(a) The Legislature finds and declares that the effective education of pupils in kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, depends substantially on the academic skills, content competence, and pedagogical preparation of classroom teachers. It is essential that the ongoing administration of the state basic skills proficiency exam for teachers be carried out at all times by a competent contractor who adheres to high standards using sound, effective, and defensible assessment procedures. The administration of this exam is jeopardized by the increasing costs of the exam and statutory restrictions that remain in effect. To preserve and strengthen the screening of teacher candidates in relation to their basic academic skills, the Legislature intends to maintain the state examination that is administered by the commission pursuant to Section 44252.5, and to support needed improvements in exam-related services to teaching credential candidates.
(b) The commission shall make improvements to increase access to the state basic skills proficiency test, and shall improve exam-related services provided to candidates for teaching credentials, which may include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) Administering the test more frequently.
(2) Increasing the number of testing locations.
(3) Making the exam available year-round by appointment at examination centers that are highly secure and professionally supervised.
(c) The commission shall adopt these improvements in consultation with the Department of Finance and shall report all improvements to the Legislature, no later than January 1, 2003.
(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 745, Sec. 17.)