"Assembly Bill 705 is a great start to end the flawed, high stakes student-placement assessments. This puts us one step closer to closing equity gaps by ensuring students are enrolled by default in transfer-level courses – and provided the tools they need to succeed."
— DAISY GONZALES, PhD, INTERIM CHANCELLOR, CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY COLLEGES
What is AB 705 and AB 1705?
AB 705 is legislation intended to support assessment and placement strategies proven to increase student completion rates and close the achievement gap by requiring colleges to consider a student's high school coursework and GPA as primary determining factors for placement. A broad group of stakeholders are working to make high school data the primary predictor of readiness for college-level coursework for all students.
AB 705 is a bill signed by the Governor on October 13, 2017 that took effect on January 1, 2018. The bill requires that a community college district or college maximize the probability that a student will enter and complete transfer-level coursework in English and math within a one year timeframe and use, in the placement of students into English and math courses, one or more of the following: high school coursework, high school grades, and high school grade point average.
The bill also authorizes the Board of Governors to establish regulations governing the use of measures, instruments and placement models to ensure that these measures, instruments and placement models achieve the goal of maximizing the probability that a student will enter and complete transfer-level coursework in English and math.
What is Assessment?
Assessment is one of the major components of the community college process known as matriculation, which was created in 1987 by the California legislative mandate Assembly Bill (AB) 3. Assessment is a holistic process through which each college collects information about students in an effort to facilitate their success by ensuring their appropriate placement into the curriculum. Examples of this information include the students’ English and math skills, study skills, learning skills, aptitudes, goals, educational background/performance, and the need for special services.
Section 78212 of the Seymour-Campbell Act of 1986 requires community colleges to make assessment available to students. Section 55524 of title 5 requires the Chancellors office to establish and update a list of approved assessment instruments as well as guidelines for their use. Further, the CCCCO is required to ensure that assessment instruments minimize or eliminate cultural or linguistic bias, are normed on the appropriate populations, yield valid and reliable information.
The Chancellor’s Office Assessment Workgroup advises the Chancellor’s Office on statewide assessment issues, and conducts the biannual review of assessment instruments submitted by the colleges and test publishers for Chancellor’s Office approval.