Inventory of the California Commission for the Establishment of Academic Content and Performance Standards Records

Processed by Kim Mitchell
California State Archives
1020 "O" Street
Sacramento, California 95814
Phone: (916) 653-2246
Fax: (916) 653-7363
Email: ArchivesWeb@sos.ca.gov
URL: http://www.sos.ca.gov/archives/
© 2012
California Secretary of State. All rights reserved.

Inventory of the California Commission for the Establishment of Academic Content and Performance Standards Records

Collection numbers: R255

California State Archives

Office of the Secretary of State

Sacramento, California
Processed by:
Kim Mitchell
Date Completed:
May 2012
Encoded by:
Brenda Newman
© 2012 California Secretary of State. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: California Commission for the Establishment of Academic Content and Performance Standards Records
Dates: 1996-1998
Collection number: R255
Creator: California Commission for the Establishment of Academic Content and Performance Standards
Collection Size: 9 cubic feet of textual records, 68 audiocassette tapes, and 36 videocassette tapes
Repository: California State Archives
Sacramento, California
Abstract: The records of the Commission for the Establishment of Academic Content and Performance Standards (Academic Standards Commission or ASC) document the creation of recommended content and performance standards for California's public school system. This record group contains 9 cubic feet of textual records, 68 audio tapes, and 36 video tapes. The records are organized into seven record series and cover the period from 1996 to 1998. The record series include: Meeting Transcripts, 1996-1998; Meeting Files, 1996-1998; Focus Group Files, 1997-1998; History-Social Science Committee Files, 1997-1998; Science Committee Files, 1997-1998; Public Testimony Files, 1997-1998; and Subject Files, 1996-1998.
Physical location: California State Archives
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

Administrative Information

Access

While the majority of the records are open for research, any access restrictions are noted in the record series descriptions.

Publication Rights

For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Academic Standards Commission Records, R255.[series number], [box and folder number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

Acquisition History

The California State Archives acquired the records of the California Commission for the Establishment of Academic Content and Performance Standards according to state law.

Agency History

AB265 (Alpert) created the Commission for the Establishment of Academic Content and Performance Standards (Chapter 975, Statutes of 1995) and was later modified by SB430 (Greene, Chapter 69, Statutes of 1996) and Chapter 920 (Statutes of 1996). The Commission was typically referred to as the Academic Standards Commission (ASC). The Commission was comprised of 21 members: 12 members appointed by the Governor, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 6 members appointed by the Superintendent, 1 member appointed by the Senate Rules Committee, and 1 member appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly.
The Commission's central responsibility was to develop academically rigorous content and performance standards to be used in public schools for grades kindergarten through 12. The Commission was required to hold a minimum of six public hearings throughout the state in order to solicit input in the development of the standards. The State Board of Education was also required to hold public hearings and to provide the accumulated testimony to the Commission. The Commission was mandated to develop content and performance standards in reading, writing, and mathematics prior to developing standards for science and history-social science. The Commission was obligated to submit their recommendations for content and performance standards to the State Board of Education by October 1, 1997 (it is presumed this deadline was extended since some of the final drafts are actually dated July, 1998).
The criteria for creating these academic and performance standards included the following: must be measurable and objective; must reflect the knowledge and skills necessary for California's work force to be competitive in the global, information-based economy of the 21st century; must be comparable in rigor to academic content and performance standards used in the school systems of America's global economic competitors; must provide the basis for assessments for K-12 in the groupings of K-3, 4-6, 7-8, and 9-12.
It was the intent of the legislature that the commissioners include parents, members of the business community, and teachers. The Commission was led by Ellen F. Wright (chair), Robert Calfee (vice-chair), and the senior consultant was Susan Pimental. The position of Executive Director was shared by Ellen Moratti (1996-June 1997) and Scot Hill (June 1997-1998). The Commission had several committees including the Mathematics Committee, the History-Social Science Committee, the Reading and Writing Committee, the Science Committee, and the Executive Advisory Committee.

Scope and Content

The records of the Commission for the Establishment of Academic Content and Performance Standards (Academic Standards Commission or ASC) document the creation of recommended content and performance standards for California's public school system. This record group contains 9 cubic feet of textual records, 68 audio tapes, and 36 video tapes. The records are organized into seven record series and cover the period from 1996 to 1998. The record series include:
The Transcripts and Meeting Files series comprise the bulk of the record group. These records offer detailed information on the day-to-day work of the Commission, from budgets and review comments to consultant evaluations and public testimony.
The Focus Group Files, History-Social Science Committee Files, Science Committee Files, and Public Testimony Files all provide insight as to the ways the Commission folded the opinions of experts, teachers, parents, business community members, community advocates, and the general public into their final recommendations. These series primarily consist of school district surveys, expert and non-expert reviews of draft recommendations, and testimonials.
The Subject Files primarily relate to various types of contracts and agreements considered and entered into by the Commission. Consulting firms and paid experts were heavily utilized to create matrices, perform research, data collection and analysis, and provide detailed opinions. These files also contain valuable information on the creation and background of the Commission as well as the Mathematics Content Standards recommendations.
For researchers simply wishing to view the final recommendations made to the State Board of Education: the History-Social Science report can be found in the History-Social Science Committee Files; the Science report can be found in the Science Committee Files; the Mathematics report can be found in the Subject Files. The English-Language Arts final report is not represented.
No further accruals are expected.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Education --Standards
Education --California
California. Commission for the Establishment of Academic Content and Performance Standards

