BILL NUMBER: AB 476	INTRODUCED
	BILL TEXT


INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Torlakson

                        FEBRUARY 24, 2009

   An act to amend Sections 60603, 60604, 60640, 60642.5, 60643,
60643.1, 60643.5, 60648, and 60649 of, and to add Sections 60649.1
and 60649.2 to, the Education Code, relating to the Standardized
Testing and Reporting Program.



	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 476, as introduced, Torlakson. The Standardized Testing and
Reporting Program.
   Existing law establishes the Standardized Testing and Reporting
Program (the STAR Program) pursuant to which school districts,
charter schools, and county offices of education are required to
administer achievement tests to each of its pupils, as specified. The
tests are required to be administered to pupils in grades 2 to 11,
inclusive, as specified.
   This bill would eliminate the requirement that the tests be
administered to pupils in grade 2.
   The bill would, in addition, require the Superintendent of Public
Instruction, on or before July 1, 2010, to contract with an
independent evaluator for evaluation of the STAR Program, as
specified. The bill would require the evaluator to complete a report
containing the findings of his or her first evaluation, and to
request those findings to the Superintendent, on or before October 1,
2010. The Superintendent would be required to present the findings
contained in the report to the Legislature and the State Board of
Education on or before January 1, 2011. The bill would also require
the Superintendent to convene a panel to advise the department on the
evaluation of the STAR Program, including making recommendations
regarding the selection of the independent evaluator and the
evaluation parameters. The bill would make other conforming,
technical, and clarifying changes.
   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: no.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  SECTION 1.  Section 60603 of the Education Code is amended to read:

   60603.  (a) As used in this chapter:
   (1) "Achievement test" means any standardized test that measures
the level of performance that a pupil has achieved in the core
curriculum areas.
   (2) "Assessment of applied academic skills" means a form of
assessment that requires pupils to demonstrate their knowledge of,
and ability to apply, academic knowledge and skills in order to solve
problems and communicate. It may include, but is not limited to,
writing an essay response to a question, conducting an experiment, or
constructing a diagram or model. An assessment of applied academic
skills may not include assessments of personal behavioral standards
or skills, including, but not limited to, honesty, sociability,
ethics, or self-esteem.
   (3) "Basic academic skills" means those skills in the subject
areas of reading, spelling, written expression, and mathematics that
provide the necessary foundation for mastery of more complex
intellectual abilities, including the synthesis and application of
knowledge.
   (4) "Content standards" means the specific academic knowledge,
skills, and abilities that all public schools in this state are
expected to teach and all pupils expected to learn in each of the
core curriculum areas, at each grade level tested.
   (5) "Core curriculum areas" means the areas of reading, writing,
mathematics, history-social science, and science.
   (6) "Diagnostic assessment" means interim assessments of the
current level of achievement of a pupil that serves both of the
following purposes:
   (A) The identification of particular academic standards or skills
a pupil has or has not yet achieved.
   (B) The identification of possible reasons that a pupil has not
yet achieved particular academic standards or skills.
   (7) "Direct writing assessment" means an assessment of applied
academic skills that requires pupils to use written expression to
demonstrate writing skills, including writing mechanics, grammar,
punctuation, and spelling.
   (8) "End of course exam" means a comprehensive and challenging
assessment of pupil achievement in a particular subject area or
discipline.
   (9) "Performance standards" are standards that define various
levels of competence at each grade level in each of the curriculum
areas for which content standards are established. Performance
standards gauge the degree to which a pupil has met the content
standards and the degree to which a school or school district has met
the content standards.
   (10) "Publisher" means a commercial publisher or any other public
or private entity, other than the department, which is able to
provide tests or test items that meet the requirements of this
chapter.
   (11) "Statewide pupil assessment program" means the systematic
achievement testing of pupils in grades  2   3
 to 11, inclusive, pursuant to the standardized testing and
reporting program under Article 4 (commencing with Section 60640) and
the assessment of basic academic skills and applied academic skills,
 administered to pupils in grade levels specified in
subdivision (c) of Section 60605,  required by this chapter
in all schools within each school district by means of tests
designated by the state board.
   (b) This section shall become inoperative on July 1, 2011.
