BILL NUMBER: AB 476	AMENDED
	BILL TEXT

	AMENDED IN SENATE  JUNE 30, 2009
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  JUNE 1, 2009
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  APRIL 14, 2009

INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Torlakson

                        FEBRUARY 24, 2009

   An act to add Section 60649.1 to the Education Code, relating to
the Standardized Testing and Reporting Program.


	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 476, as amended, 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 their pupils  , as
specified. The tests are required to be administered to pupils
 in grades 2 to 11, inclusive  , as specified
 .
    This bill would require the Superintendent of Public
Instruction, on or before April 1, 2010, to contract with an
independent evaluator for evaluation of the STAR Program, as
specified. The bill would require the independent evaluator to
complete a report containing the findings of his or her  
evaluation. The Superintendent would be required to provide this
evaluation to the Legislature, the Governor, and the state board on
or before November 1, 2010. The bill would require an existing
advisory committee to advise the Superintendent on the independent
evaluation of the STAR Program, including making recommendations
regarding the selection of the independent evaluator and the
evaluation parameters. The bill would require the Superintendent to
appoint 4 additional members to the advisory committee for these
purposes.  The bill would require the State Department of
Education to use specified federal funds, not exceeding the amount of
$150,000, for the purpose of contracting for this evaluation.
 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 60649.1 is added to the Education Code, to
read:
   60649.1.  (a) On or before April 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.   the following:  
   (1) Information gathered in field testing and annual
administrations of the STAR assessments.  
   (2) Existing technical reports, peer reviews, and other studies,
reports, and evaluations of the STAR program conducted by or at the
request of the department, the Legislature, or the state board. 

   (3) State and federal requirements.  
   (4) 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 the grade level continuity and
vertical alignment of standards-aligned test content, and the ability
of the tests to produce scores for an individual pupil that can be
validly compared from year to year.  
   (4) An independent analysis of the use of content standards in
other core curriculum areas for testing items, as applicable. 

   (3) 
    (5)  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) 
    (6)  An independent analysis of the degree to which the
STAR Program complies with professional testing standards and
satisfies or exceeds state and federal requirements for assessments
for each grade level. 
   (5) 
    (7)  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) 
    (8)  An independent analysis of the usefulness of the
STAR Program in terms of providing a diagnostic assessment for
classroom use. 
   (7) 
    (9)  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.
  (Public   Law  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.  
(Public Law  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 for revisions of the examinations to improve
grade level continuity and vertical alignment of standards-aligned
test content and the ability of the tests to produce scores for an
individual pupil that can be validly compared from year to year.
 
   (4) Recommendations for revisions of the examination to improve
integration of content standards in other core curriculum areas for
testing items, as applicable.  
   (3) 
   (5)  Recommendations to improve the usefulness of the
test to the state, local educational agencies, schools, teachers,
pupils, and parents. 
   (4) 
    (6) 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) 
    (7)  Recommendations regarding alternative diagnostic
assessments that align with state academic content standards.
   (e) In order to provide the Legislature with adequate information
to consider reauthorization of the STAR Program, the Superintendent
shall provide the evaluation to the Legislature, the Governor, and
the state board on or before November 1, 2010.
   (f) The advisory committee established pursuant to Section 52052.5
shall advise the Superintendent on the independent evaluation by
providing all of the following:
   (1) Recommendations regarding the parameters of the evaluation.
   (2) Recommendations regarding any request for proposals or request
for applications used to solicit contract proposals.
   (3) Recommendations regarding the selection of the contractor.
   (4) A review of any reports submitted by the independent
evaluator, including any  mid-term   midterm
 reports as well as the final evaluation.
   (g) The Superintendent shall appoint four additional members, who
shall be educators or individuals having expertise in large-scale
assessment and who shall serve only for the purposes of subdivision
(f), to the advisory committee established pursuant to Section
52052.5.
   (h) The department shall use federal Flexibility and
Accountability funds pursuant to the federal No Child Left Behind Act
of 2001 (20 U.S.C. Sec. 6301), not to exceed one hundred fifty
thousand dollars ($150,000), for the purpose of contracting for this
evaluation.