BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó

                                                                       AB 770

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          770 (Irwin)

          As Amended  April 27, 2015

          Majority vote

          |Committee       |Votes |Ayes                |Noes                  |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |Higher          |13-0  |Medina, Baker,      |                      |
          |Education       |      |Bloom, Chávez,      |                      |
          |                |      |Harper, Irwin,      |                      |
          |                |      |Jones-Sawyer,       |                      |
          |                |      |Levine, Linder,     |                      |
          |                |      |Low, Santiago,      |                      |
          |                |      |Weber, Williams     |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |Appropriations  |17-0  |Gomez, Bigelow,     |                      |
          |                |      |Bonta, Calderon,    |                      |
          |                |      |Chang, Daly,        |                      |
          |                |      |Eggman, Gallagher,  |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |                |      |Eduardo Garcia,     |                      |
          |                |      |Gordon, Holden,     |                      |
          |                |      |Jones, Quirk,       |                      |
          |                |      |Rendon, Wagner,     |                      |
          |                |      |Weber, Wood         |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |


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          |                |      |                    |                      |

          SUMMARY:  Authorizes the governing board of a community college  
          district (CCD) to apply to the Chancellor of the California  
          Community Colleges (CCC), for multiyear financial grants and  
          professional development (PD) funding, if a CCD adopts or expands  
          the use of evidence-based models of academic assessment and  
          placement, remediation, and student support that accelerate the  
          progress of underprepared students toward achieving postsecondary  
          educational and career goals.  Specifically, this bill:  

          1)Establishes legislative findings and declarations, including,  
            but not limited to the following: 

             a)   Research in California has demonstrated that relatively  
               few students who enter remediation ultimately attain a  
               postsecondary degree, credential, or transfer to a four-year  
               institution, and that students of color are  
               disproportionately affected;

             b)   Drawing on national initiatives aimed at increasing  
               student completion of college-level English and mathematics  
               courses, efforts in California have demonstrated the success  
               of innovative ways to deliver English and mathematics  
               remediation; and,

             c)   In those pilot efforts, students' odds of completing  
               college-level English courses more than double, and their  
               odds of completing college-level mathematics courses are more  
               than four times higher in comparison to students in  
               traditional remediation.  However, at most community college  
               campuses, these new approaches are offered on a small scale  
               and are not available to most students.


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          2)Establishes a financial grant and professional development  
            funding program, administered by the CCC Chancellor.

          3)Requires the CCC Chancellor to distribute multiyear financial  
            grants and PD funding, upon appropriation by the Legislature for  
            this purpose, to the governing board of a CCD that applies and  
            satisfies the requirements, as specified.

          4)Specifies that monies allocated for the program shall be  
            expended for community colleges within the district to adopt or  
            expand the use of evidence-based models of academic assessment  
            and placement, remediation, and student support that accelerate  
            the progress of underprepared students toward achieving  
            postsecondary educational and career goals.

          5)Specifies that the governing board of a CCD may apply for funds,  
            as specified, if it is for the purposes of making more  
            effective, evidence-based practices available to significantly  
            more underprepared students who enroll at CCC campuses. 

          6)Specifies that a community college within the district may  
            receive funds for purposes of implementing these evidence-based  
            practices for the first time or expanding evidence-based  
            practices that are in effect as of the date of the district's  
            application for funds.

          7)Requires that the evidence-based strategies implemented or  
            expanded by the governing board of a CCD, as specified, shall  
            include innovative basic skills improvement strategies that have  
            demonstrated effectiveness in accelerating the progress of  
            underprepared students toward, and increasing the number of  
            underprepared students who successfully achieve, one or more of  


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            the following goals:

             a)   Completing a college-level English or mathematics course,  
               or both, within a three-course sequence or less;

             b)   Earning eight units applicable to a college certificate or  
               degree; and,

             c)   Earning a college certificate or degree approved by the  

          8)Requires, as condition of receiving a grant, that the governing  
            board of a CCD shall demonstrate in its application for funding  
            that the community colleges that will participate in the grant  
            program will redesign their curriculum, career pathways,  
            assessment and placement procedures, or any combination thereof,  
            to implement, or expand the use or application of, one or more  
            of the following practices and principles:

             a)   Adopting placement tests and related policies that include  
               multiple measures of student performance, including grades in  
               high school courses, especially overall grade point average,  
               and input from counselors;

             b)   Increasing the placement of students directly in gateway  
               English and mathematics courses and career pathways  
               supplemented by remediation;

             c)   Aligning content in remedial courses with the students'  
               programs of academic or vocational study to target students'  
               actual needs;


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             d)   Completing a college-level English or mathematics course,  
               or both, within a three-course sequence or less; recognizing  
               that students pursuing mathematics-intensive courses of study  
               may require a longer sequence of mathematics coursework;

             e)   Contextualizing remedial instruction in foundational  
               skills for the industry cluster, pathways, or both, in which  
               the student seeks to advance; and,

             f)   Providing proactive student support services that are  
               integrated with the instruction provided;

          9)Specifies that each participating community college shall be  
            responsible for all of the following:

             a)   Developing a plan based on one or more of the  
               evidence-based principles and practices (as described in 8)  
               a) through f) above), that demonstrates a clear strategy for  
               ensuring that all of the following occur within a five-year  

               i)     A significant share of the underprepared students who  
                 enroll at participating community colleges within the CCD  
                 achieve one or more of the three goals (as described in 7)  
                 a) through c)) above, and,

               ii)    Underprepared students who are enrolled at the  
                 community college achieve the three goals (as described  
                 above in 7) a) through c) above) within a shorter time  
                 period than before the implementation of this measure at  
                 the community college.


