Williams v. California
A lawsuit that established safety and materials requirements for California schools.
On August 13, 2004, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced the
settlement of Williams v. California, a lawsuit filed on behalf of
thousands of California's public school students who were denied equal
educational opportunity. Williams Legislation established new standards
and accountability mechanisms to ensure that all California public
school students have textbooks and instructional materials and that
their schools are clean, safe, and functional. It also took steps
toward assuring all students have qualified teachers. A team of
researchers, affiliated with UCLA’s IDEA, investigated the statewide
impact of Williams Legislation on California’s lowest performing
schools. Using a mixed methodological approach, the study documents the
progress made during the first two years of Williams implementation:
2004-05 and 2005-06. Data for this investigation were provided through
surveys, County Office of Education Annual Reports, School
Accountability Report Cards, and interviews. Teacher misassignment and
English learner monitoring data were made available through the
California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The qualitative
case-study design involved site visits to twelve decile 1-3 schools
throughout the state (Southern, Central, and Northern California)
during the fall of 2006.
Williams v. California: The Statewide Impact of Two Years of Implementation—the report drawn from this study—provides a comprehensive discussion of these quantitative and qualitative analyses. The report investigates the impact of the Williams Settlement Legislation on decile 1-3 schools by seeking answers to the following questions:
- Since the enactment of the Williams Legislation, has access to textbooks and instructional materials increased for public school students in California?
- Since the enactment of the Williams Legislation, has access to clean, safe, and functional schools increased for public school students in California?
- Since the enactment of the Williams Legislation, has access to appropriately certificated and assigned teachers increased for public school students in California?
The report can be accessed at www.decentschools.org