Code Section Group

Education Code - EDC

TITLE 3. POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION [66000 - 101060]

  ( Title 3 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )

DIVISION 14. MISCELLANEOUS [99000 - 101149.5]

  ( Division 14 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )

PART 65. MISCELLANEOUS [99000 - 99301]

  ( Part 65 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )

CHAPTER 3. Standardized Tests [99150 - 99164]
  ( Chapter 3 repealed and added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 1505, Sec. 2. )

99150.
  

(a) The Legislature finds and declares that:

(1) Education is fundamental to the development of all residents and to the progress of the state as a whole.

(2) Standardized tests are a major factor in the admission and placement of students in postsecondary education.

(3) There is increasing concern among residents, educators, and public officials regarding the proper uses of standardized tests in the admissions and placement decisions of postsecondary education institutions.

(4) The rights of test subjects should be assured without infringing upon the proprietary rights of the test agencies.

(b) It is the intent and purpose of the Legislature in enacting this chapter to do all of the following:

(1) Ensure that test subjects and persons who use test results are fully aware of the characteristics, uses, and limitations of standardized tests used in postsecondary education admissions and placement.

(2) Ensure due process protection of test subjects whose scores are being questioned for suspected inauthenticity or irregularity in test administration.

(3) Provide test subjects with the opportunity to review the basis on which the test subject has been scored.

(4) Make available to the public appropriate information regarding the procedure, development, and administration of standardized tests.

(5) Promote more knowledge about the proper use of standardized test results and promote greater accuracy, validity, and reliability in the development, administration, and interpretation of standardized tests.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 1505, Sec. 2.)

99151.
  

(a) “Admissions data assembly service” means any summary or report of grades, grade point averages, standardized test scores, or any combination of grades and test scores, of a test subject used by any test score recipient.

(b) “Commission” means the California Postsecondary Education Commission.

(c) “Standardized test” or “test” means any test administered in California at the expense of the test subject which is used for the purposes of admission to, or class placement in, postsecondary educational institutions or their programs, or any test used for preliminary preparation for those tests.

“Standardized test” or “test” includes, but is not limited to, the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test, the Scholastic Aptitude Test, the College Board Achievement Tests and Advanced Placement Tests, the ACT Assessment, the Graduate Record Examination, the Medical College Admission Test, the Law School Admission Test, the Dental Admission Testing Program, the Graduate Management Admission Test, and the Miller Analogies Test.

The standardized test does not include a test, or part of a test, which has been in use for less than five years, or which is administered to a selected group of individuals principally for research, pre-test, equating, guidance, counseling, or for the purposes of meeting graduation requirements of secondary schools and postsecondary educational institutions.

Tests which are administered as supplements or auxiliaries to another test, or which form a specialized component of a test, may be combined for the purposes of this chapter.

(d) “Secure test” means any test which contains items not available to the public and which, to allow the further use of test items and to protect the validity and reliability of the test, is subject to special security procedures in its publication, distribution, and administration.

(e) “Test subject” or “subject” means an individual who takes a standardized test.

(f) “Test sponsor” or “test agency” means an individual, partnership, corporation, association, company, firm, institution, society, trust, or joint stock company which develops, sponsors, or administers standardized tests.

(g) “Testing year” means the 12 calendar months which the test agency considers either its operational cycle or its fiscal year.

(h) “Test score” or “score” means the value given to the test subject’s performance on a standardized test, administered by the test agency, whether reported in numerical, percentile, or any other form.

(i) “Test score recipient” means any person, organization, association, corporation, postsecondary education institution, or governmental agency or subdivision to which the test subject requests or designates that a test agency report a test score.

(j) “Score reporting service” means the reporting of a test subject’s standardized score to a test score recipient by a test agency.

(k) “Test preparation course” means any curriculum, course of study, plan of instruction, or method of preparation given for a fee which is specifically designed or constructed to prepare or improve a test subject’s score on a standardized test.

(l) “Test program” means all of the administrations of a test of the same name during a testing year.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 1505, Sec. 2.)

99152.
  

Each test sponsor shall report the closing date of its testing year to the commission by February 1, 1985, or within 90 days after it first becomes a test sponsor, whichever is later. Each test sponsor shall report any change in the closing date of its testing year within 90 days after the change.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 1505, Sec. 2.)

99153.
  

