The Education System in California
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California is the most populous state in the United States of America. With a student population of more than six million, learning institutions especially in the public institution are feeling the burden. The education system consists of both the private and the public schools. California State is a cosmopolitan state inhabited by the people of all races. However, the highest number of the inhabitants is the immigrants especially from Africa, Asia and Latin America. The attractive nature of the California city to people from various places of the world has been contributed to the strategic nature of the town to both economic and social facilities. The rapid increase in population of the city has however had negative impact to social facilities available. The education sector was among the hardest hit with inadequate learning material and quality of education being the key problems.
Education system and brief history
According to Sidlow (p245), California’s education system at one time was the strongest worldwide. Public education began with state funding of pre-schools. This trend continued to the elementary, secondary education, collages and the universities. California has three public systems of higher education; the California community collage, the California state university system and the university of California system. The California community collages serves as the gateways to the four year collages and universities. Usually a student is allowed to study in the community collages for given number of years (usually two) before transferring to the collages and universities to complete for the collage certificate. The main state research university is the University of California which has ten major campuses spread all over United States. California state university is the third largest university system in the `unites states. Notable private university of equal importance is the University of Stanford, Toure University and the University of Southern California (Lawrence.p37). California has several other private collages spread all over California State. The educational facilities provided a number of learning opportunities to the citizens of California and other states.
The deteriorating education system
The California ones formidable educational system began declining with the introduction and passage of policies that undermined education giving priorities to other sectors (Sidlow, p343). Many people mark the decline of the quality education with the passage of the ‘proposition 13’bill.The property tax measure reduced funds to most schools and provided even less to schools that needed funds most. Since then the policymakers and the schools in general have been grabbling with this limited funds. Although many efforts have been made to avert the whole staggering problem, the piecemeal reforms and the educational fads have undermined the achievement. Also the some well intentioned innervations drafted by the educationists and economists targeting reduction of the size of students per single teacher, curriculum revision and test based accountability have been too little and too late. At the same time this policies have been loaded with the unintended consequences that worsen the problem (Mooney.p26).
Mismanagement is also a major problem (McChesney, p76). Some issues regarding mismanagement are so complex that they can not be solved locally. Solving mismanagement problem requires that state officials hold all the districts accountable for the making sure that all the resourced get into the classroom and the needy students. It also requires intervention and action when local problems are detected. However the state has no mechanism to make reliable follow up and monitoring to discern such action from happening. Because of the poor policy that leads to inadequate funding, teachers and other professional in the teaching field have been inadequate. Many of the teachers were deployed forcing them to move to other states to search for jobs. Currently California has the highest number of students per single teacher. Students are congested in classes with few learning material hence raising question on the quality of education that is provided in such institution (Laspina, p45).
A research carried out recently proved that highest number of Latino African American students and students from poor families have the biggest shortage of textbooks, the lowest numbers of qualified teachers (Smart, p20). In conjunction to this, the same students attend the states most overcrowded schools. California educational and accountability system has failed because lack of inadequate systems and mechanisms to put all the perpetrators into justice. The people who should hold the management accountable have no control power. For instance teachers have no control power over overcrowded schools and the students can not insist being thought by teachers who are demoralized because of the low salaries or demotion. Teachers, students and the state government have both roles of ensuring that educational standards are raised.
Access of quality education to all inhabitants of California is crucial for faster development of the state (McChesney, p81). Quality education is of high concern also because of the worrying separation and unequal system of education. The poor students, student of color and English language learners do not access to the same educational resources as their wealthier and white peers. It should be agreed that such fundamental opportunities to learn are critical for learning and for the future of California citizens all together. This unfair learning condition has contributed to the inequalities in the access to higher education and skilled jobs. Educational inequality will result to increased state insecurity as resources will only revolve around a few families leaving the rest suffering (Sproul, p69).
Overhauling educational standards in California
Due to dwindling of educational system, the state government of California and stakeholders in the education sectors joined together to come up with a long term solution to the problem (Kemerer, p68). Among the recommendations that were arrived at was the drafting of a master plan that was to address the whole issue of education accessibility and inequality. This plan was intended to serve as a benchmark for policy makers, educators, educational and community based agencies, business leaders in making decision that supports the quality and accessibly education. This was also intended to give clear statements and goals as well as the responding to immediate local needs. However it was agreed that quick sort term measurement was needed first to change the situation in the ground. The adoption of this positive development plan was envisioned to develop and maintain a coherent system of first rate schools, colleges and universities that is to prepare all the students for learning and for transition and successful in all aspects of education (Sonstelie,p36).
