California Assessment of Academic Achievement; Legislative Intent
(a) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this chapter to provide a system of assessments of pupils that has the primary purposes of assisting teachers, administrators, and pupils and their parents; improving teaching and learning; and promoting high-quality teaching and learning using a variety of assessment approaches and item types. The assessments, where applicable and valid, will produce scores that can be aggregated and disaggregated for the purpose of holding schools and local educational agencies accountable for the achievement of all their pupils in learning the California academic content standards. The system includes assessments or assessment tools for multiple grade levels that cover the full breadth and depth of the curriculum and promote the teaching of the full curriculum. In order to accomplish these goals, the Legislature finds and declares that California should adopt a coordinated and consolidated testing system to do all of the following:
(1) Develop and adopt a set of statewide academically rigorous content standards in all major subject areas to serve as the basis for modeling and promoting high-quality teaching and learning activities across the entire curriculum and assessing the academic achievement of pupils, as well as for schools, school districts, and for the California education system as a whole. Exclusive of those assessments established by a multistate consortium, produce performance standards to be adopted by the state board designed to lead to specific grade level benchmarks of academic achievement for each subject area tested within each grade level based on the knowledge, skills, and processes that pupils will need in order to succeed in the information-based, global economy of the 21st century.
(2) Provide information and resources to schools and local educational agencies to assist with the selection of local benchmark assessments, diagnostic assessments, and formative tools aligned with the state-adopted California academic content standards. The Legislature recognizes the importance of local tools and assessments used by schools and local educational agencies to monitor pupil achievement and to identify individual pupil strengths and weaknesses. The Legislature further recognizes the role the state may play in leveraging resources to provide schools and local educational agencies with information and tools for use at their discretion.
(3) Ensure that all assessment procedures, items, instruments, scoring systems, and results meet high standards of statistical reliability and validity, and that they do not use procedures, items, instruments, or scoring practices that are racially, culturally, socioeconomically, or gender biased.
(4) Provide information to pupils, parents and guardians, teachers, schools, and local educational agencies on a timely basis so the information can be used to further the development of the pupil or to improve the educational program. The Legislature recognizes that the majority of the assessments in the system will generate individual pupil scores that will provide information on pupil achievement to pupils, their parents or guardians, teachers, schools, and local educational agencies. The Legislature further recognizes that some assessments in the system may solely generate results at the school, school district, county, or state level for purposes of improving the education program and promoting the teaching and learning of the full curriculum.
(5) When administered as a census administration, results should be reported in terms describing a pupil?s academic performance in relation to the statewide academically rigorous content and performance standards and in terms of college and career readiness skills possessed by the pupil, in addition to being reported as a numerical. When appropriate, the reports should include a measure of growth that describes a pupil?s current status in relation to past performance.
(6) Where feasible, administer assessments via technology to enhance the assessment of challenging content using innovative item types and to facilitate expedited scoring.
(7) Minimize the amount of instructional time devoted to assessments administered pursuant to this chapter. It is the intent of the Legislature that any redundancies in statewide testing be eliminated as soon as is feasible.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature, pursuant to this article, to initiate planning for the implementation process to enable the Superintendent to accomplish the goals set forth in this section as soon as feasible.
(c) It is the intent of the Legislature that parents, classroom teachers, other educators, pupil representatives, institutions of higher education, business community members, and the public be involved, in an active and ongoing basis, in the design and implementation of the statewide pupil assessment system and the development of assessment instruments. The Legislature recognizes the important role that these stakeholders play in the success of the statewide pupil assessment system and the importance of providing them with information and resources about the new statewide system including the goals and appropriate uses of the system.
(d) It is the intent of the Legislature, insofar as is practically and fiscally feasible and following the completion of annual testing, that the content, test structure, and test items in the assessments that are part of the statewide pupil assessment system become open and transparent to teachers, parents, and pupils, to assist stakeholders in working together to demonstrate improvement in pupil academic achievement. A planned change in annual test content, format, or design should be made available to educators and the public well before the beginning of the school year in which the change will be implemented.
(e) It is the intent of the Legislature that the results of the statewide pupil assessments be available for use, after appropriate validation, for academic credit, or placement and admissions processes, or both, at postsecondary educational institutions.
(f) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2014.
(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 489, Sec. 4.)