ERIC Number: ED211933
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Jul-15
Reference Count: 0
The Great Educational Earthquake of 1981: Reallocation of Resources in California High Schools to Meet Minimal Competency Requirements: Was the Reallocation Necessary?
Sections 51215-51217 of California's Educational Code require that school districts in that state provide remedial instruction to students who do not pass district-developed proficiency tests. As a result of this requirement, school districts have had to create remedial courses for some 100,000 students who did not pass one or more tests in reading, writing, and arithmetic. This meant that more than 4,000 remedial classes at a cost of approximately 12 million dollars had to be offered to 30% of the students. English and mathematics teachers who had been teaching electives and advanced courses for college preparatory students found themselves reassigned to teaching proficiency classes. School districts also used funds to offer proficiency classes in summer school. Educators have begun to worry that this will lead to the trivialization of the high school curriculum without significantly improving the performance of the remedial students, since no evidence has yet been produced showing that remedial classes are more effective than regular classes in improving students' abilities. Faced with these problems, school boards need to reconsider their proficiency testing programs by asking the state to determine what minimal competency is in the adult community and by making sure that the content and processes assessed by their tests represent parts of the curriculum actually taught in their schools. (FL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: California Univ., Berkeley. Inst. of Governmental Studies.
Authoring Institution: N/A