  SEC. 2.  Section 60604 of the Education Code is amended to read:
   60604.  (a) The Superintendent shall design and implement,
consistent with the timetable and plan required pursuant to
subdivision (b), a statewide pupil assessment program consistent with
the testing requirements of this article in accordance with the
objectives set forth in Section 60602. That program shall include all
of the following:
   (1) A plan for producing valid, reliable, and comparable
individual pupil scores in grades  2   3 
to 11, inclusive, and a comprehensive analysis of these scores based
on the results of the achievement test designated by the state board
that assesses a broad range of basic academic skills pursuant to the
Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program established by
Article 4 (commencing with Section 60640).
   (2) A method of working with publishers to ensure valid, reliable,
and comparable individual, grade-level, school-level,
district-level, county-level, and statewide scores in grades 
2   3  to 11, inclusive.
   (3) Statewide academically rigorous content and performance
standards that reflect the knowledge and skills that pupils will need
in order to succeed in the information-based, global economy of the
21st century. These skills shall not include personal behavioral
standards or skills, including, but not limited to, honesty,
sociability, ethics, or self-esteem.
   (4) A statewide system that provides the results of testing in a
manner that reflects the degree to which pupils are achieving the
academically rigorous content and performance standards adopted by
the state board.
   (5) The alignment of assessment with the statewide academically
rigorous content and performance standards adopted by the state
board.
   (6) The active, ongoing involvement of parents, classroom
teachers, administrators, other educators, governing board members of
school districts, and the public in all phases of the design and
implementation of the statewide pupil assessment program.
   (7) The development of a contract or contracts with a publisher or
publishers, after the approval of statewide academically rigorous
content standards by the state board, for the development of
performance standards and assessments of applied academic skills
designed to test pupils' knowledge of academic skills and abilities
to apply that knowledge and those skills in order to solve problems
and communicate.
   (b) The Superintendent shall develop and annually update for the
Legislature a five-year cost projection, implementation plan, and
timetable for implementing the program described in subdivision (a).
The annual update shall be submitted on or before March 1 of each
year to the chairperson of the fiscal subcommittee considering budget
appropriations in each house. The update shall explain any
significant variations from the five-year cost projection for the
current year budget and the proposed budget.
   (c) The Superintendent shall provide each school district with
guidelines for professional development that are designed to assist
classroom teachers to use the results of the assessments administered
pursuant to this chapter to modify instruction for the purpose of
improving pupil learning. These guidelines shall be developed in
consultation with classroom teachers and approved by the state board
before dissemination.
   (d) The Superintendent and the state board shall consider comments
and recommendations from school districts and the public in the
development, adoption, and approval of assessment instruments.
   (e) The results of the achievement test administered pursuant to
Article 4 (commencing with Section 60640) shall be returned to the
school district within the period of time specified by the state
board.
   (f) This section shall become inoperative on July 1, 2011.
  SEC. 3.  Section 60640 of the Education Code is amended to read:
   60640.  (a) There is hereby established the Standardized Testing
and Reporting Program, to be known as the STAR Program.
   (b) From the funds available for that purpose, each school
district, charter school, and county office of education shall
administer to each of its pupils in grades  2  
3  to 11, inclusive, the standards-based achievement test
provided for in Section 60642.5. The state board shall establish a
testing period to provide that all schools administer these tests to
pupils at approximately the same time during the instructional year,
except as necessary to ensure test security and to meet the final
filing date.
   (c) The publisher and the school district shall provide two makeup
days for the testing of previously absent pupils within the testing
period established by the state board in subdivision (b).
   (d) The governing board of the school district may administer
achievement tests in grades other than those required by subdivision
(b) as it deems appropriate.
   (e) Pursuant to Section  1412(a)(17)   1412
(a) (16)  of Title 20 of the United States Code, individuals
with exceptional needs, as defined in Section 56026, shall be
included in the testing requirement of subdivision (b) with
appropriate accommodations in administration, where necessary, and
those individuals with exceptional needs who are unable to
participate in the testing, even with accommodations, shall be given
an alternate assessment.
   (f) (1) At the option of the school district, pupils with limited
English proficiency who are enrolled in any of grades  2
  3  to 11, inclusive, may take a second
achievement test in their primary language. Primary language tests
administered pursuant to this subdivision and subdivision (g) shall
be subject to the requirements of subdivision (a) of Section 60641.
These primary language tests shall produce individual pupil scores
that are valid and reliable.
   (2) Notwithstanding any other law, the state board shall designate
for use, as part of this program, a single primary language test in
each language for which a test is available for grades  2
  3  to 11, inclusive, pursuant to the process used
for designation of the assessment chosen in the 1997-98 fiscal year,
as specified in Section 60643, as applicable.