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             b)   Ensuring that its faculty participate in PD regarding  
               academic programs or new curriculum developed or expanded  
               pursuant to this measure, using grant funds to support that  
               faculty participation; and,

             c)   Annually reporting, until 2024, to the CCC Chancellor's  
               Office (CCCCO) on program outcomes, disaggregated by  
               demographic characteristics of its students, for purposes of  
               measuring progress compared to the community college's  
               performance before its implementation of this measure.   
               Specifying that these reports should include all of the  

               i)     The number and percentage of underprepared students  
                 served by the grant program,

               ii)    The number and percentages of these underprepared  
                 students achieving each of the three goals (as described  
                 above in 7) a) through c) above), and,

               iii)   The number of faculty involved and faculty needs  
                 regarding the innovation and operation of courses pursuant  
                 to this measure.

          10)Requires the CCCCO to be responsible for all of the following:

             a)   Administering the grant program, and distributing and  
               monitoring awards to recipient CCDs;

             b)   Developing application criteria, administrative  
               guidelines, and other requirements for purposes of  


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               administering the grant program; and,

             c)   Aggregating, analyzing, and reporting, every other year,  
               commencing with the first year the Legislature appropriates  
               funding for this purpose, until July 1, 2024, the information  
               submitted, as specified, to the Legislature on the progress  
               of the grant program in achieving its prescribed purpose.

          EXISTING LAW establishes the Seymour-Campbell Student Success Act  
          of 2012, which, among other things, specifies that each community  
          college, via their student services, has the responsibility, as  
          specified, to provide a strong foundation and support for the  
          educational goals of their students; cites the services as the  
          Student Success and Support Program (SSSP); requires the services  
          to include, but are not necessarily limited to, student referral  
          to specialized support services as needed and available,  
          including, but not necessarily limited to, programs that teach  
          basic skills education and English as a Second Language (ESL) and  
          evaluation of each student's progress and referral to appropriate  
          interventions for students who are enrolled in basic skills  
          courses; and, requires all CCDs, with the assistance of the CCC  
          Chancellor to establish and maintain institutional research to  
          evaluate the effectiveness of the SSSP, specifying that the  
          metrics used for the research shall include, but not be limited  
          to, academic performance, such as the completion of specified unit  
          thresholds, success in basic skills courses, grade point average,  
          course completion outcomes, transfer readiness, and degree and  
          certificate completion (Education Code Section 78210, et seq.). 

          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Assembly Appropriations  

          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  


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            redesign and professional development and changing assessment  
            and placement procedures. (General Fund (GF)-Proposition 98  

          2)To the extent the acceleration of remediation reduces more  
            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, the CCCCO would need  
            one or two positions to establish and administer the program, at  
            an ongoing GF cost of $125,000 to $250,000.

          COMMENTS:  Basic skills definition.  Generally, definitions for  
          basic skills (often referred as "remedial" and/or "remediation")  
          vary, however, for the CCC, "noncredit basic skills courses" are  
          those courses in reading, writing, mathematics, and ESL which are  
          designated by a CCD as noncredit courses pursuant to California  
          Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 5, Section 55002(c).   
          Additionally, "non-degree applicable basic skills courses" are  
          those courses in reading, writing, mathematics, and ESL which are  
          designated by a CCD as non-degree applicable credit courses  
          pursuant to CCR, Title 5, Section 55002(b).

          Basic skills background.  In 2004, the CCCCO began a comprehensive  
          strategic planning process with the purpose of improving student  
          access and success; and, in January 2006, the CCC Board of  
          Governors adopted the final draft of the plan.  At that time, one  
          of the goals of the plan was to focus on basic skills - ensuring  
          that basic skills development became a major focus and was an  


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          adequately funded activity at the CCCs.

          To ensure the former was achieved, the CCCCO, in 2006, launched  
          the Basic Skills Initiative (BSI), which was a grant funded  
          initiative as part of the strategic planning process.  The goal of  
          the BSI was to improve student access and success.  The project  
          addressed credit and noncredit basic skills as well as adult  
          education and programs designed to help underprepared students. 

          Basic skills state statistics.  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.  Additionally, 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, demographic group, or socioeconomic status.

          The brief contends that said findings are critical to note because  
          remedial course sequences have been identified as a key barrier to  
          college completion.  The brief finds, "Across California, 70% to  
          90% of CCC students are designated underprepared for college and  
          assigned to remedial courses in English, math, or both.  According  
          to the most recent Student Success Scorecard, just 41% of these  
          students went on to transfer or complete a certificate or degree  
          within six years statewide, a substantially lower completion rate  
          than among students designated college prepared."

          Need for this measure.  According to the author, "Many community  
          college students are limited to the standard remedial courses in  


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          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."

          Analysis Prepared by:                                               
                          Jeanice Warden / HIGHER ED. / (916) 319-3960  FN: