BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó

          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                        SB 725|
          |Office of Senate Floor Analyses   |                              |
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                                UNFINISHED BUSINESS 

          Bill No:  SB 725
          Author:   Hancock (D), et al.
          Amended:  8/20/15  
          Vote:     27 - Urgency

           SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE:  9-0, 4/22/15
           AYES:  Liu, Runner, Block, Hancock, Leyva, Mendoza, Monning,  
            Pan, Vidak

           AYES:  Lara, Bates, Beall, Hill, Leyva, Mendoza, Nielsen

           SENATE FLOOR:  40-0, 6/3/15
           AYES:  Allen, Anderson, Bates, Beall, Berryhill, Block,  
            Cannella, De León, Fuller, Gaines, Galgiani, Glazer, Hall,  
            Hancock, Hernandez, Hertzberg, Hill, Hueso, Huff, Jackson,  
            Lara, Leno, Leyva, Liu, McGuire, Mendoza, Mitchell, Monning,  
            Moorlach, Morrell, Nguyen, Nielsen, Pan, Pavley, Roth, Runner,  
            Stone, Vidak, Wieckowski, Wolk

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  77-1, 8/20/15 - See last page for vote

           SUBJECT:   Pupil testing:  high school exit examination:   

          SOURCE:    Author

          DIGEST:   This bill, an urgency measure, exempts from the  
          requirement to pass the California High School Exit Examination  
          students in the Class of 2015 who have met all other high school  
          graduation requirements.

          Assembly Amendments (1) delete the contents of the bill relative  
          to academic content standards in visual and performing arts, and  


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                                                                    Page  2

          insert language to exempt students in the Class of 2015 from the  
          requirement to pass the high school exit exam as a condition of  
          graduation if the student has met all other graduation  
          requirements; and (2) add an urgency clause.

          Existing law:

          1)Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) to  
            develop, and the State Board of Education (SBE) to adopt, a  
            high school exit examination in English language arts and  
            mathematics in accordance with the academic content standards  
            adopted by the SBE.  (Education Code § 60850)

          2)Requires pupils to successfully pass the high school exit exam  
            as a condition of receiving a diploma of graduation, in  
            addition to completing state and local graduation  
            requirements.  (EC §§ 60851, 51225.3 and 51224.5)

          3)Establishes the Academic Content Standards Commission for the  
            purpose of developing the California Common Core Standards in  
            English language arts and mathematics, and requires the SBE to  
            reject or adopt those standards by August 2, 2010.  (EC §  

          4)Revamps the state's assessment system by eliminating several  
            assessments that were aligned to prior academic content  
            standards, transitioning to assessments that are aligned to  
            the common core standards in English language arts and  
            mathematics, and requiring existing assessments for English  
            language development and primary language to be revised for  
            alignment with the common core standards.  (EC § 60640) 

          5)Requires the SPI, by March 1, 2016, to submit to the SBE, the  
            appropriate legislative policy and fiscal committee and the  
            Director of Finance, recommendations on expanding the  
            California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress to  
            include additional assessments.  The SPI is required to  
            consult with specified stakeholders, and make recommendations  
            regarding assessments including the grade level, content, and  
            type of assessment.  (EC § 60640(c))


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          This bill:

          1)Prohibits the high school exit exam from being required as a  
            condition of receiving a diploma of graduation or a condition  
            of graduation from high school for a student completing grade  
            12 in 2015 and who has met all other high school graduation  
          2)Includes in urgency clause in order to ensure that pupils who  
            have not passed the high school exit exam but have met all  
            other high school graduation requirements receive a high  
            school diploma as soon as possible.

          Contract issues.  According to the California Department of  
          Education (CDE), the contract for the California High School  
          Exit Examination (CAHSEE) will expire on October 31, 2015.   
          Pursuant to this contract, the last administration of the CAHSEE  
          was in May 2015.  The CDE maintains that the Department of  
          General Services is prohibiting the CDE from extending the  
          contract for the CAHSEE, and instead is requiring the CDE to  
          issue a Request for Proposal.  This process can be time  
          consuming; even if initiated immediately, a new contract would  
          not have been in place to ensure administration of the CAHSEE in  
          July, October and possibly November 2015 test dates.

          The 2015 Budget Act includes language to specifically authorize  
          the CDE to extend the CAHSEE contract for one year, contingent  
          upon the continuation of the CAHSEE requirement.  This language  
          was necessary in the event that legislation fails passage or is  
          amended to keep the CAHSEE requirement in place for future  
          school years.  However, the CDE also maintains that renewing the  
          contract at this point will also miss the October and possibly  
          November 2015 test dates.