On or before November 15 of each year, the test sponsor shall submit to the commission all of the following data and information:

(a) Three copies of each version of the test which was disclosed in the prior testing year, along with the corresponding acceptable answers, and the methods used to convert raw scores into the test scores reported to test subjects and test score recipients, together with an explanation of that method.

(b) The dates of major or national administration of each test administered by the test agency during the testing year.

(c) The total number of test subjects who have taken the test once, who have taken it twice, and who have taken it more than twice during the testing year.

(d) The total number of test subjects who registered for, but did not take, the test.

(e) The total amount of fees received from test subjects by the test agency for the test for that testing year.

(f) The expenses to the test sponsor of the test, as follows:

(1) Those expenses which are directly attributable to the test.

(2) Those expenses which are indirectly attributable to the test. However, if the test sponsor also sponsors another test or related activities, it shall be sufficient for compliance with this section for the test sponsor to list indirectly attributable expenses, to the extent that they are identifiable, as they are proportionately related to the test. The test sponsor shall also list expenses indirectly attributable to all activities of the test’s sponsor, including expenses not identifiable as attributable to a test.

The financial disclosure required by this section shall be submitted within 135 days after the close of the testing year and in sufficient detail to indicate the major categories of revenues and expenses associated with the test. Except as provided in this section, the information for different tests administered by the same test sponsor shall be reported separately and by individual test.

(g) A copy of all documents, pamphlets, and literature provided to the test subject and the test score recipient.

(h) Where applicable, the national average test scores, state average test scores, the standard error of measurement, and any other existing information relevant to a comparison of the test scores of the state’s test subjects with test scores of previous test subjects of the past five years.

(i) For those tests used to predict academic performance, the most recent national or regional aggregation of data concerning the predictive validity of all of the following:

(1) Academic record or grades alone.

(2) Standardized test score alone.

(3) Academic record and test score combined.

(4) Standardized test scores over and above the predictive validity of academic record alone.

(j) Using available data, the racial, ethnic, and sex breakdown of all test subjects taking each test during the testing year.

(k) If a separate fee is charged test subjects for admissions data assembly service, the test sponsor shall report information concerning the data assembly service in substantially the same form as would be required for a test under this section.

(l) The test sponsor shall also supply to the commission any other information mutually identified by the commission and the test sponsor that will be reasonably available and helpful in either (1) assessing the state’s progress in increasing the number of Hispanic, Black, or American Indian students who graduate from high school eligible to enroll in either the University of California or the California State University or (2) developing strategies to involve the testing companies in cooperative actions with schools, colleges, and universities to expand access to college for Hispanic, Black, and American Indian students.

(m) This section shall not be construed to require any test agency to submit to the commission any reports or documents containing information relating to any individual test subject. Any information relating to any individual test subject shall be deleted or obliterated from any reports or documents filed with the commission pursuant to this section.

(n) This section shall not apply to any standardized test which is administered to fewer than 3,000 test subjects in California during a testing year.

(Amended by Stats. 1989, Ch. 446, Sec. 1.)

99154.
  

(a) Within 90 days of the close of each testing year, the test sponsor shall file with the commission standard technical data sufficient to describe the psychometric quality of the test.

For purposes of compliance with this section, it is sufficient to deposit with the commission information conforming to the guidelines specified in the Standards for Educational and Psychological Tests of the American Psychological Association, which were in effect 180 days prior to the testing year, and which are appropriate to the particular test and its uses.

(b) Data, reports, or other documents submitted pursuant to this section shall be accompanied by a description of the test, including, but not limited to, the title, purpose or purposes of the test, and when and where the test was administered in the state.

(c) Data, reports, or other documents submitted pursuant to this chapter shall not contain information in a form identifiable with individuals or particular postsecondary educational institutions.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 1505, Sec. 2.)

99155.
  

(a) A test sponsor shall provide alternative methods to verify the identity of those test subjects who are unable to provide the required identification for purposes of admitting a test subject to take a standardized test administered by the sponsor.

(b) A test sponsor shall clearly post on the test sponsor’s Internet Web site contact information for test subjects who are unable to provide the required identification and who need further assistance.

(c) Test sponsors may require test subjects to obtain approval from the test sponsor in advance of the test registration deadline in order to be admitted to the test with an alternative form of identification.

