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AB-740 Academic content standards: update of adopted standards.(2015-2016)

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Amended  IN  Senate  August 18, 2015
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 20, 2015

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2015–2016 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 740


Introduced by Assembly Member Weber

February 25, 2015


An act to add Section 60605.12 to the Education Code, relating to academic content standards.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 740, as amended, Weber. Academic content standards: update of adopted standards.
Existing law required the State Board of Education to adopt statewide academic content standards in the core curriculum areas of reading, writing, and mathematics, and requires the Academic Content Standards Commission to develop academic content standards in language arts and mathematics. Existing law also authorizes the Superintendent of Public Instruction to recommend, and for the state board to approve, modifications to the common core academic content standards in mathematics, as specified.
This bill would require the Superintendent, by January 1, 2017, to recommend to the state board a schedule for the regular update of academic content standards in all subjects for which standards have been adopted by the state board in accordance with specified procedures, including the establishment of academic content standards advisory committees for those purposes and the recommendation of proposed updates by those committees to the state board.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Since 1997, California has adopted academic content standards in a variety of subjects, including English language arts, mathematics, science, history-social science, visual and performing arts, health, world languages, physical education, and career and technical education.
(b) Starting in 2010, California adopted new academic content standards in certain subjects, including the common core state standards in English language arts and mathematics, and the Next Generation Science Standards.
(c) There is currently no process in place to update content standards, except for the creation of new legislation that authorizes new standards in a given subject.
(d) Given regular changes in disciplinary knowledge and academic research, it is often necessary to make modifications to content standards that do not constitute a complete revision.
(e) A process for regular updating of the standards should be designed to emphasize public access to the process, a reliance on scholarship and current and confirmed research, and minimal disruption to school districts using curriculum and assessments based upon the standards.

SEC. 2.

 Section 60605.12 is added to the Education Code, to read:

60605.12.
 (a) By January 1, 2017, the Superintendent shall recommend to the state board a schedule for the regular update of academic content standards in all subjects for which standards have been adopted by the state board. The schedule shall be aligned to the current eight-year cycle of curriculum framework updates and instructional materials adoptions pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 60200. It is the intent of the Legislature that content standards are updated before the revising of curriculum frameworks, and that curriculum framework revisions occur before the adoption of instructional materials.
(b) (1) When the academic content standards in a given subject area come up for review according to the schedule adopted under subdivision (a), the state board shall make a determination as to whether those standards require an update. That determination shall be based upon the following considerations:
(A) The amount of time since the standards were adopted or last updated.
(B) Whether additional research conducted since the standards were adopted or last updated justifies updates to the standards.
(C) The potential impact on existing curriculum, instructional materials, and assessment systems based upon the standards.
(2) Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to prohibit the consideration of national standards adopted by other states in making this determination.
(c) If the state board determines that an update to the academic content standards in a given subject is warranted, it shall convene an academic content standards advisory committee to recommend updates to the content standards in that subject. An academic content standards advisory committee shall consist of 21 members, appointed as follows:
(1) Ten members appointed by the Governor.
(2) Four members appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules.
(3) Four members appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly.
(4) Three members appointed by the Superintendent.
(d) Members of an academic content standards advisory committee shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority.
(e) Not less than one-half of the members appointed by each of the appointing authorities pursuant to subdivision (c) shall be current public school elementary or secondary classroom teachers who have a professional credential under state law, and meet the definition of “highly qualified” under federal law.
(f) It is the intent of the Legislature that all of the following occur:
(1) The academic content standards advisory committees include representation from teachers of different grade level spans, including elementary, middle, and high school grades.
(2) A member of an academic content standards advisory committee possesses a thorough knowledge of the academic content standards in the content area and grade level span in which he or she is appointed.
(3)  An academic content standards advisory committee membership reflects the diversity of the various ethnic groups, types of school districts, and regions in California.
(g) Each academic content standards advisory committee shall review the content standards established in its particular subject matter and shall prepare updates to the standards as the committee deems necessary.
(h) When making its recommendation, an academic content standards advisory committee shall consider both of the following criteria:
(1) The extent to which its proposed updates reflect current and confirmed research in the subject area under consideration.
(2) The impact that the proposed updates will have upon school districts and existing curricula and assessments.
(i) An academic content standards advisory committee shall conduct at least two, and no more than six, in-person meetings that are open to the public and include opportunities for public input. An academic content standards advisory committee may convene additional meetings by teleconference or the Internet subject to the requirements of Article 9 (commencing with Section 11120) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
(j) Upon completing this review, the terms of the members of an academic content standards advisory committee shall cease.
(k) Upon updating the standards, an academic content standards advisory committee shall forward them to the state board, which shall do either of the following within 120 days of the receipt: receipt of the updated standards:
(1) Adopt the proposed updates as proposed by the committee.
(2) Reject the proposed updates as proposed by the committee. If the state board rejects the standards it shall provide a specific written explanation to the Superintendent, the Governor, and the Legislature of the reasons why the proposed standards were rejected.
(l) Before final action pursuant to subdivision (g), (k), the department shall post on its Internet Web site the updates proposed by an academic content standards advisory committee for a minimum of 60 days. The department shall include a link by which members of the public may submit comments on the proposed updates.
(m) Members of an academic content standards advisory committee shall serve without compensation, except for actual and necessary travel expenses and substitute costs.
(n) The Superintendent shall develop, and the state board shall adopt, guidelines to implement this section.
(o) The convening of an academic content standards advisory committee is contingent upon the Legislature appropriating funds for that purpose in the annual Budget Act.