   (3) (A) The department shall use funds made available pursuant to
Title VI of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (20 U.S.C.
Sec. 6301 et seq.) and appropriated by the annual Budget Act for the
purpose of developing and adopting primary language assessments that
are aligned to the state academic content standards. Subject to the
availability of funds, primary language assessments shall be
developed and adopted for reading/language arts and mathematics in
the dominant primary language of limited-English-proficient pupils.
The dominant primary language shall be determined by the count in the
annual language census of the primary language of each
limited-English-proficient pupil enrolled in the California public
schools.
   (B) Once a dominant primary language assessment is available for
use for a specific grade level, it shall be administered in place of
the assessment designated pursuant to paragraph (1) for that grade
level.
   (C) In choosing a contractor to develop a primary language
assessment the state board shall consider the criteria for choosing a
contractor or test publisher as specified by Section 60643, and as
specified by Section 60642.5, as applicable.
   (D) Subject to the availability of funds, the assessments shall be
developed in grade order starting with the lowest grade subject to
the STAR Program.
   (E) If the state board contracts for the development of primary
language assessments or test items to augment an existing assessment,
the state shall retain ownership rights to the assessment and the
test items. With the approval of the state board, the department may
license the test for use in other states subject to a compensation
agreement approved by the Department of Finance.
   (F) On or before January 1, 2006, the department shall submit to
the Legislature a report on the development and implementation of the
initial primary language assessments and recommendations on the
development and implementation of future assessments and funding
requirements.
   (g) A pupil identified as limited English proficient pursuant to
the administration of a test made available pursuant to Section 60810
who is enrolled in any of grades  2   3 
to 11, inclusive, and who either receives instruction in his or her
primary language or has been enrolled in a school in the United
States for less than 12 months shall be required to take a test in
his or her primary language if a test is available.
   (h) (1) The Superintendent shall apportion funds to school
districts to enable school districts to meet the requirements of
subdivisions (b), (e), (f), and (g).
   (2) The state board annually shall establish the amount of funding
to be apportioned to school districts for each test administered and
annually shall establish the amount that each publisher shall be
paid for each test administered under the agreements required
pursuant to Section 60643. The amounts to be paid to the publishers
shall be determined by considering the cost estimates submitted by
each publisher each September and the amount included in the annual
Budget Act, and by making allowance for the estimated costs to school
districts for compliance with the requirements of subdivisions (b),
(e), (f), and (g).
   (3) An adjustment to the amount of funding to be apportioned per
test shall not be valid without the approval of the Director of
Finance. A request for approval of an adjustment to the amount of
funding to be apportioned per test shall be submitted in writing to
the Director of Finance and the chairpersons of the fiscal committees
of both houses of the Legislature with accompanying material
justifying the proposed adjustment. The Director of Finance is
authorized to approve only those adjustments related to activities
required by statute. The Director of Finance shall approve or
disapprove the amount within 30 days of receipt of the request and
shall notify the chairpersons of the fiscal committees of both houses
of the Legislature of the decision.
   (i) For purposes of making the computations required by Section 8
of Article XVI of the California Constitution, the appropriation for
the apportionments made pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (h),
and the payments made to the publishers under the contracts required
pursuant to Section 60643 or subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) of
subdivision (a) of Section 60605 between the department and the
contractor, are "General Fund revenues appropriated for school
districts," as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 41202, for the
applicable fiscal year, and included within the "total allocations to
school districts and community college districts from General Fund
proceeds of taxes appropriated pursuant to Article XIII B," as
defined in subdivision (e) of Section 41202, for that fiscal year.
   (j) As a condition to receiving an apportionment pursuant to
subdivision (h), a school district shall report to the Superintendent
all of the following:
   (1) The number of pupils enrolled in the school district in grades
 2   3  to 11, inclusive.
   (2) The number of pupils to whom an achievement test was
administered in grades  2   3  to 11,
inclusive, in the school district.
   (3) The number of pupils in paragraph (1) who were exempted from
the test at the request of their parents or guardians.
   (k) The Superintendent and the state board are authorized and
encouraged to assist postsecondary educational institutions to use
the assessment results of the California Standards Tests, including,
but not limited to, the augmented California Standards Tests, for
academic credit, placement, or admissions processes.