Related Collections at the California State Archives

Department of Education
State Board of Education

Related Collections at other Repositories

Additional records may be found in the Hoover Institute at Stanford University, Stanford, California, 94305.

Series Description

R255.001, Box 1, folder 1 - Box 2, folder 10

Series 1 Meeting Transcripts 1996-1998

Physical Description: 29 file folders, 29 audio cassettes, 29 video cassettes

Access Information

Access to audiovisual material requires the production of use copies.

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by meeting date.

Scope and Content Note

This series consists primarily of the transcripts of full commission meetings, though hearings and committee meetings are represented as well. In addition to the written transcription, several meetings were also recorded on either audio or video cassette. The researcher should also view the Meeting Files for more detailed information on the Commission's various meetings, as not every meeting was transcribed.
Audio materials have been separated to a cold-storage vault for preservation purposes and separation sheets are in the files to alert the researcher to the existence of these items.
R255.002, Box 2, folder 11 - Box 5, folder 19

Series 2 Meeting Files 1996-1998

Physical Description: 66 file folders, 39 audio cassettes, 7 video cassettes

Access Information

Access to audiovisual material requires the production of use copies.

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by meeting date.

Scope and Content Note

The Meeting Files primarily consist of meeting binders created for the commissioners by Commission staff. The files include agendas, minutes, correspondence, background materials, press releases, news clippings and articles, memoranda, reports, public testimony, and draft recommendations with commentary. The files contain information and materials pertaining to all types of meetings conducted by the Commission: hearings, committee meetings, and full commission meetings. The files document the administration of the Commission as well as the research and debate surrounding the creation of academic content and standards. The researcher should view the transcripts series for the full content of selected meetings.
Audio materials have been separated to a cold-storage vault for preservation purposes and separation sheets are in the files to alert the researcher to the existence of these items.
R255.003, Box 6, folders 1 - 21

Series 3 Focus Group Files 1997-1998

Physical Description: 21 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject headings.

Scope and Content Note

The Focus Group Files document the results of focus group sessions conducted throughout the state by the Commission. Files primarily consist of surveys and may also include advertisements, staff notes, and summaries of feedback. Significant topics include age-appropriateness of the standards, specificity of the academic content, and measurability of performance criteria. The series includes a general information file as well as a summary report of all focus groups.
R255.004, Box 6, folder 22 - Box 7, folder 24

Series 4 History-Social Science Committee Files 1997-1998

Physical Description: 36 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject headings.

Scope and Content Note

This record series documents the work of the History-Social Science (H-SS) Committee. Files may include correspondence, memoranda, minutes, surveys, and reports. The files contain school district surveys, draft recommendations and their associated reviews, minutes of the Committee's meetings, and the final recommendations made to the Board of Education.
R255.005, Box 7, folder 25 - Box 8, folder 15

Series 5 Science Committee Files 1997-1998

Physical Description: 8 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject headings.

Scope and Content Note

The Science Committee files document the work of that committee. Files include correspondence, surveys, and reports. The records contain school district surveys, draft recommendations and their associated reviews, and the final recommendations made to the Board of Education.
R255.006, Box 8, folder 16 - Box 9, folder 5

Series 6 Public Testimony Files 1997-1998

Physical Description: 12 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject headings.

Scope and Content Note

The Public Testimony Files contain expert reviews, general reviews, consultants' analysis, and drafts of recommendations gathered from public meetings and hearings. Files include correspondence, memoranda, background material, and written testimony. Testimony and commentary surrounds the academic content areas of English-Language Arts, Mathematics, and History-Social Science.
R255.007, Box 9, folders 6 - 28

Series 7 Subject Files 1996-1998

Physical Description: 23 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject headings.

Scope and Content Note

The Subject Files document a variety of topics of interest to the Commission. Files may include correspondence, memoranda, contracts, background material, minutes, press releases, editorials, speeches, and reports. Significant topics include information regarding contracts and contractors, interagency agreements, Requests For Proposals (RFPs), press, mathematics content standards, and the Commission's background.