Effective and accountable educational system must focus fist on the learner. Strictures, policies, and financing must be revaluated to ensure that they are supportive to the learners and their acquisition of the knowledge and skills (Johnson.p59). Good education must target the success of learner. Therefore policy that focuses on the helping all learners achieve their educational needs without bias. Students from poor background have equal opportunities of accessing quality education just like those from the rich background. Equal education for all has been broad goal in the Americas public education for many years. To achieve this goal, the government of United States and the state of California have role to ensure that all public schools are provided with the instructional material and other equipments that will ensure that children have succeeded in their educational career.
Instructional materials may include the provision of adequate and relevant learning material such as textbooks. The distribution of such materials should be priorities in areas of high demand especially in schools that are overpopulated and lack crucial learning materials. Secondly, strict ,mechanism have been placed to ensure that al children will not only get to school in an already established system but ensure that the children are natured and rewarded such that they will ultimately graduate from both high school and colleges with knowledge, skills that will self initiate the life long self learning (Laspina, p79). In this spirit, it is believed that the more and more children will get access to quality education that will help them in their lives.
All school going children should be granted access to free public education as outlined in the constitution of United States (Johnson, p57). This guarantee is applicable to all students attending rural, suburban and urban schools; students from low, middle and high income families. Also formidable mechanism should be put in place to ensure that the students whose home language is not English and those who have spoken English at the entire of their life have accessed quality education. Adult learners who had never had opportunity to go to school have to be factored as they form the backbone and bulky of the workforce in the industries. This means that quality education should also be granted to the adults should they choose to pursue adult or postsecondary education with California states.
Every element of the California educational system is therefore informed by the new plans and will work to ensure that appropriate learning opportunities occur resulting to considerable gains in the every student’s knowledge and intellectual development. The underlying policy of equipping all learning institution with modern learning equipment should be done fairly and transparently. Effective and transparent mechanism is to be employed to ensure t hat each individual in the education sector is held accountable for actions that might be demeaning the education sector. Greater academy achievement can be realized by encouraging the students to work hard and have positive attitude towards learning (Johnson, p61).
Effective remuneration should be given to all teachers to boost there morale in handling the overwhelming number of children enrolment in public school (Laspina, p91). Teachers play a central role in the development of children. Quality training, behavioral changes and willingness to give the best to learners are key virtues that should be engraved in the heart of each teacher. In pursuit of quality but affordable education, the state government of California should consider retraining all those teachers whose performance are in great drought. This will aims at not only improving teachers performance but also create faith in many parents who have for long time held low opinion on the most training schools in California.
Thousands of teachers redeployed due to bad economic times should be returned to work. this might not be possible as majority got jobs else ware but by offering them attractive salaries and good working conditions, they might decide to come back as many are still attached with the splendor and attractive scenery of Chicago state. However if this strategy fails, the state government has a responsibility of sourcing teaching workforce from outside the United States to fill the already vacant spaces(Sonstelie,p36).
According to the educational experts, the greatest factor that caused deterioration of the educational standards California is lack of funding and poor ineffective policies(Johnson,p52).. Without funding learning institutions will not manage to handle the overwhelming number of students in public institutions, Funding also helps in the provision of facilities such as laboratories and libraries that are key requirement in any educational institution. Therefore, the state government of California together with the government of United States should work hand in hand in sourcing enough funds to cater for expenses incurred in the education sector. Billion of dollars is required to finance this expensive exercise. Appropriate mechanism to utilize spending and use of this funds should be put in place to ensure that the money is not mismanaged by the corrupt individuals with vested self interests (Sproul, p48).
Education Excellency and academic success can never be achieved by single person (Kemerer, p63). The state government of California should call upon the positive minded professionals and ordinary people to give moral support to the new systems. The education professional and policy makers should borrow a leave from states such as Illinois, New York and others that have hard success in their educational system. The people California have a role of promoting learning culture among themselves and their children. The children on the other hand should see practically the benefits of quality education. Parents are great role model to their children and many of them tend to immolate what their parents do (Laspina, p42).
The dwindling educational standards in California have been largely caused by poor and unpopular policies (Mooney, p24). This is a classical example of how bad policies can destroy the future generation of a country. Although it has taken long time, more than two decades, to realize the impact of such poor policies that resulted to reduction in annual spending of the states in educational matters, California can be in the right path. It is decision to adopt new educational policies that are designed to cater for every child regardless of background origin has got backup from many people. All children especially from the poor homes should get free quality education. It is there right and not a privilege as many people may believe. However the achieving of this worthy cause of action has a number of obstacles that stand in the way. Parents should ensure that children especially the adolescent do not get access to drugs. The exorbitant amount of capital needed to finance the new recommendation may be a problem .This calls the state government to cooperate with other states in sourcing the funds. The members of the public are also supposed to work hand in hand with the state authorities in providing lasting solution to these problems (Laspina, p86).
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