Legislation Update - 04/20/2011


SUPPORT – SB 532 – Hernandez Advanced Placement- IB Provisions

On behalf of the California Association of International Baccalaureate World Schools (CAWS), I write to express our support for the IB provisions, expressed in Section 2 and 3 of SB 532 (Hernandez). These sections of the bill would direct California Community Colleges and California State Universities to give the same recognition to high school students who receive passing grades in International Baccalaureate examinations as they currently do to those high school students who receive passing grades in advanced placement classes.

When a high school student chooses to take International Baccalaureate courses, he or she has chosen to undertake a course of study that has been recognized as very rigorous. In fact, the International Baccalaureate and Advance Placement curricula have been recognized as gold standards by our state educational system. However, some students who complete coursework in the International Baccalaureate program do not have their work equally recognized by both the California Community Colleges, and the California State University systems. This often leads to these students having to retake courses in which they have already been judged proficient by the International Baccalaureate program.

The facts are:
  • The University of California gives credit for either an IB diploma or for individual IB exams. Students who receive IB certificates with scores of 5, 6 or 7 receive 8 quarter (5.3 semester) units. Designated examinations may be considered equivalent to UC freshman-level courses in the subject and may be used to satisfy general education or breadth requirements. Why can’t California state universities and community colleges do the same?
  • Prospective community college and CSU students don’t know whether or not their IB classes will receive proper credit. With no definite direction, the existing process is inconsistent and unfair. Students unnecessarily take courses which extend their stay in the system, thus limiting opportunities for other students and ultimately increasing state costs.
  • The California UC System and private colleges recognize IB credits. California state universities and community colleges should award credits in the same manner and standardize this process.

The IB provisions of SB 532 will take great strides towards granting our students equal recognition for the rigorous and demanding coursework they complete in the International Baccalaureate program, and will save the state money by helping to keep students from taking the same or similar courses multiple times.

For these reasons, we urge your support to the IB provisions in SB 532 when it comes before your committee.

Sincerely,

Sandra S. Morales
Legislative Advocate


SB 532 (HERNANDEZ)
IB PROVISIONS

Summary

SB 532 (Hernandez), the CAWS co-sponsored bill, is scheduled for consideration by the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday, April 13, 2011.

Comments

The IB provisions on the bill require Community Colleges and CSUs to:

(1) Give a student who scored 5, 6, or 7 on the International Baccalaureate examinations taken during high school the same amount of credit given to students who score 4 or 5 on the equivalent advanced placement examinations taken during high school.

Activities

Attached is the letter that our office has sent to members of the committee on behalf of CAWS.

CAWS leaders were asked to contact the Senate Education Committee members that represent their district or the member(s) closest to them via letter and phone call.

The letter puts CAWS position formally on record and ensures that the legislator will have you listed as being in support of the bill. The phone call allows you to respond directly to any questions the legislator or his/her staff may have and emphasizes the importance of the bill.

CAWS talking points:

  • This legislation is needed because unfortunately community colleges and CSUs do not have a consistent process in place to award credits for students who have completed International Baccalaureate courses. With no definite direction, the existing process is inconsistent, students unnecessarily take courses which extend their stay in the system, thus limiting opportunities for other students and ultimately increasing state costs.
  • The University of California gives credit for either an IB diploma or for individual IB exams. Students who receive IB certificates with scores of 5, 6 or 7 receive 8 quarter (5.3 semester) units. Designated examinations may be considered equivalent to UC freshman-level courses in the subject and may be used to satisfy general education or breadth requirements.
  • The California UC system and private colleges recognize the IB credits, there is no reason for California State Universities and community colleges not to award credits and standardize this process as well.

Who to Contact?

Below is a list of the Senate Education Committee. Letters should clearly show “Support: SB 532” at the top.

SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Alan Lowenthal, Chair
Senate Education Committee
State Capitol, Room 2032
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-651-4027

Elaine Alquist
Senate Education Committee Member
California State Capitol, Room 5080
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-651-4013

Sam Blakeslee (R)
Senate Education Committee Member
California State Capitol, Room 4070
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-651-4015

Loni Hancock (D)
Senate Education Committee Member
California State Capitol, Room 2082
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-651-4009

Bob Huff (R)
Senate Education Committee Member
California State Capitol, Room 5097
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-651-4029

Sharon Runner, Vice Chair
Senate Education Committee
State Capitol, Room 2048
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-651-4017

Carol Liu (D)
Senate Education Committee Member
California State Capitol, Room 5061
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-651-4021

Curren Price (D)
Senate Education Committee Member
California State Capitol, Room 2057
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-651-4026

Joe Simitian (D)
Senate Education Committee Member
California State Capitol, Room 2080
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-651-4011

Juan Vargas (D)
Senate Education Committee Member
California State Capitol, Room
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-651-4040

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