California students rank low academically
 Jan. 4, 2005

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California students rank among the lowest in the nation for academic achievement - across all racial groups - despite the state's many reform efforts, according to a study released Monday.

The Rand Corp. study also finds California's per-pupil spending is among the lowest, and that its student-to-teacher ratio is among the highest. The state also lags in building schools.
The study was sponsored by the California-based William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which funds social research.
While he said he wasn't surprised by any single finding from the 18-month study, lead researcher Steve Carroll said he was struck by "the overall cascade of unhappy observations."
The study examined California's results on national standardized tests, facility construction, teacher preparedness and education funding.
Thirty years ago, residents invested heavily in the public education system, resulting in schools that were consistently ranked among the nation's best, Carroll said. A voter-approved property tax limit and a change in how the state pays for schools, both passed in the 1970s, cut public education spending and led to a drop in quality, Carroll said.
The state also falls short in comparisons with other states regarding the share of personal income that goes toward public education.