December 2, 2013 – By Lori Arnold, Research Analyst
Just weeks after Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed Assembly Bill (AB) 375—the only significant school reform measure to advance out of the Legislature this year—newly released national test scores for math and reading affirm the state’s educational system has our children mired in mediocrity.
According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress test scores, California’s fourth-graders ranked 47th in both math and reading, while eighth-graders ranked 42nd in reading and 45th in math. The biennial tests were taken earlier this year and show no advances for California students since the 2011 exam.
Despite persistent funding cries from educators and teachers’ unions, money does not appear to be the magic salve they claim it to be. According to demographics provided by testing officials, California ranked 37th in annual per-student funding with $9,212, yet never managed to climb out of the scoring basement. In addition, 10 states—Kentucky, Colorado, Texas, Florida, South Dakota, Nevada, North Carolina, Tennessee, Idaho and Utah—all receive less funding, but scored higher than California in all four test subjects.
Perhaps the most egregious example of funding disasters is the District of Columbia, which ranks first in funding, with $21,139 per pupil, nearly $3,000 more than New York, the second highest funded state. It also ranks third lowest in class size with a pupil to teacher ratio of just 12:1. Despite all of the resources, D.C. students rank dead last in all four testing categories, with its eighth-graders scoring as much as 18 and 19 points below the national average for reading and math, respectively.
By contrast, Utah, which spends $6,605, 300 percent less than D.C., READ MORE
California Family Alliance (CFA) is a not-for-profit, political action organization that works in affiliation with California Family Council. CFA’s purpose is to advocate for pro-family, pro-life issues at the grassroots and legislative levels.
Because of our advocacy for and against legislative bills, ballot measures and cultural issues, CFA is registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(4) organization. This IRS status means that contributions to CFA are not tax-deductible. We rely on the gifts of families and individuals who believe California’s public policies must be researched, analyzed and communicated to the state’s citizens, in order to motivate participation in the process of government.
Similar to California Family Council, CFA limits its involvement to matters that affect innocent life, religious liberty, and the historic, traditional family, such as:
• Embryonic stem cell research
• Physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia
• Human trafficking and child protection
• Parental authority
• Educational curricula
• Alternative sexual orientation “rights”
• Same-sex “marriage”
• Rights of conscience and employment laws
• Adoption and foster care
• Fiscal responsibility
• Divorce and its consequences