(Added by Stats. 2011, Ch. 58, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2012.)

99156.
  

A test agency shall prepare a clear, easily understandable written description of each standardized test it administers. A copy of the appropriate description shall be provided to the test subject or the test score recipient prior to the administration of the test or coinciding with the initial reporting of a test score. The description shall include all of the following information:

(a) The purposes for which the test is constructed and intended to be used.

(b) For those tests used to predict performance, the subject matter included on these tests and the knowledge and skills that the test purports to measure.

(c) Statements designed to provide information for interpreting the test scores, including the explanations of the test, the standard error of measurement, and for those tests used to predict performance, the correlation between test score and performance.

(d) Statements concerning the effects and uses of test scores, including both of the following:

(1) If the test score is used by itself or with other information to predict future grade point average, a summary of existing data on the extent to which the use of this test score will improve the accuracy of predicting future grade point average, over and above all other information used.

(2) A summary of existing data on the extent to which the improvement in test scores results from test preparation courses.

(e) A description of the form in which test scores will be reported, and whether the raw test scores will be altered in any way before being reported to the test subject.

(f) A complete description of any promises or covenants that the test agency makes to the test subject with regard to any of the following matters:

(1) The accuracy of scoring.

(2) The time period within which the test subject’s score will be reported to the test subject and to the test score recipients.

(3) The privacy of information relating to the test subject, including his or her test scores.

(g) The property interest in the test score held by the test subject, if any.

(h) The period of time the test agency will retain the test score, and the test agency’s policies regarding the storage, disposal, and future use of test scores.

(i) A description of all special services that will be provided at the location of the test administration to accommodate handicapped or disabled test subjects.

(j) The policies and procedures of the test agency when there is a delay in reporting the test scores pursuant to Section 99158.

(k) A representative set of sample test items.

(l) The fees to be charged by the test sponsor for various services made available to the test subject.

(m) Each test agency shall comply with the requirements of this section beginning with the start of its testing year that begins after January 1, 1985.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 538, Sec. 147. Effective January 1, 2007.)

99157.
  

(a) Within 90 days of the release to the test subject of the results of a standardized test as specified in subdivision (c), and upon the request of the test subject, the test sponsor shall provide to the test subject an opportunity to examine operational test questions and answers under closely monitored conditions. The examination shall occur at a location to be mutually agreed upon by the test sponsor and test subject.

Unless authorized by the test sponsor, questions, answers, or copies of questions or answers shall not be removed from the facility, except by a representative of the test sponsor. During the examination of test materials, the test subject may file with a representative of the test sponsor, and with an educational institution or institutions seeking results of the test examined, a written protest to any question or answer.

(b) As an alternative to the procedure described in subdivision (a), and within 90 days of the release of the results of any standardized test score to the test subject, and upon request of the test subject, the test sponsor shall make available to the test subject the test materials, including operational test questions, a copy of the test subject’s response to each question, the test subject’s raw scores, a copy of scoring and scaling instructions, a copy of the correct responses, and a copy of the conversion factor or table, or both.

Each test sponsor shall, prior to the administration of a test, give written notification to the test subject of his or her right to request and receive test disclosure as provided in this section.

(c) Except for test administrations described in subdivision (d), the test sponsor shall provide to test subjects the test materials specified in subdivisions (a) and (b) for not fewer than 50 percent of regular test administrations, as determined by the test sponsor. If the application of 50 percent results in a number which includes a fraction, the number shall be rounded to the nearest larger whole number.

(d) In order to accommodate test subjects who, because of religion, are unable to participate in regular test administrations, the test sponsor shall provide test materials specified in subdivisions (a) and (b) to test subjects of not fewer than one non-Saturday test administration during every 12-month period following December 1, 1984.

(e) Each test sponsor shall, prior to the administration of a test, give written notification to the test subjects of their right to request and receive test materials as provided in subdivisions (a), (b), and (c), provided that the request has been made within 90 days of the release of the test score to the test subject.

(f) The test sponsors may charge a nominal fee, not to exceed the direct costs thereof, for test materials provided pursuant to this section.

(g) For the purposes of this section only, a “standardized test” or “test” means any test administered in California to at least 3,000 individuals during a testing year and which is designed for, and formally required by, institutions of postsecondary education in California for the purposes of admission to those institutions for undergraduate studies. This section does not apply to tests that have been administered for less than five years, the College Board Achievement tests, the Advanced Placement tests, the Medical College Admissions tests, or the test of English as a foreign language.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 1505, Sec. 2.)

