ABx5 8 - Education Law Amendments - California Key Vote


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Title: Education Law Amendments

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that makes various amendments to the California Education Code, including amendments intended to achieve compliance with federal Race to the Top program regulations and guidelines.


-Requires all participating educational agencies to establish an evaluation system that gauges school principal performance, and requires such a system to have the following characteristics (Sec. 2):

    -School principals must be involved with the design and development of the evaluation system; -Evaluations must incorporate multiple factors, including data on pupil academic growth, and other variables that contribute to a school principal's success; -Provides principals with "timely and instructive" feedback; and -Is used by the local educational agency to inform employment-related decisions for principals.
-Deletes language in an existing statute that places a cap on the number of charter schools authorized to operate in California (CEC §47602) (Sec. 3). -Allows a petition for the establishment of a charter school to be submitted to a governing board if at least one of the following conditions is met (Sec. 4):
    -The petition has been signed by parents/guardians of at least one-half of the number of pupils that the charter school estimates will enroll for the first year; or -The petition has been signed by at least half of the number of teachers that the charter school estimates will be employed during the first year of operation.
-Specifies that, in addition to established guidelines, a charter school petition may be denied by a county board of education if the petitioner has operated another charter school for at least three consecutive years and any of the following circumstances have emerged (Sec. 5):
    -The charter school has consistently shown low-performance; -The charter was not renewed after the first renewal cycle; or -The charter was revoked and not reinstated by the state board.
-Requires the Department of Finance to develop and submit an expenditure plan to the Legislature within 30 days of receiving federal Race-to-the-Top funds, and requires that no less than 80 percent of those funds to go to local educational agencies and no more than 20 percent go to state-level activities (Sec. 8). -Requires that local education agencies with lowest-achieving schools receive no less than 30 percent of total funding, with schools persistently rated as lowest-achieving receiving "the greatest amount" of funding (Sec. 8). -Defines a "lowest achieving school" as a school identified as among the lowest five percent as measured by the Academic Performance Index (API), and defines a "persistently lowest achieving school" as a school that meets the definition of "lowest achieving school," is in year 5 of program improvement and has not experienced academic growth of at least 50 percent over the previous 5 years as measured by the API, and has a high school graduation rate of 60 percent or less in each of the last five years (Sec. 8). -Allows parents of a lowest achieving school that fails to make "adequate" yearly progress to petition their local school governing board to implement a plan to reform the school, and requires the school governing board to hold a hearing within 90 days where parents and others in the community can provide testimony (Sec. 8). -Requires the Superintendent to develop recommendations to reauthorize a statewide pupil assessment program, including but not limited to the following elements (Sec. 12):
    -Reflects student academic growth by comparing pupils' achievement from one year to the next; -Implements a "valid, reliable, and fair" measurement of achievement of all students, including students with disabilities and English learners; -Ensures that no aspect of the assessment program creates any racial, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender, or sexual orientation biases; -Contains multiple measures of student achievement that can be used to determine the effectiveness of instruction and the extent of learning; -Includes the assessment of science and math in all grade levels above the fourth grade; and -Administers tests and scores that allow the quick return of results to parents and teachers, and that minimizes testing time while not compromising the "validity, reliability, fairness, or instructional usefulness" of the results.