   (l) The Superintendent, with the approval of the state board,
annually shall release to the public test items from the
standards-based achievement tests pursuant to Section 60642.5
administered in previous years. The minimum number of test items
released per year shall be equal to 25 percent of the total number of
test items on the test administered in the previous year.
   (m) This section shall become inoperative on July, 1, 2011.
  SEC. 4.  Section 60642.5 of the Education Code is amended to read:
   60642.5.  (a) The Superintendent, with approval of the state
board, shall provide for the development of an assessment instrument,
to be called the California Standards Tests, that measures the
degree to which pupils are achieving the academically rigorous
content standards and performance standards, to the extent standards
have been adopted by the state board. These standards-based
achievement tests shall contain the subject areas specified in
paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 60603 for grades 
2   3  to 8, inclusive, and shall include an
assessment in history/social science in at least one elementary or
middle school grade level selected by the state board and science in
at least one elementary or middle school grade level selected by the
state board, and the core curriculum areas specified in paragraph (5)
of subdivision (a) of Section 60603 for grades 9 to 11, inclusive,
except that history-social science shall not be included in the grade
9 assessment unless the state board adopts academic content
standards for a grade 9 history-social science course, and shall
include, at a minimum, a direct writing assessment once in elementary
school and once in middle or junior high school and other items of
applied academic skill if deemed valid and reliable and if resources
are made available for their use.
   (b) In approving a contract for the development or administration
of the California Standards Tests, the state board shall consider
each of the following criteria:
   (1) The ability of the contractor to produce valid, reliable
individual pupil scores.
   (2) The ability of the contractor to report results pursuant to
subdivision (a) of Section 60643 by August 8.
   (3) The ability of the contractor to ensure alignment between the
standards-based achievement test and the academically rigorous
content and performance standards as those standards are adopted by
the state board. This criterion shall include the ability of the
contractor to implement a process to establish and maintain alignment
between the test items and the standards.
   (4) The per pupil cost estimates of developing and, if
appropriate, administering the proposed assessment with a system to
facilitate the determination of future per pupil cost determinations.

   (5) The procedures of the contractor to ensure the security and
integrity of test questions and materials.
   (6) The experience of the contractor in successfully conducting
testing programs adopted and administered by other states. For
experience to be considered, the number of grades and pupils tested
shall be provided.
   (c) The standards-based achievement tests may use items from other
tests.
  SEC. 5.  Section 60643 of the Education Code is amended to read:
   60643.  (a) To be eligible for consideration under Section 60642.5
by the state board, test publishers shall agree in writing each year
to meet the following requirements, as applicable, if selected:
   (1) Enter into an agreement, pursuant to subdivision (e) or (f),
with the department by October 15 of that year.
   (2) Align the standards-based achievement test provided for in
Section 60642.5 to the academically rigorous content and performance
standards adopted by the state board.
   (3) Comply with subdivisions (c) and (d) of Section 60645.
   (4) Provide valid and reliable individual pupil scores to parents
or guardians, teachers, and school administrators.
   (5) Provide valid and reliable aggregate scores to school
districts and county boards of education in all of the following
forms and formats:
   (A) Grade level.
   (B) School level.
   (C) District level.
   (D) Countywide.
   (E) Statewide.
   (F) Comparison of statewide scores relative to other states.
   (6) Provide disaggregated scores, based on
limited-English-proficient status and nonlimited-English-proficient
status. For purposes of this section, pupils with
"nonlimited-English-proficient status" shall include the total of
those pupils who are English-only pupils, fluent-English-proficient
pupils, and redesignated fluent-English-proficient pupils. These
scores shall be provided to school districts and county boards of
education in the same forms and formats listed in paragraph (5).
   (7) Provide disaggregated scores by pupil gender and ethnicity and
provide disaggregated scores based on whether pupils are
economically disadvantaged or not. These disaggregated scores shall
be in the same forms and formats as listed in paragraph (5). In any
one year, the disaggregation shall entail information already being
collected by school districts, county offices of education, or
charter schools.
   (8) Provide disaggregated scores for pupils who have
individualized education programs and have enrolled in special
education, to the extent required by federal law. These scores shall
be provided in the same forms and formats listed in paragraph (5).
This section shall not be construed to exclude the scores of special
education pupils from any state or federal accountability system.
   (9) Provide information listed in paragraphs (5), (6), (7), and
(8) to the department and the state board in the medium requested by
each entity, respectively.
