OPINION: The public schools of the Golden State used to be the gold standard. These days, they’re at the bottom of the pile. Our public school 4th graders rank 46th in reading. Our 8th graders come in 47th in math. A majority of our high school students are unprepared for the rigors of college. These dismal numbers aren’t just indicators of an educational calamity; they are also evidence of an economic disaster in the making.