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Academic Preparation and Education Programs Committee

Bob Buckley (Sacramento), Chair

College Readiness
As many of you know, incoming freshman are required to demonstrate college readiness in English and Mathematics prior to registering for classes.  Typically, more than 60 percent of the nearly 40,000 first-time freshmen admitted to the CSU require remedial education in English, mathematics or both during their first year. Our Early Assessment Program (EAP) was developed as a collaborative effort among the State Board of Education (SBE), the California Department of Education (CDE) and the California State University (CSU). The program was established to provide opportunities for students to measure their readiness for college-level English and mathematics in their junior year of high school, and to facilitate opportunities for them to improve their skills during their senior year.  The CSU has provided assessment components that are part of the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) exam administered to high school juniors.  This has provided the means to identify those students needing remedial work to do so in their senior year.  An Expository Reading and Writing Course was developed by our faculty to allow high school seniors to fulfill the English readiness requirement before they graduate.  A math readiness course is currently being developed by CSU faculty to provide the same opportunity for those requiring math readiness intervention. 

The Successor to No Child Left Behind (NCLB)
Rather than belabor the efficacy and results of this federally mandated testing initiative, its mandate has passed.  A new top-down initiative has been established.

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Initiative is a U.S. education initiative that seeks to bring diverse state curricula into alignment with each other by following the principles of standards-based education reform. The initiative is sponsored by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Forty-five states, the District of Columbia, four territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity have adopted the Common Core State Standards (details on the CCSS can be found at 

The Common Core State Standards are expected to provide a consistent and clear understanding of what is expected for K-12 college readiness preparation in mathematics and English language arts.  The Standards were released in June 2010 and adopted by California later that year.  The following link identifies the implementation plan prepared by the California Department of Education:

Associated with CCSS implementation is the development of assessments to be administered in grades 3-8 and 11.  The assessments are being developed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC).

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) is a state-led consortium working to develop next-generation assessments that accurately measure student progress toward college- and career-readiness.  California is a member of SBAC which is working on the development and pilot testing of the new assessments.

CSU Participation
Much of what constitutes our current efforts at early assessment and remediation will have to be changed.  Our EAP efforts will now be focused on the new 11th grade assessments.  Our placement tests in English (EPT) and math (ELM) may need to be modified.  Entry Level Math efforts at defining what constitutes college readiness will need to be agreed upon.  As indicated above, developing K-12 assessments will involve CSU.  There will undoubtedly be significant changes needed in teacher preparation and in-service professional development. 

Beverly Young, our Assistant Vice Chancellor for Teacher Education and Public School Programs, has been involved in California’s planning for implementation of the Common Core State Standards as well as working with SBAC.  She is working with the ASCSU Executive Committee to form a joint committee to bring together faculty to participate in the discussions of the college readiness assessments to be developed by SBAC.  This committee will consist of faculty members who have been associated with service on the Math and English Councils, involvement with the EPT and ELM tests, and membership on ASCSU, the Senate’s Academic Preparation and Education Programs (APEP) committee, and/or the Chancellor’s General Education Advisory Committee (GEAC).  

Colleges of Education throughout the CSU should be receiving regular updates on the Common Core State Standards Initiative.  In addition, questions can be directed directly to the ASCSU or to your campus representatives on the ASCSU.

Information on the new standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics can be found at the following links: and

Information on the Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium can be found at the following link:

For more information, contact committee Chair Bob Buckley or visit the committee website.