BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 2446
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          CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS
          AB 2446 (Furutani)
          As Amended  August 31, 2010
          Majority vote
           
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          |ASSEMBLY:  |76-0 |(June 2, 2010)  |SENATE: |34-0 |(August 31,    |
          |           |     |                |        |     |2010)          |
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           Original Committee Reference:    ED.  

           SUMMARY  :  Adds, commencing with the 2011-12 school year, career  
          technical education (CTE), as defined, as an option for pupils  
          to fulfill the existing high school graduation requirement to  
          complete a course in visual or performing arts (VPA) or foreign  
          language.  Specifically,  this bill  :  

          1)Defines "a course in career technical education" as specified.  


          2)Specifies that the provisions of this bill do not require a  
            school or school district that currently does not offer CTE  
            courses to establish new CTE programs for purposes of meeting  
            the requirements of this bill and requires districts that  
            choose to offer CTE courses to pupils for purposes of meeting  
            the high school graduation requirements to fund those courses  
            through existing funds.

          3)Prohibits districts from requesting supplemental reimbursement  
            to fund new CTE courses offered for purposes of this bill. 

          4)Requires the California Department of Education (CDE), on or  
            before January 1, 2015, to report to the appropriate policy  
            committees of the Legislature specified data and information  
            relative to the course taking in CTE and the impact this bill  
            has had on other subject areas.  

          5)Specifies that the Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI)  
            may use existing resources and federal funds for purposes of  
            completing the specified report and authorizes the SPI to  
            apply for an accept grants and receive donations from private  
            sources if state or federal funds are not available for this  
            purpose.  









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          6)Authorizes the SPI to accept financial and technical support  
            from specified parties for purposes of completing the  
            specified report. 

          7)Requires a school district or county office of education (COE)  
            that chooses to offer CTE course as an option for pupils to  
            meet graduation requirements to notify the public, as  
            specified, through a regularly scheduled board meeting.  

          8)Repeals the provisions of this bill on July 1, 2016. 

           The Senate amendments  :

          1)Express the intent of the Legislature that the decision by a  
            school district or COE to designate a CTE course or courses as  
            satisfying a high school graduation requirement pursuant to  
            this bill will not diminish the VPA requirements or foreign  
            language requirements for admission to the California State  
            University (CSU) or University of California (UC).

          2)Specify that a school district or COE that currently does not  
            offer CTE courses and elects to offer CTE courses to allow a  
            pupil to satisfy the graduation requirement pursuant to this  
            bill shall fund new CTE courses within existing resources and  
            is prohibited from requiring supplemental reimbursement from  
            the state.

          3)Provide that if a school district or COE elects to allow CTE  
            courses to satisfy graduation requirements, the governing  
            board of the school district or the COE -prior to electing to  
            offer CTE courses pursuant to this bill- shall, at a regularly  
            scheduled board meeting, notify parents, teachers, pupils and  
            the public about all of the following: 

             a)   The intent to offer CTE courses to fulfill graduation  
               requirements; 
             b)   The impact that offering CTE courses will have on the  
               availability of courses to meet the eligibility  
               requirements for admission to the UC and the CSU and  
               whether the offered CTE courses are approved to satisfy  
               those eligibility requirements; and 
             c)   The distinction, if any, between the high school  
               graduation requirements of the school district or COE and  
               the eligibility requirements for admission to the UC and  
               the CSU.








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          4)Add that the specified report also include:

             a)   The reasons given by pupils for choosing to enroll in a  
               CTE course to satisfy the high school graduation  
               requirements;
             b)   The type and number of CTE courses that were available  
               for pupil enrollment;
             c)   The number of CTE courses that satisfied the subject  
               matter requirements for admission to the UC or the CSU;
             d)   The extent to which the CTE courses addressed local  
               workforce needs;
             e)   The impact on VPA and foreign language courses that  
               resulted from pupils choosing to enroll in CTE courses to  
               satisfy the graduation requirements; and, 
             f)   Annual pupil dropout and graduation rates for the school  
               years 2010-11 through 2013-14.

          5)Stipulate that for purposes of completing the specified report  
            the SPI may use existing state resources and federal funds and  
            if state or federal funds are not available or sufficient,  
            allows the SPI to apply for and accept grants, and receive  
            donations and other financial support from public or private  
            sources for purposes of completing the report.

