(SACRAMENTO) – Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D – Long Beach), joined by educators and students, introduced the Pathways to College Act (Assembly Bill 1951) Tuesday.
The bill works to open doors to higher education for parents and students by allowing school districts to offer college admissions tests like the SAT or ACT during the school day at no cost to students.
“AB 1951 provides school districts the option of giving 11th grade students a college entrance exam during the school day instead of the state-required assessment. This will remove obstacles for many students to attend college,” Assemblymember O’Donnell said. “As a teacher for more than 20 years and as Chair of the Assembly Education Committee, I know this will reduce testing time and provide teachers and students more time to bridge the gap in learning.”
The Pathways to College Act is strongly supported by a broad coalition of educators and school board members:
Jorge Aguilar, Superintendent of Schools, Sacramento City Unified School District:
“In Sacramento City Unified, approximately a third of our high school seniors who are on track to meet college eligibility criteria did not take the college entrance exam before the end of their junior year. AB 1951 will help our district, and every other district in the state, ensure that every student that is on track for college is taking a college entrance exam before the end of their junior year.”
Christopher Steinhauser, Superintendent of Schools, Long Beach Unified School District:
“Our schools need relief from duplicative testing. The SAT is more meaningful and relevant to students and parents because it’s the main test affecting college admission nationally. The PSAT and SAT also allow our students to take advantage of free, customized support including online tutorials through Khan Academy.”
Nancy Albarrán, Superintendent of Schools, San Jose Unified School District:
“AB 1951 will provide a reliable assessment of how our students are doing while providing a benefit to the students themselves. It’s rare that a standardized assessment actually helps students. This bill does that. A win for students, a win for schools, and a win for local control. Assemblymember O’Donnell’s Pathways to College Act delivers.”
Megan Kerr, President of the Long Beach Unified School District Board of Education:
“By providing local control, AB 1951 allows educators to offer college assessment and career resources, better preparing students for college as early as the 8th grade. The Pathways to College Act opens doors for all students to have college and career choices by making college admissions testing more accessible and affordable.”
Support for the Pathways to College Act follows approximately a dozen other states that 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.