the report. For example, high-scoring Massachusetts spent $14,000 a year per student, while California shelled out $9,700. New Jersey, another high scorer, paid $16,300 per student.

But the results also indicated that there is no steady correlation between money spent and eventual test scores. The District of Columbia, which had the lowest scores, paid out as much as New Jersey.

“Our students are still making progress, even as they swim against a riptide of crowded classrooms and deep budget cuts to our schools,” state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson told the San Francisco Chronicle.

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I personnelly don’t think that California has gotton worse over the years. I think the big change has become the language barrior. Not the kids exactly but the parents. You have the kids learning english but then going home at night and speaking spanish. It is hard to emerse yourself in something if it is only half the time.

On the same I think it is also a problem with other subjects such as math etc. I think what you are seeing in California is what we saw as a nation in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s in the U.S. as a whole. We had at the time the great influx from Europe. It took succeeding decades and things got better as it balanced out (less imigration). I think what California has is a microcosm of that early time and the great influx of the last 30 years of imigration from Mexico.

Wrong as usual.

Because classes only proceed at the speed of the slowest student all but one child is doomed to getting an inferior education. I see nothing wrong with separating the advanced from the non-advanced. Maybe restoring a little competition to school work would help. I think we should spend the most money on the top 10% instead of the bottom.

There is a big cultural problem with learning in America, until we solve that we are not going to move up in world rankings. I know it sounds racist but check the money spent vs. area and you will see that it’s not all the fault of the schools, parents need to take a lot of the blame.

“I think we should spend the most money on the top 10% instead of the bottom.”

Wow, that’s really sad. Nothing like smell of segregation first thing in the morning. Who needs equality, let those poor little b@stards eat cake eh.

this is basically the same story as last week just on a national level.

And there’s an easy answer. It’s called vouchers.

Now watch the people who don’t like competition who don’t like free market who don’t like separating the cream come out against this post.

Just more segregation. We don’t need those stinken disabled, poor and majorities, screw them!

Geezzzzzzz, You’re just so blind sighted sometimes. Quit putting words in everyone’s mouths. That isn’t what anybody is saying. They are saying, put these kids in a special class where they don’t hold the others back. Sorry to tell you this but some kids are much more capable and yes SMARTER than others. You on the other hand seem to prefer dumbing everyone down in an effort to achieve what???? Your idea of equality I suppose?

I was referring to vouchers and they absolutely will segregate the rich from the poor and the kids that are learning disabled from those that aren’t. Part of what makes a good education is diversity. Also, with vouchers kids that have learning disabilities won’t get a good education at all. To me it looks as if you guys are for the dumbing down of our kids. The schools need to be reorganized as far as how they teach, dump Reagan’s ‘no child left behind’ nonesense and Ca. schools need more money, it’s that simple, we should not be segregating kids, we know from the past that this is a bad idea.

Typo is absolutely correct here, Cindy! While I would LOVE to have a voucher for my children, if we all used them, the public schools would end up with the worst dregs of society, as well as any special needs children that are not accommodated at a private school (due to cost).

I mean, potentially, there could be a “special” school in large enough population centers to take special needs privately, but it is unlikely and also not going to happen “out in the sticks.”

Vouchers allow parents choice, but the Public School is given NO choice (they must accept all), this will break down over time.

I think we should absolutely be segregating kids. If a child is disabled then he should be in a special needs class where those needs and the special needs of his comrades can be met by teachers who specialize in the field. I’ve seen what happens with disturbances from special needs children and it distracts everyone who is there to learn. Likewise kids that have high retention should be in accelerated classes while those with low retention/attention spans should be in decelerated classes. It just makes sense. As for vouchers, do you want to sacrifice your child’s education so that others can achieve mediocrity at best? Bring on the vouchers.

“I think we should absolutely be segregating kids. If a child is disabled then he should be in a special needs class where those needs and the special needs of his comrades can be met by teachers who specialize in the field.”

Without govt oversight there needs won’t be met. Teachers in private schools get paid much less than those in public schools, many teachers in private schools wouldn’t be qualified to work in public schools. It doesn’t matter what the media says, public schools have the best teachers. Although there are a few exceptions (ie Mission Prep), studies show that kids don’t do better in private schools. Private schools have the power to pick and choose who they want so disabled kids and poor kids will be left behind.

Private schools are pretty much based on religious denominations seeking to teach academics their religious doctrine, and wealthier parents wanting

to give their children an advantage over other children. Tax-funded vouchers for private schools increase divisions between rich and poor and among different religions. It is unconstitutional to fund religious institutions with our tax dollars and by handing out vouchers we are violating this very important part of what our country was founded on.