          6)Authorize the SPI to accept support including, but not limited  
            to, financial and technical support, from high school reform  
            advocates, teachers, chamber organizations, industry  
            representatives, research centers, parents and pupils for  
            purposes of completing the report.  

          7)Revise the definition of "CTE course" to also include courses  
            through a regional occupational center or program (ROC/P)  
            operated by a county superintendent of schools or pursuant to  
            a joint powers agreement (JPA).  

           EXISTING LAW:  

          1)Establishes the following minimum high school graduation  
            requirements for pupils in grades 9-12, inclusive:

             a)   Three years of English;

             b)   Two years of math;









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             c)   Two years of science;

             d)   Three years of social studies, including United States  
               history and geography; world history, culture and  
               geography; and a one-semester course in American government  
               and civics and a one-semester course in economics;

             e)   One course in VPA or foreign language;

             f)   Two courses in physical education; and,

             g)   Other coursework that the governing board of the school  
               district may specify.

          2)Specifies that governing boards, with the active involvement  
            of parents, administrators, teachers, and pupils, shall adopt  
            alternative means for pupils to complete the prescribed course  
            of study which may include practical demonstration of skills  
            and competencies, supervised work experience or other outside  
            school experience, CTE classes, courses offered by ROC/Ps,  
            interdisciplinary study, independent study, and credit earned  
            at a postsecondary institution.  

           AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY,  this bill:  

           1)Added, commencing with the 2011-12 school year, CTE, as  
            defined, as an option for pupils to fulfill a specified  
            existing high school graduation requirement.  

          2)Defined "a course in career technical education" as a course  
            in a district-operated CTE program and that was aligned to the  
            CTE model curriculum standards and framework adopted by the  
            State Board of Education (SBE).

          3)Specified that the provisions of this bill did not require a  
            school or school district that currently did not offer CTE  
            courses to establish new CTE programs for purposes of meeting  
            the requirements of this bill.

          4)Required the CDE, on or before January 1, 2015, to report to  
            the appropriate policy committees of the Legislature the  
            number of pupils that took a CTE course to fulfill the  
            specified high school graduation requirement and allowed  
            school districts to report this information through the  
            California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System.  








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          5)Repealed the provisions of this bill on July 1, 2016. 
           
          FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee, on the previous version of this bill, potential cost  
          pressures for CTE courses and $150,000 to the CDE for the report  
          to be completed by January 1, 2015. 

           COMMENTS  :  The existing minimum high school graduation  
          requirements include one course in either VPA or foreign  
          language.  This bill adds CTE to this category as a course  
          option to meet the minimum graduation requirements in lieu of a  
          course in either VPA or foreign language.  An argument could be  
          made that this bill provides more options for pupils to complete  
          the minimum high school graduation requirements.  On the other  
          hand, this is a significant change that raises arguments over  
          whether the approach taken by this bill squeezes out courses in  
          the curriculum that some would argue should be expanded rather  
          than diminished.  

          This bill appears to be based on the premise that foreign  
          language and VPA are non-core courses, and therefore, proponents  
          of this measure would argue that this bill would add one more  
          subject to the list of what are often viewed as elective  
          courses.  However, the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001  
          defines "core academic subjects" to mean English, reading or  
          language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics  
          and government, economics, arts, history, and geography.   
          Supporters of foreign language and VPA argue that these two  
          subjects are core subject areas and thus should not be diluted  
          as a requirement for graduation.  Some would argue that all  
          three subjects should be part of the graduation requirements,  
          instead of making students choose one over the other.  The SBE  
          has adopted content standards in both VPA and foreign language  
          and it can be argued that each one of these subjects plays a  
          role in providing pupils a complete and well-rounded education  
          that keeps students engaged and motivated to stay in school.  

          Foreign language:  The benefits and importance of foreign  
          language study has been widely documented.  The Committee for  
          Economic Development, an independent research and policy  
          organization of business leaders and educators, released a  
          report in 2006 titled, Education for Global Leadership: The  
          importance of International Studies and Foreign Language  
          Education for U.S. Economic and National Security.  The report  








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          points out, "To confront the twenty-first century challenges to  
          our economy and national security, our education system must be  
          strengthened to increase the foreign language skills and  
          cultural awareness of our students.  America's continued global  
          leadership will depend on our students' abilities to interact  
          with the world economy."  

