Report 2016-114 All Recommendation 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 for Legislative Action

If the Legislature wishes to further prioritize students' completion of college preparatory coursework, it should help ensure grade nine students are ready for the challenge of such work by devoting additional resources or reallocating existing resources for educational efforts beginning in kindergarten and continuing through grade eight, particularly to support math and English college readiness. Funding mechanisms similar to the College Readiness Block Grant could help better prepare kindergarten through grade eight students for the rigors of college preparatory coursework in high school.

Description of Legislative Action

Legislation has not been introduced to address this specific recommendation.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: No Action Taken


Recommendation for Legislative Action

To ensure that districts throughout the State comply with existing law, the Legislature should require districts to conduct analyses to verify that all high school students receive acceptable levels of access to the full range of college preparatory coursework. If the Legislature decides to require these analyses, it should also consider whether additional funding may be necessary to support the districts' associated administrative costs. If implemented, the analyses should require the following components:

-Districts should report the results of their analyses to Education.

-Education should issue an annual report to the Legislature detailing all districts with high schools that have failed to demonstrate sufficient access.

Description of Legislative Action

Legislation has not been introduced to address this specific recommendation.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: No Action Taken


Recommendation #3 To: Coachella Valley Unified School District

To increase students' access to and completion rates of college preparatory coursework, districts should develop and institute an on track/off track student identification model similar to San Francisco's model that will allow them to determine whether students are completing grade-level college preparatory coursework. The districts should notify parents when they identify students as falling off track and should advise the parents and students of available support and credit recovery options. Furthermore, school staff should be required to meet with and document the support they provide to these students.

1-Year Agency Response

Auditee did not respond to our recommednation.

  • Estimated Completion Date: unknown
  • Response Date: May 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Pending


6-Month Agency Response

We have created two individualized grade-specific (9-11 & 12) review forms that counselors use when meeting with students annually to review graduation status, a-g course completion, transcript review, educational options, and general risk factors as well as risk of non-completion of A-G. The form also contains notation of parent notification. Additionally, a third form, A-G Eligibility Acknowledgement, has been created to notify students and parents (signatures required) each time a change of status for A-G eligibility occurs. A district-wide expectation for use of the forms for every student has been established for all high schools. Furthermore, all high schools have been directed to run reports of course failures after each marking period (4 times per year/each quarter) and meet individually with each affected student to advise of impact on graduation and A-G eligibility, and to arrange for credit recovery when necessary. These meetings are documented in the Aeries student information system. All high schools offer credit recovery during the school day and after school, as well as during summer school, with the exception of West Shores High School, who is currently working on a plan to provide after school transportation for their very geographically remote site, which has been an impediment to currently offering after school credit recovery. CVUSD is continuing its partnership with Riverside County Office of Education to receive support and guidance in our development of a comprehensive, cohesive college and career readiness plan. Finally, we are proposing the creation of a district-level counseling position devoted to college and career readiness who will implement and supervise the plan and work with site administration and counselors to insure regular student monitoring with periodic check-ins and a system of supports including parent involvement and arrays of credit recovery, including during, after school, Saturdays, and in the summer.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 7/31/18
  • Response Date: November 2017

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


60-Day Agency Response

Since 2015 CVUSD has contracted with RCOE for supplemental support and training in the area of school counseling to help identify and plan to intervene with student course planning for promoting A-G completion. Administration, with Counselors, are also working on a uniform district protocol for A-G placement and enrollment that will require parent contact, parent signature, counselor signature, and site administrator approval. Administration, with Counselors, have been drafting uniform policy. This policy will include an A-G acknowledgement element that will require parent communication, parent signature, counselor signature and site administrator signature.

  • Estimated Completion Date: August, 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending


Recommendation #4 To: Stockton Unified School District

To increase students' access to and completion rates of college preparatory coursework, districts should develop and institute an on track/off track student identification model similar to San Francisco's model that will allow them to determine whether students are completing grade-level college preparatory coursework. The districts should notify parents when they identify students as falling off track and should advise the parents and students of available support and credit recovery options. Furthermore, school staff should be required to meet with and document the support they provide to these students.

1-Year Agency Response

Our district is in the process of completing a strategic plan to refine a centralized process to track and document students' on and off A-G status. Counseling staff will monitor student transcripts after each grade reporting period and will identify which students are on/off track. If a student has been determined to be off track, the assigned counselor will meet with the student and/or parent to develop an action plan utilizing the A-G course checklist. The checklist and conference will cover available support and credit recovery options.

An A-G task force is currently working on the implementation plan. Inclusive in the plan is staff training on alignment and monitoring of our A-G notification. The final strategic plan will be uploaded to the email address provided by CSA. Stockton Unified' s Student Assistance Program Specialist (SAP) has been coordinating the activities identified in our College Readiness Block Grant to support A-G awareness for grades 7-12.

The Education Equity Director has been working with our most at-risk school sites at both the elementary and high school level assisting staff with using the data to identify the disparity of student achievement gap among student subgroups.

  • Estimated Completion Date: June 30,2018
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Partially Implemented

We have reviewed the SUSD strategic plan and found it has taken some concrete steps to implement our recommendations.


6-Month Agency Response

Stockton Unified has hired the Student Assistance Program Specialist (SAP) to support and coordinate the activities identified in the College Readiness Block Grant and assist with A-G initiatives. In addition, the Education Equity director was hired to help close the student achievement gap among student subgroups. Our district is working on a strategic plan to further refine a centralized process to track and document students on/off track status as well as communicating with parents and students about available support and credit recovery options. An A-G task force is currently working on the implementation plan. Inclusive in the plan is staff training on alignment and monitoring of our A-G notification. The strategic plan will be uploaded to the email address provided by CSA.

  • Estimated Completion Date: June 30, 2018
  • Response Date: September 2017

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


60-Day Agency Response

Stockton Unified School District has created a new position and is in the process of hiring a Student Assistance Program Specialist. The position was Board approved this year. The Student Assistance Program (SAP) Specialist works with site administrators, counselors, teachers, and other educational personnel and community members to develop, promote, monitor/manage, and coordinate successful implementation of the college and career readiness initiatives to meet students' goal. This position will lead the development of an on track/off track model similar to SFUSD.

SUSD's Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services, Executive Director of Curriculum, and two SUSD Board members met with the SFUSD team that had developed their model to learn about their policies and processes. In addition, SUSD has recently received a Career Readiness Block Grant which will help fund the development of this process. SFUSD explained that it took a number of years of work, from initially obtaining Board approval of an A-G graduation pathway, forming an A-G taskforce, to the training for staff to the education of parents and students. SUSD is currently in the process of also approving and hiring a Director of Equity and Diversity who will also guide this process to help meet the needs of all students.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 7/1/2019
  • Response Date: April 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending


Recommendation #5 To: Coachella Valley Unified School District

To increase students' access to and completion rates of college preparatory coursework, districts should create a robust and stable network of credit recovery options that reflect the needs of their student populations. These options—which the districts should monitor for effectiveness—should include summer school courses and evening courses.

1-Year Agency Response

Auditee has not responded to our recommendation.

  • Completion Date: May 2018
  • Response Date: May 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Pending


6-Month Agency Response

CVUSD currently offers credit recovery at high schools that students access during the school day, after school, and during the summer. The one exception is West Shores High School who is in the process of developing a plan that will include transportation for its students who attend this very geographically remote site; the lack of transportation, based on school bus fleet limitations, has been an impediment in offering after school credit recovery. Students additionally recover credits through the district's continuation school, Adult Education program, online programs APEX, Cyber High, and Acellus, and in summer school. The district continues to partner with the RCOE to receive guidance in development of a robust plan to offer an array of credit recovery options to be implemented district-wide. The Educational Services Division is proposing the creation of a district-level counseling position devoted to college and career readiness; an individual intended to implement and supervise the plan and work with site administration and counselors to ensure regular student monitoring with periodic check-ins and a system of supports including parent involvement and arrays of credit recovery. The district's continuation school is developing an innovative plan to reconfigure the delivery of services to students to allow for a blended learning environment with the potential to double the amount of students served. Additionally, the district is developing a counseling resource guide for students and parents to help them understand and refer to as a planning tool to be used in conjunction with site counselors' guidance, to develop and understand the four-year pathway to college and career, complete with monthly and yearly milestones and timelines.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 12/31/18
  • Response Date: November 2017

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


60-Day Agency Response

In 2015, 55% of all offered courses in CVUSD are college preparatory.In 2016 this figure rose to 69%. In 2017 that figure increased to 75%. Report 2016-114 determined that CVUSD met or exceeded the A-G access requirement. Although the state has no prerequisite for access to A-G course, CVUSD continues to ensure A-G access because it is a district priority. Since 2015 more AP and other college preparatory courses have been added and graduation requirement changes were established to support a college preparatory approach for students. Summer school was restored in summer of 2015 and additional credit recovery options added during the school day for credit recovery options, including A-G recovery. Evening courses are not implemented but online credit recovery options have been available since 2015.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 2/2018
  • Response Date: May 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: No Action Taken

The district has not taken any additional steps since the release of our audit in February, 2017.


Recommendation #6 To: Stockton Unified School District

To increase students' access to and completion rates of college preparatory coursework, districts should create a robust and stable network of credit recovery options that reflect the needs of their student populations. These options—which the districts should monitor for effectiveness—should include summer school courses and evening courses.

1-Year Agency Response

On 9/20/17 reported the following update:

SUSD offers multiple credit recovery options such as Saturday school, extended day, online classes, dual/concurrent enrollments, articulated courses, fifth year graduation, after school tutoring, testing out of courses, independent study and summer school.

A Student Assistance Program Chairperson was hired to provide support and assistance to the activities identified in the College Readiness Block Grant. This person also supports district personnel and community members to develop, promote, monitor/manage, and assist in successful implementation of the college and career readiness initiatives.

In addition, a Director of Educational Equity was also hired to assist with improving student achievement, closing the achievement gaps for student subgroups, and creating equitable educational opportunities. This person also is responsible for ensuring equitable course access in regards to A-G.

Stockton Unified' s A-G task force is continuously monitoring the effectiveness of the programs. The A-G strategic plan has been emailed to CSA. The plan is a working document.

2/27/18 update:

The district has established an A-G committee which meets 1-2x per month. The committee recently updated the SUSD credit recovery options. The information will be available in the next 30 days on the district website. The information on the website will cover the district credit recovery options, process, and requirements. All high schools are currently providing the information and credit recovery options at each of their sites. The effectiveness of each credit recovery option will be evaluated on an ongoing basis with a final report submitted to the California State Auditor's by June 30, 2018.

  • Estimated Completion Date: June 30, 2018
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Partially Implemented

We have reviewed the SUSD strategic plan and found it has taken some concrete steps to implement our recommendations.


6-Month Agency Response

SUSD offers multiple credit recovery options such as Saturday school, extended day, online classes, dual/concurrent enrollments, articulated courses, fifth year graduation, after school tutoring, testing out of courses, independent study and summer school.

A Student Assistance Program Chairperson was hired to provide support and assistance to the activities identified in the College Readiness Block Grant. This person also supports district personnel and community members to develop, promote, monitor/manage, and assist in successful implementation of the college and career readiness initiatives.

In addition, a Director of Educational Equity was also hired to assist with improving student achievement, closing the achievement gaps for student subgroups, and creating equitable educational opportunities. This person also is responsible for ensuring equitable course access in regards to A-G.

Stockton Unified' s A-G task force is continuously monitoring the effectiveness of the programs. The A-G strategic plan has been emailed to CSA. The plan is a working document.

  • Estimated Completion Date: June 30,2018
  • Response Date: September 2017

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


60-Day Agency Response

SUSD utilizes an online content delivery program as well as re-enrolling students in previously failed courses. SUSD contacted all non-gradates of what would have been the class of 2016 in the fall and worked with them to return to complete coursework. Approximately 50 were contacted an engaged and half completed and received their diploma in January 2017. The new SAP staff member will lead credit recovery monitoring efforts starting in the 2017-18 school year.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 7/1/2019
  • Response Date: April 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending


Recommendation #7 To: Coachella Valley Unified School District

To increase students' access to and completion rates of college preparatory coursework, districts should create and institute a centralized process for submitting, managing, and tracking college preparatory courses and certification requests. This process should maximize the number of certified courses that the district offers. Further, to ensure that students receive appropriate credit for their college preparatory coursework, this process should match the UC's course listings with each school's master schedule of courses.

1-Year Agency Response

Auditee did not respond to our recommendation.

