BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    ”

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          Date of Hearing:   April 6, 2011

                                Felipe Fuentes, Chair

                    AB 180 (Carter) - As Amended:  March 25, 2011 

          Policy Committee:                              Education 

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program: 
          No     Reimbursable:              No


          This bill requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction 
          (SPI) and the State Board of Education (SBE) to allow a dropout 
          recovery high school (DRHS) to report, in lieu of other 
          indicators, the results of an individual pupil growth model that 
          is proposed by the school and certified by the SPI.  
          Specifically, this bill:  

          1)Defines a "dropout recovery high school" as a high school in 
            which 50% or more of its pupils are designated as dropouts 
            pursuant to the exit and withdrawal codes developed by the 
            State Department of Education (SDE), and which provides 
            instruction in partnership with any of the following: 

             a)   The federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA). 

             b)   Federally affiliated Youthbuild programs. 

             c)   Federal job corps training or instruction provide 
               pursuant to a memorandum of understanding with the federal 

             d)   The California Conservation Corp (CCC) or local 
               conservation corps certified by the CCC, as specified. 

          2)Requires the SPI to review the individual pupil growth model 
            proposed by the DRHS and certify the model, if it meets all of 
            the following requirements: (a) measures learning based on 
            valid and reliable nationally normed or criterion-referenced 
            reading and mathematics tests; (b) measures skills and 
            knowledge aligned with state standards; (c) measures the 


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            extent to which a pupil scored above an expected amount of 
            growth based on the individual pupil's initial achievement 
            score; and (d) demonstrates the extent to which a school is 
            able to accelerate learning on an annual basis.  

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          GF administrative costs, likely less than $100,000, to SDE to 
          review and recommend approval to the SBE of an individual growth 
          model for DRHS, as specified.  



           1)Background  .  K-12 pupils have several alternative education 
            options available to them other than traditional public 
            schools, including independent study, continuation education, 
            community day schools, juvenile court schools, and dropout 
            recovery schools.  Many of these alternative education options 
            have specified requirements that cause the pupil to attend one 
            of these programs.  For example, pupils in the criminal 
            justice system are educated in a juvenile court school.  

            Current law requires the SPI to establish an alternative 
            accountability system (i.e., the Alternative School 
            Accountability Model (ASAM) for schools under the jurisdiction 
            of a county board of education or county superintendent of 
            schools, community day schools, nonpublic schools, and 
            alternative schools serving high risk pupils (continuation 
            high schools, dropouts, etc).  Statute also authorizes schools 
            in the alternative accountability system to receive an 
            Academic Performance Index (API) score, but not be included in 
            the API rankings.  Participation in the alternative 
            accountability system is voluntary, unless a school enrolls 
            70% (at a minimum) of high-risk pupils.   

            The ASAM is a voluntary accountability program where 
            qualifying schools select three of 14 reporting indicators 
            measuring student learning readiness, transition, and academic 
            performance. Participating schools annually report on these 
            three indicators.  Schools select their reporting indicators 
            from a list adopted by the SBE in 2001. 


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            ASAM serves more than 1,000 community day schools, 
            continuation schools, county community schools, county court 
            schools, Division of Juvenile Justice schools, opportunity 
            schools, and alternative schools of choice and charter schools 
            that meet the eligibility requirements approved by the SBE. 
            According to SDE, 1,055 schools participated in ASAM in 
            2009-10. As of October 2010, 139,592 students were enrolled in 
            grades 8-12 in schools served by ASAM.  

            This bill would allow DRH to utilize an approved growth model 
            to measure the school's success in addition to the ASAM, as 

           2)Purpose  .  According to the California Dropout Research Project 
            report: The Economic Losses of High School Dropouts in 
            California (Belfield and Levin, August 2007), California 
            experiences $46.4 billion in total economic losses from each 
            cohort of 120,000 20- year-olds who never complete high 
            school; this is the equivalent of 2.9% of the annual state 
            gross product. The authors further state that the average high 
            school graduate earns $290,000 more over a lifetime than a 
            high school dropout and pays $100,000 more in federal, state, 
            and local taxes. Likewise, more the two-thirds of high school 
            dropouts will use food stamps during their working lifetime 
            and a high school graduate is 68% less likely to be on any 
            welfare program. 

            The California Standards Tests (CSTs), which comprise the 
            majority of Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program, 
            measure pupil performance on the state academic standards for 
            each grade level.  Each grade has a unique set of standards 
            and the CSTs for that grade are designed to measure pupil 
            performance against those standards.  If the STAR assessments 
            were designed in a manner that enabled performance levels to 
            mean the same thing at each grade level, the state could 
            accurately measure student gains or losses across years.  This 
            change in the assessment system would eventually affect the 
            state's API because the majority of the index is calculated 
            utilizing assessment scores.  As a result, a school would be 
            held accountable for pupil performance over time (i.e., a 
            growth model).  

            According to the author, "Dropout recovery high schools 
            typically operate on an open entry, open exit model rather 
            than a traditional school year model.  As a result, students 


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            enter and exit as they complete their individual course work 
            requirements and many are not enrolled at the single point in 
            time necessary for typical standardized tests.  An individual 
            growth model tracks each student's growth in terms of actual 
            learning gains.  ›This bill] provides that, as part of the 
            ASAM for schools, the SPI and the SBE will allow a dropout 
            recovery high school, to use an individual student growth 
            model that meets certain criteria."

           3)Governor's 2010 veto of ASAM funding  .  The Department of 
            Finance (DOF) proposes to eliminate the ASAM and fold 
            alternative schools into existing federal accountability 
            reporting.  Specifically, DOF states "While the state permits 
            alternative schools to participate in an alternative 
            accountability model to comply with state accountability 
            requirements, it is not required by state or federal law.  
            Under federal requirements established by the No Child Left 
            Behind Act of 2001, all alternative schools are required to 
            meet the same adequate yearly progress reporting criteria as 
            other mainstream schools."  As a result of this proposal, the 
            state would save approximately $775,000 in GF/98.
             The Legislature rejected the governor's proposal and fully 
            funded ASAM.  In October 2010, however, the governor vetoed 
            $775,000 GF/98 appropriated to operate the ASAM.  The governor 
            stated:  "SDE and SBE have begun phasing out the external 
            contractor in favor of CDE's staff compiling data from 
            existing sources making these funds unnecessary. In addition, 
            because the state funds testing and accountability programs 
            interchangeably with federal funds and Proposition 98 General 
            Fund, this reduction will generate Proposition 98 General Fund 

            Prior to the governor's veto, SDE had been working to revise 
            the ASAM model to take into account more rigorous academic 
            information.  These plans are currently on hold due to a lack 
            of funding.   

          4)Previous legislation  .  AB 2307 (Carter), similar to this 
            measure, was held on suspense by the Senate Appropriations 

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Kimberly Rodriguez / APPR. / (916) 


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