BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    






                                        
                         SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
                              Gloria Romero, Chair
                           2009-2010 Regular Session
                                        

          BILL NO:       AB 2086
          AUTHOR:        Coto
          AMENDED:       June 16, 2010
          FISCAL COMM:   Yes            HEARING DATE:  June 23, 2010
          URGENCY:       No             CONSULTANT:    Kathleen  
          Chavira

           SUBJECT  :  Licensing Exam Passage Rates
          
           KEY POLICY ISSUE
           
          Should postsecondary educational institutions be required  
          to provide information on how to obtain license examination  
          passage rates for its graduates, as a condition of  
          participation in the Cal Grant Program?

           
          SUMMARY
           
          This bill expands the requirements that must be met by all  
          postsecondary educational institutions for purposes of  
          participation in the Cal Grant Program to include a  
          requirement that would provide information on where to  
          access license examination passage rates for the most  
          recently available year for graduates of its programs if  
          that data is electronically available through the Internet  
          website of a state licensing or regulatory agency, as  
          specified. 

           BACKGROUND
           
          Current law authorizes the Cal Grant Program, administered  
          by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC), to provide  
          grants to financially needy students to attend college.  
          These grants are awarded to assist with the costs of a  
          program of study that results in the award of an associate  
          or baccalaureate degree or certificate requiring at least  
          24 semester units or the equivalent, or that results in  








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          eligibility for transfer from a community college to a  
          baccalaureate degree program.

          Current law provides that a "qualifying institution" for  
          purposes of participation in the Cal Grant Program, must be  
          one of the following:

          1)   A California private or independent postsecondary  
               educational institution that participates in the Pell  
               Grant program and at least two of the following:

               a)        Federal Work-Study.

               b)        Perkins Loan Program.

               c)        Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant  
                    Program.

          1)   A nonprofit institution headquartered and operating in  
               California that:

               a)        Certifies to the CSAC that 10 percent of its  
                    operating budget, as demonstrated in an audited  
                    financial statement, is expended for  
                    institutionally funded student financial aid in  
                    the form of grants.

               b)        Demonstrates  the capacity to administer the  
                    funds. 

               c)        Is accredited by the Western Association of  
                    Schools and Colleges, or is regionally accredited  
                    and was deemed qualified to participate in the  
                    Cal Grant Program by CSAC for the 2000-01  
                    academic year.

               d)        Meets any other state-required criteria  
                    adopted by regulation by the CSAC in consultation  
                    with the Department of Finance. 

          1)   Any California public postsecondary educational  
               institution.

           ANALYSIS








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           This bill  :

          1)   Modifies codified legislative intent language  
               regarding the California Education Information System.  
                Specifically it:

               a)        Declares that data from the California  
                    Education Information System will allow teacher  
                    candidates to make informed decisions about  
                    choosing a teacher preparation program by  
                    providing aggregate information on the  
                    effectiveness of teacher preparation programs and  
                    the related academic proficiency of specified  
                    subgroups.

               b)        Declares the Legislature's intent that, to  
                    the extent practicable, the Student Aid  
                    Commission and the California Department of  
                    Education facilitate institutional compliance  
                    with the reporting requirements around licensing  
                    passage rates required by the bill. 

          1)   Expands the requirements that must be met by a  
               California postsecondary educational institution in  
               order to participate in the Cal Grant Program to  
               include the requirement that the institution provide  
               information on where to access license examination  
               passage rates for the most recently available year  
               from graduates of its program for which passage of a  
               state licensing exam is required, if the data is  
               available electronically through the internet website  
               of a state licensing or regulatory agency.

          2)   Authorizes the requirement in (2) to be met by placing  
               a link to this data on the Internet website where an  
               institution's enrollment and application or other  
               program information is distributed to prospective  
               students. 

          3)   Assigns responsibility for certification of compliance  
               with this requirement to the postsecondary educational  
               institution. 









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          4)   Makes other technical and conforming changes.

           STAFF COMMENTS
           
           1)   Need for the bill  .  According to the author,  
               California currently has no easy public way to compare  
               the effectiveness of professional preparation programs  
               in postsecondary institutions of higher education.   
               The purpose of this bill is to make students, parents,  
               taxpayers, policy makers, and employers aware of  
               whether or not the institutions and programs they  
               attend, support, and/or finance are effective in terms  
               of student learning and imparting of the skill  
               necessary to be successful in the workplace. This bill  
               ensures that one measure of the effectiveness of a  
               postsecondary education program, license exam passage  
               rates, is made publicly available by postsecondary  
               institutions.

           2)   Other information requirements  ?  AB 48 (Portantino,  
               Chapter 210, Statutes of 2009) established the Bureau  
               for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) to provide  
               for the approval, regulation, and enforcement, and  
               reporting requirements for private postsecondary  
               educational institutions. Among other things, these  
               institutions are required to provide information on  
               completion rates, placement rates, license examination  
               passage rates, and salary and wage information.  This  
               information must be disclosed to prospective students  
               on a School Performance Fact Sheet, to the BPPE in an  
               annual report, and be made publicly available on the  
               BPPE web site by June 30, 2010.  

               Under federal law, institutions that participate in  
          Federal Title IV student 
               aid programs are required to report information to the  
          National Center for                                     
          Education Statistics (NCES) for incorporation into the  
          Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).   
          Although the collected                                  
          information is made publicly available, staff notes that  
          license exam                                            
          passage rates by institution are not currently collected or  
          reported. 








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               Staff further notes that, while private postsecondary  
          institutions operating in California are already required  
          to provide license exam passage rates to students and the  
          public, this bill would impose a means for imposing a  
          similar, but new, requirement on California's public  
          postsecondary institutions.

          3)   Do licensing entities provide this information  ?  The  
               Department of Consumer Affairs consists of more than  
               40 boards, bureaus, committees, commissions, and other  
               programs that set minimum standards of competence,  
               education, and skills for an array of professions and  
               vocations. These entities regulate diverse industries  
               including, but not limited to, nursing, cosmetology,  
               contracting, automotive repair, engineering, and  
               psychology.  These regulatory boards and bureaus  
               license, register, certify, permit, or approve  
               individuals or businesses according to qualifications  
               established by legislation and regulations.

               This bill makes its disclosure requirements contingent  
          upon whether the                                  state  
          licensing or regulatory agency makes this information  
          available via                                     its  
          website.  It is unclear how many of these licensing  
          entities currently                                make  
          license exam passage rates by school of graduation publicly  
               available in this manner, if at all.

           4)   Disconnect for teacher credentialing programs  . This  
               bill was recently amended to modify intent language  
               regarding the California Education Information System  
               and the requirements of the bill as they apply to  
               teacher preparation programs.  Teacher credentialing  
               programs are typically post-baccalaureate programs and  
               ineligible to participate in the current Cal Grant  
               Program. The Cal Grant T program, specifically  
               designed to help post-baccalaureate students pursue  
               their initial California teaching credential, no  
               longer accepts applications since, due to severe  
               budget constraints, the Governor and Legislature have  
               not provided funding for these awards since the  
               2002-2003 academic year.








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               Additionally, while the goal of providing information  
               on the effectiveness of these programs is worthwhile,  
               it is questionable whether exam passage rates are  
               useful for this purpose.  Not all teachers take the  
               same examinations.  Because of the various pathways  
               into the teaching profession (all meeting the same  
               standards) teachers can meet requirements by exam,  
               coursework, or proxy (as with CBEST). Currently,  
               through its accreditation system, CTC reviews and  
               evaluates the effectiveness of teacher preparation  
               programs.  Under the system, all teacher preparation  
               programs, including those that are district-based,  
               provide information on an ongoing basis about  
               candidate competence and program effectiveness.   
               Programs must submit biennial reports to the CTC that  
               include an analysis of candidate competence data and  
               the improvements made to the program based on that  
               data.  Based on those reports, CTC identifies programs  
               that need technical assistance or monitoring, which  
               includes at least one site visit every 7 years. 

               Staff recommends the bill be amended to delete the  
               most recent amendments to Education Code 10600 and to  
               instead insert the following:

               "The Legislature finds and declares that it is  
               important that policy makers and teacher candidates  
               have access to information on the quality of teacher  
               preparation programs. It is also the intent of the  
               Legislature that the quality indicators include the  
               extent to which teachers are prepared to work  
               effectively with all students including, but not  
               limited to, English Language Learners, special  
               education and socio-economically disadvantaged  
               students.

               It is the intent of the Legislature that as the  
               California Education Information System is implemented  
               over time, access to public information already  
               available on various measures of the quality of  
               teacher preparation programs be available in  
               electronic format and be accessible to the extent  
               practicable through downloadable pages and reports  








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               accessible to the public in a consolidated manner."

           SUPPORT
           
          Board of Behavioral Sciences
          California State Student Association
          EdVoice

           OPPOSITION

           None received.