          Absent any action, the CAHSEE will remain a high school  
          graduation requirement yet is no longer being administered to  
          students.  Students who need to pass the CAHSEE to earn a  
          diploma have no opportunity to do so.  It is estimated that  
          approximately 5,000 students have met all coursework  
          requirements to graduate but have not passed the CAHSEE.


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          Purpose of the high school exit exam.  According to independent  
          evaluations conducted by the Human Resources Research  
          Organization (HumRRO), California's high school exit exam has  
          served a valuable purpose by ensuring students demonstrate  
          competency on standards, providing remediation opportunities  
          prior to grade 12, and helping to overall narrow the achievement  
          gap between subgroups.  The findings of HumRRO's 2014 Biennial  
          Report include:

          1)Performance on the CAHSEE continues to improve, but remains  
            low for English learners and students with disabilities.

          2)CAHSEE passage rates for students with disabilities have been  
            mixed, and the availability of an exemption or waiver to the  
            requirement appears to influence passing rates.

          3)Graduation rates have continued to improve and dropout rates  
            continue to decrease. Over time, more students persisted into  
            grade 12 and beyond.

          4)A very strong relationship was discovered between CAHSEE  
            achievement and college enrollment.

          5)Preliminary screening of the CAHSEE item bank indicated  
            limited alignment to the Common Core Standards and, for  
            mathematics, alignment of some items to the common core  
            standards at a lower grade level.


          Alignment with curricular standards.  The SBE adopted the  
          California Common Core Standards in English language arts and  
          mathematics in August 2010.  The CAHSEE is aligned to English  
          language arts and mathematics standards that were adopted by the  
          SBE in 1997.  The CAHSEE has not been updated for alignment with  
          current academic content standards.  AB 484 (Bonilla, Chapter  
          489, Statutes of 2013) revamped the state's assessment system  
          to, among other things, transition to assessments that are  
          aligned to the common core standards, including subject-matter  
          exams, the English language development test and the primary  


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          language assessment.  

          The 2014 Biennial Report provided by HumRRO states that the  
          evaluators observed review meetings held by the exit exam  
          contractor to evaluate the 16,000 items the contractor  
          considered to be associated with the common core standards.   
          According to HumRRO, approximately half of those items were  
          judged not aligned when evaluated directly to common core  
          standards, and an additional number of mathematics items were  
          judged to align to common core standards at an earlier grade  
          than the California content standard did.  HumRRO reports that  
          these results indicate that the exit exam item bank would need  
          to be substantially revised (e.g., replacing or modifying a  
          significant number of items) to align to the common core  

          FISCAL EFFECT:   Appropriation:    No          Fiscal  
          Com.:YesLocal:   No

          According to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, this bill  
          imposes unknown, likely minor costs to local education agencies  
          to modify graduation policies to reflect the removal of the  
          CAHSEE as a requirement for graduation from high school.

          SUPPORT:   (Verified8/21/15)

          Association of California School Administrators
          Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

          OPPOSITION:   (Verified8/21/15)

          None received

          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT:     According to SIATech, "we have a  
          growing list of students who are caught in a Catch 22 where  


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                                                                    Page  6

          SIATech cannot issue a diploma because it is legally impossible  
          to take and pass the CAHSEE.  Our students are former dropouts,  
          very low income, and 'risk immersed.'  They do not have the  
          option of waiting at home for a semester.  They have made  
          incredible personal journeys to earn their diplomas and move on  
          into living wage careers.  It would be truly tragic for the  
          Department's [CDE] action to inadvertently ruin the  
          opportunities they have earned."

          ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  77-1, 8/20/15
          AYES:  Achadjian, Alejo, Baker, Bigelow, Bloom, Bonilla, Bonta,  
            Brough, Brown, Burke, Calderon, Campos, Chang, Chau, Chávez,  
            Chiu, Cooley, Cooper, Dababneh, Dahle, Daly, Dodd, Eggman,  
            Frazier, Beth Gaines, Gallagher, Cristina Garcia, Eduardo  
            Garcia, Gatto, Gipson, Gomez, Gonzalez, Gordon, Gray, Grove,  
            Hadley, Roger Hernández, Holden, Irwin, Jones, Jones-Sawyer,  
            Kim, Lackey, Levine, Linder, Lopez, Low, Maienschein, Mathis,  
            Mayes, McCarty, Medina, Melendez, Mullin, Nazarian, Obernolte,  
            O'Donnell, Olsen, Patterson, Perea, Quirk, Rendon,  
            Ridley-Thomas, Rodriguez, Salas, Santiago, Steinorth, Mark  
            Stone, Thurmond, Ting, Wagner, Waldron, Weber, Wilk, Williams,  
            Wood, Atkins
          NOES:  Travis Allen
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Chu, Harper

          Prepared by:Lynn Lorber / ED. / (916) 651-4105
          8/21/15 16:06:57

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