ERIC Number: EJ857127
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Does California's Master Plan Still Work?
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v41 n4 p28-35 Jul-Aug 2009
For nearly 50 years, California's higher education system has been shaped by the tripartite division of the vaunted Master Plan. The 1960 document's bold vision of access and quality safeguarded a system of selective research universities (the University of California) and provided baccalaureate education through less-selective campuses (the California State University system), while simultaneously ensuring broad access to higher education through a far-flung network of community colleges. The Master Plan has been credited with the state's superior education level and strong public research universities. But as the 50th anniversary of the Plan approached, a vision that could carry California for the next 50 years had yet to materialize--in part because it would require acknowledging the weaknesses of the very durable existing one. Though the need for a new plan has been obvious to analysts for more than a decade, there simply has been little appetite for addressing--or even acknowledging--the decline in California's educational capital. The Master Plan focuses on the divisions among the systems but not on the educational needs of the state--and certainly not its needs in the 21st century. In the last several years, a set of organizations--including the Campaign for College Opportunity and the California EDGE (Education, Diversity, and Growth in the Economy)--have brought new attention to the educational needs of the state. So have a series of reports by the Public Policy Institute of California. But it is far too early to know whether that awareness will be robust enough to translate into a coherent set of policies. Observers who have watched these initiatives come and go to little effect wondered whether this time, as the Master Plan's 50th anniversary approached, something would be different.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Educational Needs, Research Universities, Public Policy, Enrollment, Community Colleges, Accountability, Leadership, Elementary Secondary Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Two Year Colleges
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California