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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Among the torrent of legislation California lawmakers approved this week are bills mandating school safety plans and classroom door locks and a bill allowing school personnel to file a gun violence restraining order. They are now awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature — or veto.

None are high-profile items like the bills calling for armed officers in every school and a vast increase in the number of mental health practitioners in schools, which were proposed after the February massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The armed officer bill died in the Assembly and the Legislature passed a drastically scaled-back version of the mental health bill.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

AB 1951 allows school districts to give 11th grade students a college entrance exam instead of state-required assessment

(SACRAMENTO) – Assembly Bill 1951, by Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D – Long Beach) to provide access to college admissions tests such as the SAT or ACT during the school day, passed the Legislature overwhelmingly and is on the way to the Governor’s desk.

AB 1951, The Pathways to College Act, would allow school districts to offer college admissions exams in lieu of the state-required 11th grade assessment. “AB 1951 is about opening the door to higher education for all California students,” Assemblymember O’Donnell said. “I urge the Governor to consider the strong support for the bill from students, school board members, superintendents and teachers and give school districts local control in offering a test that will increase the college going rate.”

Friday, August 17, 2018

California often leads the nation in innovation, including in our public schools. But in the key area of high school testing, several other states have progressed beyond California when it comes to making these assessments more relevant and meaningful to students and their families.

In support of college readiness, states like Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine and Michigan have received the federal government’s blessing to administer the SAT as part of their state-adopted assessment program. More and more states like these are exercising greater local control when it comes to assessing students in grade 11, and importantly, they are doing so while respecting the needs of special education students and English language learners.