   (b) It is the intent of the Legislature that the publisher work
with the Superintendent and the state board in developing a
methodology to disaggregate statewide scores as required in
paragraphs (6) and (7) of subdivision (a), and in determining which
variable indicated on the STAR testing document shall serve as a
proxy for "economically disadvantaged" status pursuant to paragraph
(7) of subdivision (a).
   (c) Access to information about individual pupils or their
families shall be granted to the publisher only for purposes of
correctly associating test results with the pupils who produced those
results or for reporting and disaggregating test results as required
by this section. School districts are prohibited from excluding a
pupil from the test if a parent or parents decline to disclose
income. This chapter does not abridge or deny rights to
confidentiality contained in the federal Family Educational Rights
and Privacy Act of 1974 (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1232g) or other applicable
state and federal law that protect the confidentiality of information
collected by educational institutions.
   (d) Notwithstanding any other law, the publisher of the
standards-based achievement test provided for in Section 60642.5 or
any contractor under subdivision (f) shall comply with all of the
conditions and requirements enumerated in subdivision (a), as
applicable, to the satisfaction of the state board.
   (e) (1) A publisher shall not provide a test described in Section
60642.5  or 60650  or in subdivision (f) of Section
60640 for use in California public schools, unless the publisher
enters into a written contract with the department as set forth in
this subdivision.
   (2) The department shall develop, and the state board shall
approve, a contract to be entered into with a publisher pursuant to
paragraph (1). The department may develop the contract through
negotiations with the publisher.
   (3) For purposes of the contracts authorized pursuant to this
subdivision, the department is exempt from the requirements of Part 2
(commencing with Section 10100) of Division 2 of the Public Contract
Code and from the requirements of Article 6 (commencing with Section
999) of Chapter 6 of Division 4 of the Military and Veterans Code.
   (4) The contracts shall include provisions for progress payments
to the publisher for work performed or costs incurred in the
performance of the contract. Not less than 10 percent of the amount
budgeted for each separate and distinct component task provided for
in each contract shall be withheld pending final completion of all
component tasks by that publisher. The total amount withheld pending
final completion shall not exceed 10 percent of the total contract
price.
   (5) The contracts shall require liquidated damages to be paid by
the publisher in the amount of up to 10 percent of the total cost of
the contract for any component task that the publisher through its
own fault or that of its subcontractors fails to substantially
perform by the date specified in the agreement.
   (6) The contracts shall establish the process and criteria by
which the successful completion of each component task shall be
recommended by the department and approved by the state board.
   (7) The publishers shall submit, as part of the contract
negotiation process, a proposed budget and invoice schedule 
,  that includes a detailed listing of the costs for each
component task and the expected date of the invoice for each
completed component task.
   (8) The contracts shall specify the following component tasks, as
applicable, that are separate and distinct:
   (A) Development of new tests or test items as required by
paragraph (2) of subdivision (a).
   (B) Test materials production or publication.
   (C) Delivery of test materials to school districts.
   (D) Test processing, scoring, and analyses.
   (E) Reporting of test results to the school districts, including,
but not limited to, all reports specified in this section.
   (F) Reporting of test results to the department, including, but
not limited to, the electronic files required pursuant to this
section.
   (G) All other analyses or reports required by the Superintendent
to meet the requirements of state and federal law and set forth in
the agreement.
   (9) The contracts shall specify the specific reports and data
files, if any, that are to be provided to school districts by the
publisher and the number of copies of each report or file to be
provided.
   (10) The contracts shall specify the means by which any delivery
date for materials to each school district shall be verified by the
publisher and the school district.
   (11) School districts may negotiate a separate agreement with the
publisher for any additional materials or services not within the
contracts specified in this subdivision, including, but not limited
to, the administration of the tests to pupils in grade levels other
than grades  2   3  to 11, inclusive. Any
separate agreement is not within the scope of the contract specified
in this subdivision.
   (f) The department, with approval of the state board, may enter
into a separate contract for the development or administration of a
test authorized pursuant to this part, including, but not limited to,
item development, coordination of tests, assemblage of tests or test
items, scoring, or reporting. The liquidated damages provision set
forth in paragraph (5) of subdivision (e) shall apply to a contract
entered into pursuant to this subdivision.
   (g) This section shall become inoperative on July, 1, 2011.
