Conditions of Education in California, 1985

James W. Guthrie
Policy Analysis for California Education
Michael W. Kirst
Stanford University
Terry S. Emmett
California Department of Education


This is the second edition of Conditions of Education in California. It is a technical report intended primarily for individuals such as public officials, professional educators, association executives, union leaders, governmental agency staff, education journalists, business executives, informed citizens, and others who have more than a passing interest in California's educational system.

The magnitude and complexity of public education in California are seldom well understood. Public schools in this state now serve more than four million students and cost $17 billion annually. The school system is sufficiently large as to assume glacial qualities. The direction and speed of its movement are often difficult to discern except from the vantage of time and the use of outside references. Consequently, this report repeatedly offers comparisons of California's educational system to itself in prior years and to those in other states. These comparisons reveal patterns of change and suggest future trends worthy of emphasis. The evolving context of California education which emerges from these trends serves as a guide for the many facts and figures that appear in this report.

Suggested citationGuthrie, J. W., Kirst, M. W., & Emmett, T. S. (1985, September). Conditions of education in California, 1985 [Report].  Policy Analysis for California Education.