Report 2016-114 Recommendation 10 Responses

Report 2016-114: College Readiness of California's High School Students: The State Can Better Prepare Students for College by Adopting New Strategies and Increasing Oversight (Release Date: February 2017)

Recommendation #10 To: Education, Department of

To comply with existing law and ensure that students receive sufficient access to college preparatory coursework, Education should provide training and guidance to districts throughout the State on the creation and application of appropriate district- and school-level access analyses.

6-Month Agency Response

Due to the CSA's system constraints limiting the size of the explanation field, Education submitted the 6-month update via e-mail. Education's response demonstrates actions taken that fully resolve the recommendation.

  • Completion Date: August 2017
  • Response Date: September 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Partially Implemented

The California Department of Education's (CDE) 6-month response states that it has fully implemented the recommendation through the annually updated Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs) produced by school districts statewide, the California school assessment mechanism known as the Dashboard, and training it conducted in 2016 and 2017. CDE also states that it has provided extensive training and guidance related to the LCAP and Dashboard to district and county education administrators. However, the Dashboard feature that illustrates the degree to which students are college and career ready will not be available until the Fall of 2017. Further, it is unclear whether the college and career indicator will include a breakdown of whether schools are offering sufficient access to college coursework. Until this indicator is publicly available and includes information related to college coursework access, the recommendation has not been fully implemented

60-Day Agency Response

Education continues to not concur with the CSA's recommendation. As Education previously indicated, local educational agencies (LEAs) in California now receive most of their funding via the Local Control Funding Formula, which requires that LEAs adopt community-driven local plans that articulate spending needs, accountability goals, and targets around eight state priorities. This funding and accountability structure reflects enacted legislation. In addition, Education does not have a clear legislative directive, nor the necessary funding, to provide training and guidance to districts throughout the state on the creation and application of appropriate district- and school-level access analyses, as recommended by the CSA. LEAs that determine a local need for training and guidance in the area of district- and school-level analyses for college readiness and "a-g" courses can be referred to the University of California for technical assistance.

  • Response Date: May 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Will Not Implement

We stand by our recommendation. As we describe on pages 42 through 44 of our audit report, state law requires the superintendent, who heads Education, to assist districts in ensuring that all public high school students have access to a core curriculum that meets the admission requirements for the UC and California State University. In addition, state law requires the superintendent to advise districts that maintain high schools about the importance of making readily available to each high school student the current list of courses offered by the student's high school that are certified by UC as meeting admissions requirements. Education was only able to provide one letter it sent to county offices, school districts, charter schools, and high school principals in the three years since 2013. We do not believe that one letter constitutes adequate assistance to districts to ensure they provide sufficient access to college preparatory courses, especially given that each of the three districts we reviewed lacked data and processes to ensure they offered enough college preparatory courses.

All Recommendations in 2016-114

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.