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california legislation > AB 743

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Bill No: AB 743
Author: Block (D)
Amended: 8/30/11 in Senate
Vote: 21

AYES: Lowenthal, Alquist, Blakeslee, Hancock, Huff, Liu,
Price, Simitian, Vargas
NO VOTE RECORDED: Runner, Vacancy

: 9-0, 8/25/11
AYES: Kehoe, Walters, Alquist, Emmerson, Lieu, Pavley,
Price, Runner, Steinberg

ASSEMBLY FLOOR : 68-6, 6/1/11 - See last page for vote

SUBJECT : Community College Student Assessment Program

SOURCE : Chancellors Office of the California Community

DIGEST : This bill requires the Board of Governors of the
California Community Colleges to establish a common student
assessment system for purposes of community college
placement and advisement, specifies its objectives, and
requires a report on the progress of its implementation by
December 31, 2012.

ANALYSIS : Existing law requires that the colleges make
available a variety of "matriculation services" to

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students. Among other things, these services are required
to include assessment and counseling upon enrollment which
includes, but is not limited to, all of the following:

1. Administration of assessment instruments to determine
student competency in computational and language skills.

2. Assistance to students in the identification of
aptitudes, interests and educational objectives,
including, but not limited to, associate of arts
degrees, transfer for baccalaureate degrees, and
vocational certificates and licenses.

3. Evaluation of student study and learning skills.

Existing law also requires that assessments be used as an
advisory tool to assist students in the selection of
educational programs and prohibits their use to exclude
students from admission.

This bill requires the Board of Governors of the California
Community Colleges (CCC) to establish a common student
assessment to be used as one of multiple measures for
purposes of community college placement and advisement.
More specifically, the bill:

1. Requires the system established by the bill to include
the following objectives:

A. Selection of an existing commercially available
and centrally delivered system of student assessment
that provides a single assessment instrument for use
by the CCC in the areas of English, mathematics, and
English as a second language.

B. Creation of a secure, centrally housed assessment
test data warehouse that collects, for purposes of
student advisement and placement:

(1) All available assessment scores generated by
assessed students at all community colleges.

(2) All available K-12 assessment data (and
limits the use of this data only for purposes of

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placing and advising community college students,
as specified).

(3) Other data or student transcript

C. Creation of an Internet web portal, accessible by
college personnel and students, that provides all of
the following:

(1) An individual student assessment profile for
purposes of counseling, matriculation, and course

(2) A pretest application for students to
practice on and familiarize themselves with prior
to taking future assessments.

(3) An advisement tool that provides students
with information about the importance of taking
the common assessment and historical success rates
of remedial courses for students at various levels
of remediation.

2. Requires the Chancellor of the CCC to:

A. Work collaboratively with the California
Department of Education (CDE) and the California
State University (CSU) when developing a common
college readiness standard that will be reflected in
the creation of assessment instruments.

B. Submit a report to the Legislature and Governor on
the progress of the implementation of the system by
December 31, 2012.

3. Makes these provisions operative upon the receipt of
state, federal or philanthropic funds sufficient to
cover the costs of the system.


Consistent with LAO Report/Recommendations . In its June
2008 report, Back to Basics: Improving College Readiness

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of Community College Students, the LAO finds that a number
of systemwide policies and practices are at odds with
generally accepted strategies for improving basic skills
education. Among its findings, the LAO noted that
individual colleges often use different assessment tests
and employ different definitions of college readiness,
which sends a confusing message to current and prospective
students. The LAO recommended, among other things, that a
statewide CCC placement test derived from K-12's math and
English standards tests be made available. The LAO also
notes that most studies agree that
incoming community college students should be assessed
prior to enrolling in class.

The "other" assessment program . Current law provides for
the community colleges' participation in the Early
Assessment Program (EAP). Originally implemented by the
CSU in 2004, the EAP is a collaborative effort between the
CSU, the CDE, and the State Board of Education to determine
a high school student's readiness to do college-level work
in English language arts and math and to provide students
opportunities to improve skills during their senior year.
Under the EAP, 11th graders taking the California Standards
Test are encouraged to take an "augmented version" of the
test that includes additional English and math questions
and a written essay. The results of the augmented version,
once scored, indicate a student's "readiness" for
college-level English and math. Those whose scores
indicate they are not ready are encouraged to take classes
during their senior year to improve and strengthen their
skills. The goal of the EAP is to have high school
graduates enter the CSU and the CCC fully prepared to do
college-level work. Inclusion of the CCC in the EAP
enabled community colleges to work with their local high
schools and CSU, to address the high number of students who
are unprepared for college-level course work.

