On Oct. 1, Dan Walters took on the issue of California’s stagnant test scores among K-12 students. The newly-released batch of scores showed no movement from last year’s results; both English and Mathematics proficiency levels moved less than 1% from a year ago.

In examining these results, Walters makes the connection between the limited improvement and the far-less-limited state spending on education. He pins some of the blame on the local funding program, begun in 2012, that funnels state education dollars to school districts for more locally-controlled use.

The theory behind the program is that localities are better able to determine the proper use of funds – that less waste would occur when the money was placed in the hands of those who understood the local needs intimately.

Maybe Local Control isn’t Better

Based on these results, though, Walters speculates whether the program is meeting those goals or if, by placing so much funding in local hands, there were unexpected consequences that are preventing our students from improving their achievement.

Walters emphasizes the need for enhanced state monitoring of these funds and criticizes efforts at blocking such oversight.

Read the whole column at CALmatters: Latest academic tests underscore California’s education crisis


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