99158.
  

If the test agency will be delayed in reporting a test subject’s score for a time period amounting to 10 calendar days beyond the period specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (f) of Section 99156, the test agency shall notify the test subject immediately. The notice shall indicate the reasons for delay, including, but not limited to, incorrect, incomplete, or inconsistent personal identifying information furnished by a test subject.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 1505, Sec. 2.)

99159.
  

(a) Whenever a test agency is presented with information which renders the test subject’s test score suspect, whether that information is in the form of allegations of collusion or cheating, or irregular test administration, or irregular statistical data, or any other form, the test agency is responsible for reviewing the information and determining if withholding the test subject’s score is warranted.

(b) If the test agency determines that withholding the test subject’s score is warranted, the test agency shall give the test subject written notice of the test agency’s decision. The notice shall be sent by registered mail not later than five working days after the test agency’s decision.

(c) The notice to the test subject shall include all of the following:

(1) A complete summary of the information submitted to the test agency and relied upon by the test agency to withhold the score.

(2) A complete summary of the pertinent facts surrounding the investigation.

(3) A statement of the test subject’s right to receive, upon request, details supporting complete summaries referred to in paragraphs (1) and (2).

(4) The policies and procedures that were followed by the test agency in reviewing and rendering a decision to withhold the test score.

(5) The potential consequences which may result from the investigation, such as withholding or invalidating the test scores.

(6) A summary of the information that may be submitted to the test agency by the test subject to support the authenticity of the test score.

(7) A statement informing the test subject that the opportunity to respond to the notice will be afforded for not more than 15 working days following the date the notice was delivered. No final decision on the question of suspected irregularity or inauthenticity shall be rendered by the test agency until the test subject under investigation has responded, or the time for doing so has expired, whichever occurs first.

(d) After the time period specified in paragraph (7) of subdivision (c) has expired, the test agency shall review all of the evidence and shall render a decision regarding the authenticity of the score.

No test agency shall cancel or invalidate a test subject’s test scores on the basis of an alleged irregularity or inauthenticity unless, after all evidence has been considered by the test agency, substantial evidence resulting from an investigation conducted pursuant to this section supports the cancellation or invalidation.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 1505, Sec. 2.)

99160.
  

(a) Whenever the test agency determines that substantial evidence exists to support cancellation or invalidation of a test score, the test agency shall provide the test subject with a choice of the following options:

(1) A cancellation of the test scores in question, with full refund of all test fees.

(2) Opportunity to take the test again privately and without charge.

(3) Opportunity to seek judicial review of the matter.

(b) The test subject shall have 30 days following receipt of the notice by registered mail to respond to the notice of inauthenticity.

(c) If the test subject responds to the notice of inauthenticity or irregularity of test scores sent by the test agency within the time period specified by subdivision (b), the test agency shall review the contents of the response and comply with one of the following:

(1) If the test subject requests cancellation of the test scores, a full refund of all test fees will be provided within a reasonable period.

(2) If the test subject requests an opportunity to take the test again privately and without charge, the test agency shall make appropriate accommodations that are mutually agreed upon by the test agency and test subject so that the test subject has sufficient time to prepare for the retest. The retest shall be given in a reasonable and timely manner.

(3) Nothing in this section precludes the parties from seeking resolution of the testing problems by either judicial review or arbitration.

(d) The test agency shall not release confidential information to any authorized test score recipients regarding a test subject under pending investigation, unless authorized to do so by the test subject.

(e) The test agency shall immediately release the test score to the test subject and the test score recipients where no substantial evidence exists to render the inauthenticity or irreguarity of the test score.

(f) The procedures prescribed in Section 99159 and this section do not apply to instances where the cancellation of all test scores results from the complete disruption of the administration of the test, such as by natural disasters, national emergencies, inadequate or improper test conditions, answer sheet printing errors, or testing agency errors.

(g) Time procedures described in Section 99159 and this section shall not apply in those instances where test scores have already been reported to test score recipients.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 1505, Sec. 2.)

99160.5.
  

