BILL ANALYSIS Ó SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION Carol Liu, Chair 2013-2014 Regular Session BILL NO: AB 700 AUTHOR: Gomez AMENDED: May 24, 2013 FISCAL COMM: Yes HEARING DATE: June 19, 2013 URGENCY: No CONSULTANT:Lynn Lorber SUBJECT : History-social science framework: voter education. SUMMARY This bill requires the Instructional Quality Commission, when revising the history-social science framework, to ensure that voter education information is included in the American government and civics curriculum at the high school level. BACKGROUND Academic content standards define the knowledge, concepts, and skills that pupils should acquire at each grade level (the "what"). Curricular frameworks are the blueprint for implementing the standards, and include criteria by which instructional materials are evaluated (the "how"). The processes for reviewing frameworks and adopting instructional materials have been suspended since July 28, 2009. The State Board of Education (SBE) is specifically prohibited from reviewing frameworks and adopting instructional materials until the 2015-16 school year, except as provided below. (Education Code § 60200.7) Notwithstanding the suspension, current law: 1) Requires the SBE to adopt revised frameworks that are aligned to the common core standards in: a) Mathematics by November 30, 2013. b) English language arts by May 30, 2014. (EC AB 700 Page 2 § 60207) 2) Authorizes the SBE to adopt a revised framework for history social science, but only after the California Department of Education has completed work related to the frameworks for the common core standards. (EC § 60200.8) Civics is generally included in the history-social science standards and framework, with several references to the United States and California Constitutions and democracy. Current law requires the State Board of Education (SBE) and the California Department of Education (CDE) to request that the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) review and revise, as necessary, the course requirements in the history-social science framework to ensure that minimum standards for courses in American government and civics include sufficient attention to teaching students how to interact, in a practical manner, with state and local governmental agencies and representatives to solve problems and to petition for changes in laws and procedures. When the history-social science framework is revised, the IQC must ensure that the following historical documents are incorporated into the framework, as appropriate: 1) The Declaration of Independence. 2) The United States Constitution, including the Bill of Rights. 3) The Federalist Papers. 4) The Emancipation Proclamation. 5) The Gettysburg Address. 6) George Washington's Farewell Address. (EC § 33540) ANALYSIS This bill requires the IQC, when revising the history-social science framework, to ensure that voter education information is included in the American government and civics curriculum at the high school level. AB 700 Page 3 Specifically, this bill: 1) Requires the IQC, when revising the history-social science framework, to ensure that voter education information is included in the American government and civics curriculum at the high school level including: a) Information on the importance of registering to vote in local, state, and federal elections. b) Where and how to access the voter information pamphlet and other materials to become an informed voter. 2) Provides that this bill is not to be construed as requiring the IQC to meet specifically to implement this bill, and that any revisions to the history-social science framework are to be implemented within the existing framework revision process. STAFF COMMENTS 1) Need for the bill . According to the author, "Currently California education code requires all high school graduates to efficiently pass a course in United States government. While the content of the material addresses voting and the importance of voting, the content fails to go into detail about the voting process, including how to research propositions, how to find further candidate information and voting rights." 2) History-social science framework . The most recent version of the history-social science framework was adopted by the State Board of Education (SBE) in 2005. A review of this framework was underway and nearly complete when the state suspended the process due to budget constraints in July 2009. Current law prohibits the State Board of Education (SBE) from revising curricular frameworks or criteria by AB 700 Page 4 which instructional materials are evaluated until the 2015-16 school year, other than for the common core standards in English language arts and mathematics and the history-social science framework. The Instructional Quality Commission is expected to complete the process of updating the history-social science framework in the Fall of 2017. This bill provides that it is to be implemented through the current process to revise the history-social science framework, ensuring that the review process would not be restarted from the beginning (the review of this framework was suspended prior to the 60-day comment period). 3) Already in the framework ? The current history-social science framework, as well as the now-suspended update of the history-social science framework, includes the basics of representative democracy, the importance of the right to vote, and issues regarding campaigns for elected office. However, the history-social science framework does not appear to include specific details relative to conducting research about propositions or candidates for elected office. 4) Fiscal impact . According to the Assembly Appropriations Committee analysis, this bill would impose minor, absorbable General Fund costs to the California Department of Education to the extent the requirements of this bill are already included in the scheduled history-social science curriculum framework review process. 5) Related legislation . AB 123 (Bonta) requires the SBE to ensure the state curriculum, frameworks and evaluation criteria include instruction on the contributions of immigrants, including Filipino Americans, to the farm labor movement in the United States. AB 123 is scheduled to be heard in this Committee on June 19. AB 137 (Buchanan) requires the Instructional Quality Commission, when revising the history-social science framework, to receive input from civics AB 700 Page 5 learning experts and consider how civics and history instruction includes the application of that content. AB 137 is pending in the Senate Appropriations Committee. AB 166 (Hernandez) requires the next revision of the curricular frameworks for history-social science, mathematics, and health to include financial literacy, as specified. AB 166 is pending in the Senate Appropriations Committee. AB 391 (Wieckowski) requires the history-social science curriculum framework, when it is revised, to ensure it encourages instruction related to the understanding of personal finances, including budgeting, savings, credit and loans, identity theft, and paying for postsecondary education. AB 391 also requires information on budgeting, savings, loans, identity theft/security, and planning for postsecondary education to be included in a one semester instructional program entitled consumer economics for use in grades 7-12. AB 391 was held on the Assembly Appropriations Committee's suspense file. AB 424 requires the Instructional Quality Commission, when revising the history-social science framework, to consider incorporating specified historical documents in the updated framework. AB 424 is scheduled to be heard in this Committee on June 19. SB 521 (Wyland) requires the SBE and CDE to request the Instructional Quality Commission, when revising the history-social science framework, to update the courses in American Government and civics to include the comparative differences between the rights of the citizens in American and those in other countries, and the connection of civics and American government to western civilizations. SB 521 is pending in this Committee. SB 552 (Calderon) authorizes social science instruction in grades 7-12 to include instruction on violence awareness. SB 552 is pending in the Assembly AB 700 Page 6 Education Committee. SB 696 (Block) requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to report to the Legislature and recommend to the SBE for adoption a project-based assessment to measure the civics learning objectives contained in the history-social science framework for grades 6-12. SB 696 was held on the Senate Appropriations Committee's suspense file. SUPPORT California School Boards Association California School Employees Association Latino Democrats of Santa Cruz County Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund School for Integrated Academics and Technologies OPPOSITION None on file.