Reauthorization of California’s Statewide Pupil Assessment System Outreach Plan
The California Department of Education (CDE) is providing members of the public multiple opportunities through various avenues to provide input and suggestions regarding the reauthorization of California’s statewide pupil assessment system. These avenues include:
- Statewide Assessment Reauthorization Work Group meetings
- Regional meetings
- A reauthorization e-mail account
- Focus groups
- A feedback survey
Below are descriptions of the purpose and structure of each avenue.
Statewide Assessment Reauthorization Work Group Meetings
A key requirement of California Education Code Section 60604.5 is that the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) consult with specific stakeholders outlined in statute when developing recommendations for the reauthorization. To facilitate that consultation, the CDE has formed a Statewide Assessment Reauthorization Work Group, composed of the following stakeholders:
- The State Board of Education
- The committee advising the SSPI on the Academic Performance Index
- Measurement experts from California’s public and private universities
- Individuals with expertise in assessing students with disabilities and English learners
- Teachers, administrators, and governing board members from California’s local educational agencies
The purpose of the Work Group is for members to apply their professional expertise and perspective while providing input and suggestions regarding the reauthorization of the statewide pupil assessment system. Five Work Group meetings are being held between March and July 2012. The meetings also allow members of the general public multiple opportunities to provide input on and suggestions for the reauthorization of the statewide assessment system. Typically, those opportunities follow either a presentation or a large- or small-group discussion. Work Group members received digests regarding the areas of consideration to inform their discussions regarding the areas of consideration. The digests include guiding questions, background information, and resources.
Below are the Work Group meeting dates with a list of topics:
March 21-22, 2012
- Current Assessment System
- Update on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
- Transitioning to New Assessments
- Statewide Assessment Reauthorization Overview
- Next Generation Science Standards Update
- English Language Development Standards Update
April 17-18, 2012
- Conceptual Framework
- Measurement Areas of Consideration
May 22-23, 2012
- Types of Assessments
- Types of Items
- Content and Design Areas of Consideration
June 12-14, 2012
- Minimizing Testing Time
- Test Administration and Scoring Technologies
- Formative Assessment Practices and Tools
- Assessment System K–12
July 25-26, 2012
- Review suggestions regarding areas of consideration
- Consider transition plan components and implementation
The CDE has held regional public meetings throughout the state designed specifically to provide reauthorization information to the public and give the public the opportunity to provide input and suggestions. Five regional meetings were held at county offices of education during April and May 2012 at the following locations:
- Sacramento County Office of Education (COE)
- Fresno COE
- San Diego COE
- Orange County Department of Education
- Contra Costa COE
CDE staff provided a Reauthorization Overview presentation at the beginning of each meeting. Following that presentation, members of the public were given the opportunity to provide comments and/or suggestions. San Joaquin County COE provided written summaries to the CDE.
Reauthorization E-mail Account
The Assessment Development and Administration Division (ADAD) has created a reauthorization e-mail account as an additional avenue for members of the general public to provide input and comments on the reauthorization of the statewide pupil assessment system. The comments received through the e-mail account will be incorporated into the final public comment summary as one component of the final report. The reauthorization e-mail account is provided to the public through the regional meetings and Work Group meetings. It also will be used to distribute a feedback survey (see “Feedback Survey,” p. 3) to multiple e-mail distribution groups (Listservs). The e-mail link will be hosted on the Reauthorization Web page.
The CDE will host multiple focus groups during summer 2012 at the Los Angeles COE and the Sacramento COE. The focus groups will be divided into the following groups:
- Business roundtable
- Parents/high school students
Each group will consist of 12–15 participants. Each focus group will reflect on essentially the same questions and/or topics. The questions will vary slightly, depending on the group (e.g., parents, teachers, students, etc.). Teachers will receive a stipend if they are off track; if they are on track, substitute costs will be taken care of. San Joaquin COE staff will facilitate the focus groups and provide a summary of comments to the CDE.
Additional focus groups will be held in late summer 2012 at the Sacramento COE and will include teachers of English–language arts (ELA) and mathematics and higher education faculty from the California Community Colleges, California State University, and University of California. The ELA and mathematics teachers will discuss one particular area of consideration in statute: aligning the assessments to the standards adopted or revised pursuant to EC Section 60605.8. The purpose of the involvement of higher education faculty will be to gain the faculty perspective on college and career readiness as it relates to postsecondary education and the reauthorization of the statewide assessment system.
To recruit focus group participants, CDE and San Joaquin COE staff will work with a variety of organizations.
The ADAD, in conjunction with San Joaquin COE, has created an online survey for members of the public to provide feedback on the reauthorization of the statewide assessment system. A link to the survey will be sent to multiple Listservs to promote maximum participation. In addition to inviting recipients’ feedback, the CDE will encourage recipients to forward the Web site link to others they think may be interested in providing feedback. The survey link also will be housed on the CDE Statewide Assessment Reauthorization Web page.
ADAD staff expect a wealth of information from the Statewide Assessment Reauthorization Work Group meetings, regional public meetings, feedback survey, and focus groups. The Work Group’s suggestions and input will be specific to the purposes of the assessment system, the content and grades tested, and the 16 areas of consideration. The regional public meetings offer the public opportunity to provide input on all areas regarding the reauthorization of the statewide assessment system. The survey and focus groups will concentrate on specific questions regarding reauthorization.
The depth and breadth of information gathered overall will depend on the collection method (i.e., work group meeting, regional meeting, survey, or focus group). The information gathered will be synthesized and analyzed to provide information for the final report, including a transition plan, to the SSPI to assist in the development of his recommendations.