I’m not always good at wording things so I copied two links that explain some of the problems with school vouchers better than I can

I really liked this last paragraph in this link that I provided”

“Our greatest commitment should be to provide children with world views different from that of their parents. Private schools , for the most part, don’t accomplish this. Many of them are only an extension of not only the same viewpoints as home but provide little opportunity for kids to experience diversity. instead, they insure that adults who grow up this way are comfortable only within their own political, racial and socioeconomic strata. And it follows that children educated in this restrictive world will be less tolerant of different attitudes and viewpoints as adults. What we need is unity in the midst of our diversity, rather than isolation. We can’t allow television to be the only thing that unifies us. Our public schools should be what they have been for the last century: the best institution for shaping and conveying a common culture.”

The article in that link is based on how private schools (in the state voucher area) in Wisconsin discriminate against kids with disabilities. Wisconsin has a state voucher program.

In Florida they also have a voucher program. (not in that article) They are in trouble for allowing disabled kids to go to schools paid by vouchers that housed disabled kids in malls and and in basements, they moved the kids from one inappropriate place to another all within the same school year while not teaching them anything, they would just watch movies. In Florida under that same school voucher program there was an accident with a bus full of students that rolled and killed two people,,the bus was being driven by a 17 year old. Our disabled kids will be treated like dirt if this country goes to a voucher program.

Private schools mean no govt. oversight and although the many don’t like govt. oversight it is a necessity. There is still no match for public schools and we should be doing everything we can to improve them as opposed to closing them.

Immigration, liberalism, and welfare.

^^ this.

California at the bottom. How can that be? Could there be any correlation between this story and the story that KSBY aired today regarding Lucia Mar’s use of technology in the classroom “Cutting edge technology helps English language learners in local classrooms” Grant monies and resources are going down the drain.

Why would children from welfare families worry about getting an education or excelling in academic’s? When you grow up watching your parent and her boyfriends get everything you think they need and you need, why work for anything? From a free roof over your head, to heat, electric, food, new school clothes every year, free medical and dental including braces and even some spending money, all for FREE, what’s to worry about. They learn that the simple fact that they exist means they get these things for free in fact they may even interpret their lives better than others because their parent (or parent’s or mom’s boyfriend, other siblings baby daddies, etc) don’t have to get up and go to work for any of this. Who needs an education when they even get to buy alcohol and drugs and do whatever they want all day long. Soda and chips are always plentiful as is TV and if you really want something special at Christmas, some benevolent church or other group will buy it for you.

I do recognize that many of us can run into serious financial problems through no fault of our own and might need help on occasion. These are not the people that I’m referring to. I have no qualms about helping my fellow man in those situations. With that said:

We as a society have made it too easy for “willful welfare bums” , and although we have cracked down on families who raise generations of welfare recipients it is still too easy for many who don’t really need the help but are unwilling to help themselves. I don’t think we should mail checks and debit cards to welfare recipients. I think we shouldn’t give them any money but should rather have commissaries for them. We are finding debit cards being used in cash machines in Las Vegas, at resorts and even on Cruise Lines! We could save a great deal of public tax $$ if we had commissaries that provided food, clothing, toiletries, household needs etc rather than cash payouts every month. With that done, there would be plenty of extra money for education.

“there is no steady correlation between money spent and eventual test scores.”

This one line speaks volumes about our education department and those that run it. I have nothing to say but good about most teachers, but admin and management get a thumbs down from me…

Especially when viewed over the past 50 years or so… Anyone know how much we USED to spend back in the 50’s and 60’s? And how well did we do then? Today’s tests have been dumbed down so no child is left behind; I’d love for a group of kids to take a 1960’s era evaluation exam. I’m curious how the results would be.

Jeeze, we put up signs that say “10 items or less” in stores, and nobody says anything or cares… we just do not value education, and I fully blame the nanny-statists.

It’s worse than any of us know. I was talking with a 2008 high school graduate the other day about climate change. Eventually it became clear that they believe that the sun evolves around the planet earth! Initially I thought they had mistakenly said something backwards but that they obviously knew better and I mentioned that they are talking about the fact that the earth’s trajectory extends in an oval rather than a circle when they made it clear to me that the sun follows our pattern no matter where we go (or something like that) !!! HUH????? Just to be certain I asked them if we evolve around the sun or does the sun evolve around us (the earth)? Then they said that I had them confused because it’s a little of both depending on gravity!!! It doesn’t get worse than that in my opinion.

I propose a movement called “Occupy Homeroom,” to show our disdain for the 10%ers that take the lion’s share of all educational resources.

These 10%ers come in all shapes and sizes.

They are the kids struggling with English who necessitate a second teacher who speaks their language.

They are the kids with medical problems who require an inordinate amount of nurse time and attention.

They are the kids with behavioral problems who require admin time for an IEP and counseling.

These are the kids with learning disabilities who require all kinds of school resources to abet their custom learning programs.

Who is getting the shaft are the 90%er children, who just want to go to school to learn, and are hampered because there’s no money because CA ed code mandates special treatment for the 10%ers.

Quite pithy, racket!

not sure it is a correlation between spending and scores.

Perhaps those districts that spend more are more affluent. More affluent parents generally value education more, and push their kids harder.

