While standardized test scores have improved on the margins, California public school students continue to underperform.
New documents are suggesting that weak support from teacher unions was a factor in the state's failure to win money in the Obama administration's $4.35 billion "Race to the Top" school reform grant competition.
State education officials have expressed disappointment that California was not among the 10 winners announced Tuesday. Nine states and the District of Columbia will share $3.4 billion.
California placed 16th of the 19th finalists, scoring 423.6 out of 500 possible points.
The state also lost points for not fully implementing a data system to monitor student achievement over time.