  SEC. 6.  Section 60643.1 of the Education Code is amended to read:
   60643.1.  (a) (1) The test publisher designated by the state board
pursuant to Section  60642   60642.5 
shall make available a reading list on the Internet by June 1 of the
applicable school year. The reading list shall include an index that
correlates ranges of pupil reading scores on the English language
arts portion of the achievement test designated
                        pursuant to Section  60642 
 60642.5  to titles of materials that would be suitable for
pupils in each of grades  2   3  to 11,
inclusive, to read in order to improve their reading skills. This
reading list shall include titles of books that allow a pupil to
practice reading at his or her current reading level and that will
assist the pupil in achieving a higher level of proficiency. To the
extent possible, the index also shall include information related to
the subject matter of each title. At a minimum, the reading list also
shall categorize titles by subject matter and identify
age-appropriate distinctions in the list.
   (2) The test publisher, in each school year, shall make available
for purchase by school districts a report that provides a numerical
distribution of the reading scores of all pupils in California who
took the achievement test designated pursuant to Section 
60642   60642.5  .
   (3) The test publisher, in each school year, shall make available
for purchase by school districts reading lists that can be
distributed to pupils based on a pupil's age and the ranges of scores
on the English language arts portion of the achievement test
designated pursuant to Section  60642   60642.5
 .
   (4) The requirements of this subdivision shall become operative
only upon a determination by the Director of Finance that funds are
available to make an adjustment pursuant to subdivision (h) of
Section 60640.
   (b) The state board and the Superintendent jointly shall certify
that the process used by the publisher to determine the reading
levels of the corresponding reading list pursuant to paragraph (1) of
subdivision (a) meets the following criteria:
   (1) The process is educationally valid.
   (2) The process results in a reading list for each reading span
that provides titles at the pupil's current reading level and the
next higher level for challenging practice.
   (3) The process results in a selection from the universe of titles
from the list developed pursuant to subdivision (d) that matches
each reading level.
   (4) The process is unbiased in the selection of publishers' titles
from the legal compliance list.
   (c) The titles listed at each reading level range posted on the
Internet and the reading lists made available to school districts
pursuant to subdivision (a), at a minimum, shall include all relevant
literature materials approved as of September 1, 1999, as being
legally compliant pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section
60040) of Chapter 1  of Part 33  , and the titles
listed in all of the content area reading and literature lists that
are developed and published by the department and that have been
determined by the department to meet the relevant reading level as
certified pursuant to subdivision (b).
   (d) By imposing the requirements of this section on publishers, it
is not the intent of the Legislature to unfairly disadvantage any
publisher who has otherwise met the requirements of this section or
of Article 3 (commencing with Section 60040) of Chapter 1  of
Part 33  .
   (e) This section shall become inoperative on July, 1, 2011.
  SEC. 7.  Section 60643.5 of the Education Code is amended to read:
   60643.5.  (a) A school shall be reimbursed by the test publisher
selected pursuant to this article for any unexpected expenses
incurred due to scheduling changes that resulted from the late
delivery of testing materials in connection with the STAR Program.
   (b) The  State Department of Education  
department  shall monitor and report to the  State Board
of Education  state board  regarding the publisher'
s production, processing, and delivery system to ensure that a timely
delivery of testing materials to all schools occurs during the
1999-2000 testing cycle.
  SEC. 8.  Section 60648 of the Education Code is amended to read:
   60648.  The Superintendent  of Public Instruction
 shall recommend, and the  State Board of Education
  state board  shall adopt, levels of pupil
performance on achievement tests administered pursuant to this
article in reading, English language arts, and mathematics at each
grade level. The performance levels shall identify and establish the
level of performance that is deemed to be the minimum level required
for satisfactory performance in the next grade. These levels of
performance shall only be adopted after the standards-based
achievement tests have been aligned, pursuant to paragraph (2) of
subdivision (a) of Section 60643, to the content and performance
standards adopted by the  State Board of Education 
 state board  pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 60605.
  SEC. 9.  Section 60649 of the Education Code is amended to read:
   60649.  On or before March 1, 2001, the Superintendent  of
Public Instruction  and the  State Board of
Education   state board  shall report to the
Legislature and the Governor on the status of implementation of this
chapter. The report shall include, but not be limited to, the
following:
   (a) Description of the actions taken to ensure full coverage of
academic content standards in assessments developed pursuant to this
chapter.
   (b) Identification of the types of test items designed to measure
applied academic skills, as defined in subdivision  (b)
  (a)  of Section 60603.
