Two all-day meetings on development of criteria for selection of the assessment for placement tests

Event Date: 
Fri, 2010-05-07 - Sat, 2010-05-08

The two meetings are scheduled for the following dates and locations, both from 10:00a to 3:30p:

 Friday, May 7, 2010 at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut (South)

Saturday, May 8, 2010 at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton (North)


Two all-day meetings on development of criteria for selection of the assessment for placement tests This letter is an invitation to your faculty to participate in the development of criteria for selection of the assessment for placement tests that will be used for centralized testing administration as a part of the CCCAssess Project. We ask that you forward this invitation to the departments/divisions that oversee the areas of English, reading, mathematics, ESL, and assessment testing.


Here are the essentials. More information about this project is below.

 There will be two all-day meetings this spring, one offered in the north and one in the south. Participants at each meeting will receive background on the project and then break into discipline groups to work on criteria for an assessment test in their specific area. Each regional discipline group will also select representatives to work on selection of the final list of criteria. Recommendations from the two regional discipline groups will be compiled, and the subgroup of regional discipline group representatives will finalize a set of criteria for the Request for Interest (RFI), which will go out to assessment test vendors.

Participants will be provided with all materials, a continental breakfast, and lunch. We regret that we cannot reimburse participants for travel expenses.

Each college may send one representative for each of the following areas: English writing, English reading, ESL, mathematics, and assessment (e.g. assessment director or coordinator). A college may, therefore, send a team of up to five members, but in no case may a college send more than one representative for any of the five areas.


Colleges and departments will determine who represents them at the meeting. However, we encourage selection of individuals with the following knowledge:

·         familiarity with the course sequencing in their discipline area

·         familiarity with the assessment process and how students are placed into courses in their discipline area

·         familiarity with the assessment test currently in use for placement in their discipline area

·         familiarity with the issues and concerns of their professional discipline group with regards to assessment for placement.


You, as the academic senate, must RSVP with your list of participants to Jen Davies ( by Monday, May 3, 2010, to permit the Academic Senate to arrange for sufficient materials, facilities, parking, and food.


Now for some background.


At the Fall 2009 Plenary Session, we shared with you the on-going work of the Board of Governors’ Strategic Plan Assessment Action Planning Group, including the CCCAssess Project. The Project comprises two parts: an infrastructure to allow for a data warehouse of all testing information for students from K-14 and centralized administration of assessment for placement testing. The Academic Senate previously expressed specific support for this project through Resolution 9.07 S09.


Since last fall, things have moved quite quickly on this project. First and foremost, the project has received $500,000 in grant funding. Of almost equal importance, the project has also received the endorsement of our System Chancellor, Jack Scott, the Department of Education, and the Legislative Analyst’s Office. Second, Assembly member Block is moving forward with legislation that supports the work of this project. The Academic Senate has been given charge of the process for the selection of the assessment for placement tests that will be used for centralized testing administration. These meetings inform the first part of the process, the development of criteria for the Request for Interest (RFI)


The importance of the process for test selection cannot be overstated. The main concept behind centralized assessment testing is to reduce the costs of assessment testing, thereby freeing up our increasingly limited matriculation dollars for other vital student service needs. One test will be chosen for each of the testing areas of English writing, English reading, English as a Second Language (ESL), and mathematics. The System will negotiate a statewide contract with each test vendor, which should significantly reduce the cost to use that test for assessment for placement. The System also hopes to achieve some leverage with test vendors for refinements to the tests to better respond to the needs of California community colleges. While colleges will not be required to use the System-negotiated test, there will be a strong fiscal incentive to do so.


The responsibilities of the Academic Senate in the test selection process are two-fold. First, the Academic Senate must set up the criteria for the Request for Interest (RFI), which will be sent out to all parties interested in submitting tests for consideration. The project timeline is very aggressive, and the RFI must go out by the summer. Second, the Academic Senate must use these same criteria to select the tests with which the System will invite to submit a more-detailed Request for Proposal (RFP). This must happen by late fall.


We are also sending out a version of this letter to the professional organizations for English, reading, mathematics, and ESL, to ask them to encourage discussion among their members and involvement through their institutions.


If you are interested in hosting one of these meetings, please let me know. In addition, any questions regarding the CCCAssess Project should be directed to Mark Wade Lieu at


Thank you for your attention to this invitation and for sharing it with your colleagues.


Mark Wade Lieu

CCCAssess Faculty Review Project Lead


Academic Senate for California Community Colleges

555 Capitol Mall, Suite 525, Sacramento, CA 95814
phone: 916.445.4753  fax: 916.323.9867