Saying it doesn't make it so. I think that what you are referring to was a statement of intention. In other words, California didn't intend to approve substandard schools. The state subsequently dropped the language that you refer to, not because they had suddenly decided to enforce a lesser standard, but because the language was misleading and didn't really correspond to the facts. I'm a native Californian who has been interested in the state's "non-traditional" sector since the 1970's. I haven't noticed any evidence that California's state-approved schools were better in the past than they are today. (But people in the 70's were probably more credulous than we are today. There was a lot of 60's idealism in California in those days. People weren't as worried about annoying things like mills and accreditation. They were too busy bending spoons and photographing Kirlian auras.) California once had a separate and rather minimal 'state-authorized' category as well, that was similar to what Wyoming is doing today. As a result California turned into a notorious haven for degree-mills. That 'authorized' category was subsequently abolished and the mills were given the choice of meeting the somewhat tougher state approval standards, closing, or leaving the state. Many of them simply relocated their addresses to Hawaii. So if anything, California has cleaned up its act over the years.