BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



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          Date of Hearing:  May 6, 2015


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS


                                 Jimmy Gomez, Chair


          AB  
          770 (Irwin) - As Amended April 27, 2015


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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  NoReimbursable:  Np


          SUMMARY:


          This bill establishes a California Community College (CCC) grant  
          program to fund accelerated basis skills programs. Specifically,  
          this bill:









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          1)Establishes the programs, to be administered by the Chancellor  
            of the CCC, to provide multiyear grants to community college  
            districts to adopt or expand evidence-based models of academic  
            assessment and placement, remediation, and student support  
            that accelerate the progress of underprepared students toward  
            achieving postsecondary educational goals.


          2)Requires an applicant district, in order to receive a grant,  
            to demonstrate that its colleges will redesign their  
            curriculum, career pathways, assessment, and placement  
            procedures to implement or expand the use of specified  
            practices and principles.


          3)Requires participating districts to develop a plan to ensure  
            that, within a five-year period, specified goals are achieved  
            related to improved outcomes for underprepared students,  
            faculty participation in relevant professional development,  
            and annual reporting to the Chancellor's Office of program  
            progress, as specified.


          4)Requires the Chancellor's Office to analyze and report summary  
            program information to the Legislature biannually.


          FISCAL EFFECT:


          1)Given that there are 72 districts and 112 colleges, a viable  
            program would at least need to be in the low tens of millions  
            of dollars to provide one-time grants to campuses for  
            curriculum redesign and professional development and changing  
            assessment and placement procedures. [GF-Prop 98]


          2)To the extent the acceleration of remediation reduces more  








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            students' time to commence taking college-level courses,  
            increases the likelihood of these students achieving their  
            educational goals and in less time, the students, districts,  
            and the state will benefit from this increased efficiency.  
            According to information from the author's office, in 2010-11,  
            about 350,000 CCC students took credit basic skills course.  
            Saving all of these students one semester of basic skills  
            remediation would be the equivalent of about $160 million in  
            funding.


          3)Depending on the size of the grant program, Chancellor's  
            Office would need one or two positions to establish and  
            administer the program, at an ongoing GF cost of $125,000 to  
            $250,000.


          COMMENTS:


          1)Background. CCC basic skills (or remediation) are  
            pre-collegiate level, non-credit courses in reading, writing,  
            mathematics, and English as a Second Language (ESL). According  
            to information provided by the author's office, over 70% of  
            first-time enrolled students at the CCC are classified as  
            underprepared for college-level course work and in need of  
            remediation.  Generally, the more semesters of remediation a  
            student must take, the less likely that student will complete  
            college-level English and mathematics courses. 


            According to Learning Works' 2014 brief entitled, "New Study  
            of the California Acceleration Project:  Large and Robust  
            Gains in Student Completion of College English and Math,"  
            accelerated models of remediation are producing great  
            increases in student completion of gatekeeper English and  
            mathematics requirements at CCCs. The brief found that  
            effective accelerated pathways led to completion gains among  
            all students, regardless of their level of preparation,  








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            demographic group, or socioeconomic status.


            Under the California Acceleration Project (CAP), 16 CCCs  
            piloting accelerated remediation models in 2011-12 found that  
            by redesigning their curricula to reduce students' time in  
            remedial courses by one or more semesters, higher completion  
            rates among students in accelerated remediation occurred. In  
            English, students' odds of completing a college-level course  
            were 2.3 times greater in high-impact models of acceleration  
            than students in traditional remediation; and, in mathematics,  
            students' odds of completing a college-level course were 4.5  
            times greater than students in traditional remediation.


          2)Purpose. According to the author, "Many community college  
            students are limited to the standard remedial courses in math  
            and English that are yielding very poor results.  Allowing for  
            more subjectivity and innovation in remedial courses would  
            allow faculty members to contextualize the remedial learning  
            experience to the benefit of all students, regardless of what  
            their educational goals may be." Given the positive results of  
            accelerated remediation, the author wishes to greatly expand  
            use of this model in the CCC.


          Analysis Prepared by:Chuck Nicol / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081



















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