(a) A test agency shall immediately initiate an investigation upon learning of a complaint or a notice of inadequate or improper test conditions relating to an administration of an Advanced Placement test. In order to expedite the investigation and ensure a timely resolution, the school in charge of the test site shall cooperate with the test agency’s investigation by providing information requested by the test agency within five business days. If, upon completing the investigation, the test agency determines that the inadequate or improper test conditions will prevent it from reporting valid test scores, the test agency shall notify the school in charge of the test site of the decision within two business days. Upon notification from the test agency that the test agency has determined that the inadequate or improper test conditions will prevent it from reporting valid test scores, the school in charge of the test site shall notify the affected test subjects of the decision within two business days. The school in charge of the test site shall provide all affected test subjects with at least five business days’ prior notice of an opportunity to retest. That retest shall be administered within 30 calendar days of the completion of the investigation.

(b) Proctors administering an Advanced Placement test shall create a seating chart, including the seat location of each test subject, for each Advanced Placement test administered at the test site. The test agency shall provide seating chart templates for use by each test site. The school in charge of the test site shall retain and preserve each seating chart created pursuant to this subdivision for at least one year after the administration of the Advanced Placement test to which that seating chart applies. The school in charge of the test site shall submit these seating charts to the test agency upon its request to assist with its investigation of a complaint or notice of inadequate or improper test conditions.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 245, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2015.)

99161.
  

(a) No test agency shall release or disclose any test score identifiable with any individual test subject, in any form whatsoever, to any test score recipient, unless the agency is specifically authorized by the test subject to release that test score to the recipient. A test agency may, however, release all scores received by a test subject on a test to anyone designated by the test subject to receive the test score.

(b) A test agency may release test scores and other information in a form which does not identify any individual test subject for purposes of research, studies, and reports primarily concerning the test itself.

(Added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 1505, Sec. 2.)

99161.5.
  

(a) (1) The test sponsor of the Law School Admission Test shall provide testing accommodations to a test subject with a disability who makes a timely request to ensure that the Law School Admission Test accurately reflects the aptitude, achievement levels, or other factors that the test purports to measure and does not reflect the test subject’s disability. This paragraph does not constitute a change in, but is declaratory of, existing law.

(2) The process for determining whether to grant an accommodation under paragraph (1) shall be made public, and the decision whether or not to approve a request for an accommodation shall be conveyed to the requester within a reasonable amount of time. If the test sponsor of the Law School Admission Test does not approve a request for accommodation, the test sponsor shall state the reasons for the denial of the request to the requester in writing.

(3) The test sponsor of the Law School Admission Test shall establish a timely appeals process for a test subject who is denied an accommodation request. The test sponsor of the Law School Admission Test shall clearly post on the Law School Admission Test Internet Web site information regarding refund policies for individuals whose requests for accommodation are denied.

(b) Whenever a test subject has received formal testing accommodations from a postsecondary educational institution for a disability as defined in subdivision (j), (m), or (n) of Section 12926 of the Government Code, the test sponsor of the Law School Admission Test shall, consistent with existing law, give considerable weight to documentation of past modifications, accommodations, or auxiliary aids or services received by the test subject in similar testing situations when determining whether to grant an accommodation to the test subject.

(c) (1) The test sponsor of the Law School Admission Test shall not notify a test score recipient that the score of any test subject was obtained by a subject who received an accommodation pursuant to this section.

(2) The test sponsor of the Law School Admission Test shall not withhold any information that would lead a test score recipient to deduce that a score was earned by a subject who received an accommodation pursuant to this section.

(3) This subdivision does not constitute a change in, but is declaratory of, existing law.

(d) This section shall not be construed to limit or replace any other right or remedy that exists under state or federal law.

(e) This section shall not provide greater protections to persons with disabilities than those provided by Section 51 of the Civil Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 82, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2017.)

99162.
  

Any information or report required to be submitted to the commission pursuant to this chapter shall be public record subject to disclosure under the provisions of Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to diminish or authorize the infringement of any rights protected by law relating to copyright, to the protection of trade secrets, or other proprietary rights.

(Added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 1505, Sec. 2.)

99163.
  

Any test sponsor who intentionally violates any provision of this chapter shall be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed seven hundred fifty dollars ($750) for each violation.

(Added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 1505, Sec. 2.)

99164.
  

If any provision of this chapter or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the chapter which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this chapter are severable.

(Added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 1505, Sec. 2.)

EDCEducation Code - EDC