   (c) The means by which the Superintendent  of Public
Instruction  and the  State Board of Education
  state board  determine assessments are valid,
reliable, and provide consistent year-to-year comparisons of student
progress, consistent with nationally recognized and accepted test
construction and implementation methodologies, as applicable.
   (d) Recommendations to improve the state's assessment system,
identifying related costs or savings, and increases or decreases in
testing time.
  SEC. 10.  Section 60649.1 is added to the Education Code, to read:
   60649.1.  (a) On or before July 1, 2010, the Superintendent shall
contract with an independent evaluator, who shall report to him or
her, for evaluation of the STAR Program. The evaluation shall be
based upon information gathered in field testing and annual
administrations of the STAR assessments, state and federal
requirements, and a review of research-based alternative assessment
models.
   (b) The evaluation shall include, but shall not necessarily be
limited to, all of the following:
   (1) An independent evaluation of alignment between the assessment
used to calculate adequate yearly progress (AYP) or academic
performance index (API) and the content standards on which the
assessment is based.
   (2) An independent analysis of the alignment between the STAR
assessments and the full range of the content standards and a
determination of whether the STAR Program assesses pupil knowledge in
the same manner and at the same level of complexity as expected in
the content standards. An independent evaluation of each assessment
alignment shall be conducted at least every five years.
   (3) An independent analysis of pupil performance, broken down by
assessment, grade level, race or ethnicity, and end-of-course
assessments, including any trends that become apparent over time.
   (4) An independent analysis of the degree to which the STAR
Program complies with professional testing standards and satisfies
state and federal requirements for assessments for each grade level.
   (5) An independent analysis of the usefulness of the STAR Program
in terms of state and local program evaluations as well as
pupil-level information.
   (6) An independent analysis of the usefulness of the STAR Program
in terms of providing a diagnostic assessment for classroom use.
   (7) An independent analysis of the feasibility and cost of the
development and administration of a diagnostic alternative test in
grade levels and content standard areas that are not required to have
an assessment under federal law.
   (c) An evaluation separately shall consider test results for each
of the following pupil subgroups, provided that information
concerning individual pupils shall not be gathered or disclosed in
the process of preparing the evaluation:
   (1) English learners and non-English learners.
   (2) Individuals with exceptional needs and individuals without
exceptional needs.
   (3) Pupils who qualify for free or reduced-price meals and are
enrolled in schools that qualify for assistance under Title 1 of the
federal Improving America's Schools Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-382) and
pupils who do not qualify for free or reduced-price meals and are not
enrolled in schools that qualify for assistance under Title 1 of the
federal Improving America's Schools Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-382).
   (4) Any group of pupils that has been determined by the
independent evaluator to be differentially affected by the STAR
Program assessments established pursuant to this article.
   (d) The report by the independent evaluator containing the
findings of his or her evaluation shall include, but shall not
necessarily be limited to, all of the following:
   (1) Recommendations to improve the quality, fairness, validity,
and reliability of the examinations.
   (2) Recommendations for revisions in design, administration,
scoring, processing, or use of the examinations to ensure compliance
with state and federal requirements in an efficient manner.
   (3) Recommendations to improve the usefulness of the test to the
state, local educational agencies, schools, teachers, pupils, and
parents.
   (4) Recommendations regarding revisions that would allow the STAR
Program to provide pupil-level diagnostic information and to provide
a diagnostic assessment for classroom use.
   (5) Recommendations regarding alternative diagnostic assessments
that align with state academic content standards.
   (e) A report by the independent evaluator containing the findings
of his or her first evaluation shall be completed and reported to the
Superintendent on or before October 1, 2010, in order to provide the
Legislature with adequate information to consider reauthorization of
the STAR Program.
   (f) The Superintendent shall present the findings contained in the
independent evaluator's first report to the Legislature and the
state board on or before January 1, 2011.
  SEC. 11.  Section 60649.2 is added to the Education Code, to read:
   60649.2.  (a) The Superintendent shall convene a panel to advise
the department on an independent evaluation of the STAR Program.
   (b) The panel shall be composed of educators and other individuals
who have expertise with multiple forms of assessment.
   (c) The panel shall reflect the demographic and geographic
diversity of California.
   (d) The panel shall make recommendations regarding the selection
of the independent evaluator by the Superintendent pursuant to
subdivision (a) of Section 60649.1, and the evaluation parameters.
   (e) Members of the panel shall serve without compensation, except
for actual and necessary travel expenses.