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california legislation > AB 743

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ASSEMBLY THIRD READING
AB 743 (Block)
As Amended May 27, 2011
Majority vote

HIGHER EDUCATION 9-0 APPROPRIATIONS 17-0

-----------------------------------------------------------------
|Ayes:|Block, Donnelly,|Ayes:|Fuentes, Harkey,|
| |Achadjian, Brownley, | |Blumenfield, Bradford, |
| |Fong, Galgiani, Lara, | |Charles Calderon, Campos, |
| |Miller, Portantino | |Davis, Donnelly, Gatto, |
| | | |Hall, Hill, Lara, |
| | | |Mitchell, Nielsen, Norby, |
| | | |Solorio, Wagner |
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SUMMARY
: Requires the California Community College (CCC) Board
of Governors (BOG) to establish a common assessment system to be
used for the purposes of CCC placement and advisement.
Specifically, this bill :

1)Requires BOG to establish a common assessment system to be
used as one of multiple measures for the purposes of CCC
placement and advisement, and requires the project to include
the following objectives:

a) Creation of a centrally delivered system of student
assessment that provides a single assessment instrument for
use by CCC in English, mathematics, and English as a second
language;

b) Creation of a secure centrally housed assessment test
data warehouse that collects all assessment scores
generated by assessed students at all CCCs and all
available K-12 assessment data and transcript information
generated by assessed pupils in the state's K-12 school
system who are seeking enrollment at a CCC; and,

c) Creation of an Internet Web portal that can be accessed
by CCC personnel and students that provides:

i) An individualized student assessment profile that
can be accessible for counseling, matriculation, and








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course placement purposes;

ii) A pretest application that emulates the structure of
the pilot project assessment that students can practice
and familiarize themselves with before taking
assessments; and,

iii) An advisement tool that provides students with
information on the importance of assessments and the
historical success rates of remedial courses for students
at various levels of academic remediation.

2)Requires California Community College Office of the Chancellor
(CCCCO) to report to the Legislature and the Governor on
progress made on the implementation of the common assessment
system by December 31, 2012.

3)Provides that the provisions of this section shall become
operative upon the receipt of state, federal, or philanthropic
funds sufficient to cover the costs of the common assessment
system.

EXISTING LAW establishes matriculation services required to be
made available by CCCs, including, among other services, the
administration of assessment instruments to determine competency
in math and language skills and student study and learning
skills.

FISCAL EFFECT : According to the Assembly Appropriations
Committee, CCCCO will incur one-time General Fund costs of
around $1 million to determine the single assessment instrument,
develop the data warehouse and access portal, and complete the
progress report. CCCCO indicates that it currently has
approximately $330,000 from a foundation grant to begin this
task. Ongoing costs will be several million dollars annually
for the Chancellor's Office to fully implement and operate a
statewide assessment system. To the extent most or all districts
eventually participate and exclusively use the statewide
assessment system, these costs would likely be much more than
offset by General Fund/Proposition 98 savings at the district
level. If districts are eventually required to use the
statewide assessment system, this will create a reimbursable
state mandate.









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COMMENTS :

Background: About 85% of incoming CCC students are not
proficient in college-level math, and about 70% arrive
unprepared for college-level English. These basic skills are
fundamental to student success, and a core mission of CCC is to
provide basic skills education. However, in the absence of
appropriate assessment, students may seek placement in courses
for which they are unprepared. According to the Legislative
Analyst's Office, most studies recommend that incoming CCC
students be assessed prior to enrolling in classes and link
assessment with improved course completion and graduation rates.
While existing BOG regulations require CCC districts to provide
assessment, many students opt out of this process; in the fall
of 2006, 97,000 students failed to participate in assessment.
Further, dozens of different standardized tests are used
throughout the CCC system and many CCCs recognize only their own
tests and require students who were previously tested at other
CCCs to be reassessed. In effect, CCCs can have multiple
definitions of college readiness. This sends a confusing
message to current and prospective students and results in
costly duplicative testing by CCCs.

Purpose of this bill . The author argues that the implementation
of a centralized assessment program will increase the number of
students assessed and decrease assessment costs, save students'
time and CCC funds by allowing students to take their test
scores with them to different CCCs, ensure students understand
expectations before taking the tests through online pre-testing,
allow more accurate placement of students through combining data
with K-12 test data, and save millions of dollars by ensuring
CCCs can leverage purchasing power by purchasing testing
instruments centrally rather than at the CCC district level.


Analysis Prepared by
: Laura Metune / HIGHER ED. / (916)
319-3960


FN: 0000866












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