Basic skills programs in California serve about 1.5 million students and until recently cost taxpayers more than $1 billion annually – but a new study criticizes the network for a lack of clear priorities and academic goals.
Students enrolled in basic skills programs rarely make significant progress and few enter postsecondary education, and of those who do, only a small number succeed in achieving a credential or degree, or transferring to a four-year college or university, according to the study from the California Budget Project.
Basic skills education has three core content areas: reading and writing, mathematics as well as English as a second language. The programs are of increasing focus because of the state’s growing numbers of high school dropouts and low-skilled working adults who lack the fundamental skills for postsecondary education as well as many workforce needs.
The California Budget Project, which evaluates the impact of state spending on low- and middle-income families, issued the four-part series on basic skills titled At a Crossroads study – of which, the final report was released