Policy brief

Nationwide Influences on California Education Policy

Michael W. Kirst
Stanford University


The good news is that academic achievement among California's public school students is improving. The bad news is that it still has farther to go before being able to meet so-called "world class standards." More troublesome yet, the state presently is beset by a complex web of troubling conditions which severely threaten continued education reform.

Dramatically increasing enrollments, declin­ing real revenues, and debilitating political issues are combining to distract from a concentrated state effort to improve California's schools. Each of these conditions, as well as student performance, is itself the subject of a subsequent chapter in this reform. However, this policy brief seeks to bring to the reader's attention another develop­ment which, while not currently on the front burner of policy consideration in California, may become increasingly important in the future.

The policy brief refers to building public visibility and political consensus around national strategies for accelerating education reform. The following section describes these multiple national strat­egies, and the individuals and institutions responsible for them.

The message here is not that California's public education system is about to be sub­ordinated to a monolithic national reform effort. Such is a remote, if not impossible, idea.

Suggested citationKirst, M. W. (1992, June). Nationwide influences on California education policy [Policy brief]. Policy Analysis for California Education. https://edpolicyinca.org/publications/nationwide-influences-california-education-policy