California - Education

Education

Main article: Education in California See also: List of colleges and universities in California

Public secondary education consists of high schools that teach elective courses in trades, languages, and liberal arts with tracks for gifted, college-bound and industrial arts students. California's public educational system is supported by a unique constitutional amendment that requires a minimum annual funding level for grades K-12 and community colleges that grows with the economy and student enrollment figures.

California had over 6.2 million school students in the 2005–06 school year. Funding and staffing levels in California schools lag behind other states. In expenditure per pupil, California ranked 29th (of the 50 states and the District of Columbia) in 2005–06. In teaching staff expenditure per pupil, California ranked 49th of 51. In overall teacher-pupil ratio, California was also 49th, with 21 students per teacher. Only Arizona and Utah were lower.

A 2007 study concluded that California's public school system was "broken".

California's public postsecondary education offers a unique three tiered system:

  • The research university system in the state is the University of California (UC), a public university system. There are ten general UC campuses, and a number of specialized campuses in the UC system. The system was intended to accept the top 10% of California high school students, but under severe budget restrictions, this has since been diminishing. The UC system was originally given direct authority in awarding Ph.Ds, but this has since changed several years ago, California's Master Plan for Higher Education granting the CSU to award several Doctoral degrees.
  • The California State University (CSU) system has almost 430,000 students, making it the largest university system in the United States. CSU was intended to accept the top one-third of high school students, but under severe budget woes and record amount of applications, this has since changed. The CSU originally began as an educational system primarily intended for undergraduate education, but has since changed under California's Master Plan for Higher Education. The CSU has been granted the authority to award an ample amount of Doctoral degrees today.
  • The California Community Colleges System provides lower division coursework as well as basic skills and workforce training. It is the largest network of higher education in the US, composed of 112 colleges serving a student population of over 2.6 million.

California is also home to such notable private universities as Stanford University, the University of Southern California, the California Institute of Technology, and the Claremont Colleges. California has hundreds of other private colleges and universities, including many religious and special-purpose institutions.

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Famous quotes containing the word education:

    Those things for which the most money is demanded are never the things which the student most wants. Tuition, for instance, is an important item in the term bill, while for the far more valuable education which he gets by associating with the most cultivated of his contemporaries no charge is made.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    There must be a profound recognition that parents are the first teachers and that education begins before formal schooling and is deeply rooted in the values, traditions, and norms of family and culture.
    Sara Lawrence Lightfoot (20th century)

    Very likely education does not make very much difference.
    Gertrude Stein (1874–1946)