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Legislation Advances on 11th Grade Test

The Assembly Education Committee voted 6-0 this month in favor of Assembly Bill 1951, authored by Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D – Long Beach) to allow school districts to offer college admissions tests to students for free during the school day in lieu of the state-required 11th grade assessment.

“AB 1951 is about expanding access to higher education,” Assemblymember O’Donnell said.  “Allowing school districts the flexibility to decide the most meaningful assessments for their students will increase the number of students going to college.  As a parent, a teacher and Chair of the Assembly Education Committee, I believe AB 1951 is a win for school districts and, most importantly, a win for our students.”

The Long Beach Unified School District now offers the SAT for free to students during the school day, and LBUSD Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser testified in support of AB 1951 at the recent Assembly Education Committee hearing.

"Our school district strongly supports AB 1951 because it eliminates historic barriers to higher education,” Steinhauser said.  "If more students can take a college admissions test at no cost, then more students will gain access to personalized, free practice tools, and more students will earn admission and scholarships to colleges and universities.”

The measure also has the support of numerous school districts and is sponsored by the California School Boards Association.  A dozen other states have used or plan to use a college entrance exam as an alternative assessment to meet state and federal accountability requirements for grade 11 testing.

The bill now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.