Prior Legislation

AB 2682 (Block) 2009-10 Session, was similar to this bill.
AB 2682 was ultimately vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger
whose veto message read, in pertinent part:

"I respect the author's intent to reduce costs and create

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efficiencies for students and community colleges.
However, I have concerns that this bill creates a
duplication of the efforts that resulted from the
expansion of the existing Early Assessment Program (EAP),
which evaluates the college-readiness of high school
students. I signed into law in 2008 the bill that
expanded the use of the EAP operated by the California
State Universities, to include community colleges.
Therefore, it is unclear why this bill is necessary."

FISCAL EFFECT : Appropriation: No Fiscal Com.: Yes
Local: No

According to the Senate Appropriations Committee:

Fiscal Impact (in thousands)

Major Provisions 2011-12 2012-13
2013-14 Fund

Common assessment up to
system* Significant ongoing costs; some
off-setting savings General

Chancellor's Office Potentially significant
one-time costs General

* Counts toward meeting the Proposition 98 minimum
funding guarantee
** This bill becomes operative "upon the receipt of
state, federal or philanthropic funds sufficient to
cover the costs of the system." Cost is for the first
operative year, but will not necessarily occur in the
specific fiscal year identified.

SUPPORT : (Verified 8/30/11)

Chancellor's Office of the California Community Colleges
Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges
Community College League of California
Faculty Association of California Community Colleges

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Feather River College
Los Rios Community College District
Merced College
San Bernardino Community College District
The State Center Community College District

OPPOSITION : (Verified 8/30/11)

California Teachers Association

ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT : According to the bill's sponsor,
taking an assessment prior to placement in a course is an
essential step in increasing student academic success.
Because of fiscal constraints, many colleges have had to
reduce the number of assessments available for students,
falling far short of the actual need. In addition, because
colleges use a variety of test instruments, students who
take courses from multiple colleges within a region are
compelled to take a new assessment test at each college
attended. This is a time-consuming requirement for
students and an inefficient use of funds by the colleges.

Through the centrally delivered system of student
assessment required by this bill:

1. More students will be properly assessed.

2. Test preparation will be encouraged and students can
more quickly move into college level work.

3. Test data will be easily transportable for students who
attend multiple campuses.

4. Statewide fiscal savings and efficiency will be

ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION : In opposition, the California
Teachers Association states, "Our members have long
standing policies including 'CTA believes academic planning
should be done locally' and 'CTA opposes the use of
standardized tests and multiple measure assessments when
used as a single criterion for high stakes decision
making.' In this case, we believe there is no greater
'high stakes decision' than a student's eligibility to

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enroll in specified classes.

"Additionally, we opposed attempts to install elements of
the federal 'No Child Left Behind" law by creating an
over-reliance on testing. AB 743 also eliminates the
ability of local districts to establish procedures for
placement and advisement and could lead to an elimination
of the open enrollment policies which are the backbone of
the Community College System."

ASSEMBLY FLOOR : 68-6, 6/1/11
AYES: Achadjian, Alejo, Allen, Ammiano, Atkins, Beall, Bill
Berryhill, Block, Blumenfield, Bonilla, Bradford,
Brownley, Buchanan, Butler, Charles Calderon, Campos,
Carter, Cedillo, Chesbro, Conway, Cook, Davis, Dickinson,
Eng, Feuer, Fletcher, Fong, Fuentes, Furutani, Beth
Gaines, Galgiani, Gatto, Gordon, Hagman, Hall, Harkey,
Hayashi, Roger Hernández, Hill, Huber, Hueso, Huffman,
Lara, Bonnie Lowenthal, Ma, Mendoza, Miller, Mitchell,
Monning, Nestande, Nielsen, Norby, Olsen, Pan, Perea,
Portantino, Silva, Skinner, Smyth, Solorio, Swanson,
Torres, Valadao, Wagner, Wieckowski, Williams, Yamada,
John A. Pérez
NOES: Donnelly, Halderman, Jones, Knight, Mansoor, Morrell
NO VOTE RECORDED: Garrick, Gorell, Grove, Jeffries, Logue,
V. Manuel Pérez

CPM:mw 8/30/11 Senate Floor Analyses


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