          Furthermore, the California Master Plan for Education of 2002  
          recommends all schools to establish a foundation for students'  
          future mastery of a second language, by the end of elementary  
          school, and attainment of oral proficiency and literacy in both  
          English and at least one other language, by the end of secondary  
          school.  Additionally, it should be noted that the SBE has  
          adopted foreign language content standards, now known as "world  
          languages."  The world language content standards represent the  
          knowledge, skills and abilities that students should acquire  
          during thirteen years in California public schools.  

          Visual or performing arts:  Supporters of VPA education would  
          argue that arts courses enhance creativity and critical thinking  
          abilities, which are recognized as important skills for the  
          workplace.  Like CTE, arts education has proven to be an  
          effective way to engage students in learning and in preventing  
          dropouts.  A review of research titled, "Critical Links:  
          Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social  
          Development," suggests that "education in the arts not only  
          fosters other specific skills but also improves students'  
          self-confidence and motivation to learn, particularly among poor  
          and other at risk students."  

          Reports have shown that arts education in secondary schools  
          suffers from limited availability.  A recent report by SRI  
          International, An Unfinished Canvas, shows that 72% of high  
          schools fail to offer standards-aligned courses of study in all  
          four arts disciplines.  Supporters of arts education have  
          suggested that exposure to arts education provides invaluable  
          preparation for the world of work, and that VPA education  
          addresses and develops ways of thinking, questioning, expression  
          and learning that complement learning in other core subjects and  
          develop skills and abilities that are important for students  
          entering into the workforce after high school.  

          Career technical education:  CTE course offerings range in  
          method of delivery and course content.  CTE courses may be  
          delivered by ROC/Ps, partnership academies, agricultural  








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          programs, and tech-prep programs and the courses offered vary in  
          the degree of rigor and alignment to the CTE standards, thus  
          raising the question of whether CTE courses are as rigorous as  
          the high school graduation required courses.  There are a number  
          of CTE courses that do meet and even exceed the rigor of high  
          school graduation courses and are approved and recognized to  
          meet the postsecondary education admission criteria but not all  
          CTE courses do.  It is difficult to know how many of the CTE  
          courses in fact meet the CTE standards, as there is no statewide  
          mechanism in place to review and ensure that CTE courses are  
          aligned to the CTE standards.  This bill limits the CTE courses  
          that could count towards high school graduation to those that  
          are district-operated programs and that are aligned to the CTE  
          content standards.  

          Effect on postsecondary education admission eligibility:  The  
          Board of Admissions and Relations with schools (BOARS)  
          establishes the subject areas and pattern of courses required  
          for minimum eligibility for freshman admission to the UC.  These  
          requirements are known as the A-G requirements, and the CSU  
          system also accepts courses certified by BOARS as minimum  
          eligibility requirements.  The A-G requirements consist of 15  
          courses and three recommended courses as follows: two years of  
          history/social science, four years of English, three years of  
          mathematics, two years of laboratory science, two years of a  
          language other than English, one year of VPA, and one year of  
          college preparatory electives.  

          Recognizing that this bill could result in high school students  
          graduating without taking a single course in foreign language,  
          or VPA, it must be noted that this bill could have an effect on  
          a pupil's eligibility for admission to UC and CSU because both  
          of these are courses required for minimum eligibility for  
          freshman admission to California's four-year public  
          postsecondary institutions. 

          As amended, this bill requires the governing board of a school  
          district or COE to notify parents, teachers, pupils and the  
          public at a scheduled meeting of the governing board about the  
          impact of offering CTE courses would have on the availability of  
          courses that meet the A-G requirements.  Additionally, according  
          to the author, the amendments taken in the Senate address fiscal  
          concerns and the bill prohibits a district from requesting  
          supplemental reimbursement from the state for this purpose.  A  
          school district that chooses to allow a CTE course to satisfy  








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          graduation requirements would have to fund the new CTE courses  
          within existing resources.  
           

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Marisol Avina / ED. / (916) 319-2087


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