  • Estimated Completion Date: unknown
  • Response Date: May 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Pending


6-Month Agency Response

The district is proposing a new position to be included in the LCAP that would designate a district-level college and career counseling coordinator to devise, implement, and monitor a comprehensive, cohesive college and career readiness plan for the district. This position would coordinate all activities related to supporting and coordinating, with an identified assistant principal at each high school, in monitoring site counselors' work in identifying students who fall off track for graduation and A-G eligibility, ensuring documentation of parent notification and placement of students into credit recovery, and ensuring a wide array of credit recovery options to include during the school day, after school, Saturdays and summer school. Additionally, this proposed position would be responsible for developing and monitoring a uniform, district-wide course approval process from origination, alignment with CA standards, UC A-G certification, to curriculum council and school board approval. Finally, this position would hold bi-yearly meetings with a representative committee to update/revise courses and align site master schedules with A-G approved courses.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 12/31/18
  • Response Date: November 2017

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


60-Day Agency Response

Since 2015, CVUSD has been systematically training designated site administrators, to centrally manage site accounts and work with the Director of Secondary Education to audit course lists. Since 2015 mis-registered courses, missing courses, and course update corrections have taken place. As of 2016 each site administration monitors their UC approved course lists and are audited by the Secondary Ed Director. College prep courses that are common between sites have been brought into alignment with each other.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 2/2018
  • Response Date: May 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: No Action Taken

The district has not taken any additional steps to create and institute a centralized process for submitting, managing, and tracking college preparatory courses and certification requests since the release of our audit in February 2017.


Recommendation #8 To: Stockton Unified School District

To increase students' access to and completion rates of college preparatory coursework, districts should create and institute a centralized process for submitting, managing, and tracking college preparatory courses and certification requests. This process should maximize the number of certified courses that the district offers. Further, to ensure that students receive appropriate credit for their college preparatory coursework, this process should match the UC's course listings with each school's master schedule of courses.

60-Day Agency Response

New courses are submitted to the Curriculum Department for review and to centralize course the process. High school department chairs are included to review with their departments. Courses are submitted to Board approval and included in the high school course catalog. A course number is assigned and data input into the Student Information System with appropriate flags to identify what credit is applied for completion of the courses. The Curriculum Department staff works with UCOP to ensure courses are properly input and classified.

  • Completion Date: April 2017
  • Response Date: April 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Resolved

SUSD has implemented a new course approval process for submitting new courses to the University of California for approval. SUSD also offered evidence that it resolved issues related to courses being misidentified as approved college preparatory coursework.


Recommendation for Legislative Action

To increase college preparatory completion rates, the Legislature should require Education or another state entity to coordinate statewide college readiness efforts focusing on increasing college preparatory completion rates.

Description of Legislative Action

Legislation has not been introduced to address this specific recommendation.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: No Action Taken


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.

1-Year Agency Response

Fully implemented. In September 2017, the State Board of Education (SBE) approved Status cut scores for the College/Career Indicator (CCI), allowing for the usage of report Status results for the first time in the Fall 2017 Dashboard (operational in December 2017). Education developed CCI specific resources for parents and educators in response to stakeholder feedback from the Spring 2017 Dashboard. These resources were made available to parents and educators in conjunction with the Dashboard release in Fall 2017. The resources are designed to assist LEAs and schools with accessing the new data and providing an understanding of how well they are preparing students for college and career using the indicator measures. The resources developed are as follows:

(1) A one-page flyer dedicated to the CCI which provides the measures used to determine whether LEAs and schools are preparing students for success after high school (https://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/cm/documents/ccidashboardflyer.pdf); (2) The Dashboard CCI single indicator report, which provides Status cut scores by student group and includes the overall Grade Eleven Smarter Balanced results for English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics by LEA and school. The Dashboard can be accessed on Education's California School Dashboard Report Web site at https://www.caschooldashboard.org/. (3) The Dashboard Detailed Report tab, which provides a bar chart for the three levels: "Prepared", "Approaching Prepared", and "Not Prepared:" (4) The CCI Indicator Reports and Data are linked from the Dashboard CCI single indicator report and located at https://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/cm/. These reports provide the number and percentage of students, by student group, who met each of the measures in the "Prepared" and "Approaching Prepared" levels; and (5) A CCI methodology, measures, and calculation method Webinar that was conducted prior to the release of the Fall 2017 Dashboard and located at https://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/cm/.

  • Completion Date: December 2017
  • Response Date: March 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


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.


Recommendation for Legislative Action

To ensure that high school graduates are eligible for admission to the State's public university systems, the Legislature should require county offices to monitor districts to determine whether they offer students adequate access to college preparatory coursework.

Description of Legislative Action

Legislation has not been introduced to address this specific recommendation.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: No Action Taken


Recommendation for Legislative Action

To ensure districts' accountability plans are accurate and informative, the Legislature should require county offices to review districts' accountability plans and monitor the actions the districts take to implement the goals in those plans.

Description of Legislative Action

Legislation has not been introduced to address this specific recommendation.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: No Action Taken


All Recommendations in 2016-114

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.