I think much of it comes down to the parents.

But it is never so simple. When you are educating immigrants who are just learning the language, they may not fare as well on tests, and possibly, they may cause the entire class to learn less, as the teacher tries to teach to the mean.

Actually when you mention the immigrant factor then really it seems as if Ca. should be spending MORE per child instead of less. That’s a major issue and it seem appalling that we spend so much less than other states. If they don’t start spending more then we will be just one big ghetto state with a bunch of illiterate residents. Geez just above Mississippi that’s pathetic, we need to be much higher on the list.

Typoqueen, Calif already IS one big ghetto state with a bunch of illiterate residents.

By the way, I wish that just once you would acknowledge that every economic entity has LIMITATIONS.

It doesn’t help when a state has immigrants that refuse to learn or speak the language and insist that the locals learn to speak the immigrants language. Of course there is a lot more to the problem such as attitude and parenting.

Throwing more money at this issue obviously isn’t the deciding factor. DC spent as much as NJ and still came out last.

I’m going to mention and probably be beat over the head by some here, that don’t want to hear it and be called racist but here goes.

I had some business to conduct last year off and on over a period that added up to about three days up in Greenfield north of us. As Cindy mentioned about language, try going to Greenfield. You are the minority speaking a TOTALLY different language. I would guess the majority (at least 75%+) don’t speak English. Just facts no rasism.

It’s sad that people can’t speak the truth without having to duck the racist card. It’s clear from your post that you’re already bracing for it , for telling it like it is in Greenfield. I couldn’t care less if somebody call’s me a racist. I know that I have never judged anyone based on their race but only on their actions and I’m perfectly comfortable with my own knowledge of who I am. Keep telling the truth, less you become an enabler. Watching people refuse to accept and appreciate their blessings while they take everybody else down along with themselves, and not speaking out is a far worse trait in my opinion.

I have to admit that immigrants not speaking English bothers me. I don’t expect them to abandon their heritage, but they should learn and use English.

Worse yet, I know a few families who have been legal U.S. citizens for many years and their children seem to prefer speaking in Spanish despite the fact that they know English. It seems as if their version of anti-establishment behavior includes using languages other than English.

I remain critical how schools are spending money, but I admit that the issues brought up regarding immigration and lower effort/discipline on the part of students/parents have merit too.

The trend of larger class sizes isn’t helping either.

I’ve been working/volunteering at our local schools for 13 years, I’ve yet to meet one child that wasn’t trying to learn to speak english. It doesn’t; take kids long to learn, by the time they’re in 2nd or 3rd grade they are fluid at speaking english.

You’re right. I still remember a non English speaking brother and sister from Poland joining our class during the middle of the year when I was in the first grade. Our teacher (Mr’s Griffin) told us all about them and instructed us on helping them to learn our language. They both not only learned to fully communicate in English within a year but by the 3rd grade they were both top of the class with straight A’s. I remember my mother telling me that her friend lived next door to Mary and Stanley’s family and she said they were at the top of the class because their parents made them study for two hours every day after school. Back then no one had homework in grade school and few needed to study as we easily retained what we learned in a respectful environment without unruly distraction from others.

I wonder what the problem is with so many of the non English speaking immigrants these day’s?

BTW, Mary and Stanley remained at the top of the class right through HS graduation! I wonder what they’re doing now? Something great I bet.

I honestly don’t believe that there is a problem with kids not speaking English. Many of their parents don’t speak English, on parent teacher night I will see several kids interpreting for their parents. IMO most of the illegal immigrants don’t bring older kids. They have the babies here, as you guys like to say they’re anchor babies so they don’t really have language problems. I feel that people make a big deal out of this language issue but it’s not really an issue. As a matter of fact I remember reading a study that said that kids that are bilingual actually perform better in math and science.

Spending may not directly correlate with results, I guess it depends on how the school is spending the money. The national average is $10,500 per student. Of course California – where costs are higher than average – thinks that $9,700 per student is adequate. With our current budget woes, it will be difficult to spend more.

I’d really like to see a comparison of how the schools are spending the money they get, with an accurate division between administration costs and teaching costs. Administration is absolutely necessary, but I’d like to see stats on the percentage that each state spends. There are construction and maintenance costs as well.

Please modify the CCN link to SFGate, I couldn’t get it to work. Here is where I found the article:

The National Assessment of Educational Progress report site:

This article says that spending might not correlate with results but then why do the states with higher spender per student do so much better. I wonder why they dismiss the money per child aspect.

“But the results also indicated that there is no steady correlation between money spent and eventual test scores. The District of Columbia, which had the lowest scores, paid out as much as New Jersey.”

New Jersey is one of the highest spenders at $16,300. per student and yet DC spends an equal amount and comes out last! I think it has more to do with the parents behind the children than the extra money. Well disciplined respectful children want to learn. If there are a high number of unruly children then they cause a distraction for the rest.