The 1984 edition of “Conditions of Education in California” is the first edition of PACE’s signature publication. The primary purpose of this and subsequent publications in the series is to provide public officials, professional educators, and private citizens with a thorough, objective, and regular assessment of the performance of California’s schools. This initial, 1984, report was particularly significant. In 1983, California launched an ambitious and comprehensive education reform effort. (The reform policies are contained in Senate Bill 813.) The prescribed changes were directed at dozens of education matters such as high school graduation requirements, employee salaries, length of school day and year, secondary school counseling, and teacher licensing. The intent was to render California’s schools more productive both for individual students and the state as a whole. In future years it will be important to assess the extent to which reform efforts have been successful. By providing data on a number of school related dimensions, this report can serve as a baseline against which to judge future statewide educational outcomes.
The information was compiled from a spectrum of federal, state, and local sources. The report concentrates on kindergarten through twelfth grade public schools. However, a few data and conclusions are included regarding non-public and post-secondary education matters as well. Information in this document was compiled in substantial measure by Richard Pratt, John Parsons, and Ralph Brott. Judy Snow prepared the manuscript.