Judge says AB 705 delays student progress

By Steven Adamo

Data shows growing inequality across Los Angeles Community College District schools due to the implementation of AB 705 by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.
Daniel Judge, LACCD Math Council Chair, explained the data on the bill during a Thursday workshop titled “Critically Examining the Data on Equitable Placement.”
The initial intent of AB 705, according to Judge, was to “maximize probability that students complete transfer-level English and Math in one year, or English in three years for ESL students.”
Judge said the series of charts showed declining success rates and increasing equity gaps at most of LACCD’s nine colleges.
“There are no white students here, so you see widening equity gaps between Asian and Hispanic students,” Judge said. “Something AB705 didn’t fix.”
ELAC was the only college in the presentation to receive a “non-applicable” for African-American students in mathematics.
“You got to be careful with this one because zero African-Americans got access because you started with 16 (pre-AB705) and went to 16 (post-AB705). So that’s zero,” said Judge, “but it looks like they had four successes so I put non-applicable again for the ratio.”
From Fall 2018 to Fall 2019, Judge said that 539 additional Hispanic students took a transfer level Mathematics course.
Though the data shows 116 additional Hispanic students succeeded, 423 students did not get through—even though they were considered the best prepared.”
“For every success, [there were] 3.6 non-successes at ELAC for Hispanic students in mathematics,” Judge said.
Judge said the data represents the best prepared students under AB705 and does not include drops before census.
Angela Echeverri, LACCD Academic Senate President, said the data doesn’t paint a complete picture because of some missing factors like using pre-Covid data and the fact that many ELAC students attend part-time so they may take longer than a year to finish their courses.
As part of the Academic Senate’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Workshop Series, ELAC Academic Senate President Jeffrey Hernandez said the aim of the workshop series is to examine how institutional and systemic racism touches on sectors of society, including education.
Hernandez said in order for the college to uphold its mission, an amendment the newly proposed AB1705. is required. If there is no amendment, AB 1705 will remove pre-transfer English and Math. This will ultimately shrink the college’s mission and enrollment.
AB1705 is backed by corporations Sallie Mae, Lumina Foundation, Walton Family and the Gates Foundation.
“Obviously new opportunities on the horizon for for-profit institutions, and the reality is the likelihood of a larger underclass,” Hernandez said.

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