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Last updated 12/07/09


Master Plan Review

Summary of the seven working group final reports
Issues affecting UC and higher education based on final reports of 7 working groups
May 3, 2002

The Joint Legislative Committee to Develop a Master Plan for Education held hearings in February and March on final reports of the seven Master Plan working groups. The committee staff are using the seven reports to assemble a draft Master Plan that will be made public in May. The Joint Committee is accepting “e-testimony” on the reports on its website. UC representatives on the seven work groups were mostly successful in ensuring that the final work group reports included recommendations that UC could either support or at least not oppose. The extent to which the draft Master Plan will follow the recommendations of the seven work groups is unknown.

In preparation for the Sacramento debate over a new Master Plan, the UC Master Plan Advisory Group, chaired by Chancellor Vanderhoef, forwarded a paper on the Master Plan to President Atkinson and Provost King. Entitled “A Perspective on Developing a New Master Plan,” this paper is a broad statement of University principles that underlie our commitment to serving the state under a new framework designed to encompass all levels of education, pre-kindergarten through university. It highlights elements from the existing Master Plan for Higher Education that are seen as vital to the continued success of California postsecondary education. At the same time, it indicates ways in which UC can become a more engaged and active partner in K-12 improvement, consistent with the University’s land grant mission.

Below is a summary of some of the work group recommendations of most interest to UC:

Governance. That report recommends establishing a new gubernatorially-appointed Chief State Schools Officer to run the California Department of Education and eliminating the elected State Superintendent of Instruction and the Executive Director of the State Board of Education. The report recommends that the Governor be the single appointing authority for the California Postsecondary Education Commission (CPEC). The work group considered creating a Secretary of Education that would have authority over both K-12 and higher education (a recommendation that was of concern to the University). Instead, it recommended that coordination between K-12 and higher education should occur in the Governor's office and that the Governor should have the authority to specify how that coordination is undertaken. This work group also recommended the establishment of an independent agency to collect K-16 data--a recommendation that surfaced in several work groups.

Student Learning. The Student Learning work group introduced a new recommendation targeted at UC admissions policy late in its deliberations. It recommends that each UC campus expand its freshman year enrollment by 5 percent. Students enrolled as part of this expansion should be “selected from students in educationally disadvantaged schools (as defined in the current UC Outreach programs) who may fail to meet UC eligibility, but who display extraordinary talents or leadership in other domains.” This recommendation originated from UC faculty members who are concerned that the systemic reforms suggested elsewhere will be long-term and that a short-term intervention is needed to ensure that UC does it share of remediating underprepared but promising students. At the suggestion of other UC representatives, members of the work group ultimately agreed to modify this recommendation to fit within existing Master Plan and UC policy on admission by exception. This policy allows up to 6 percent of the freshmen class to be students not fully eligible for UC.

Other recommendations of this work group include:

  • Make the UC/CSU “a-g” course pattern the “default” curricula for all California high school students, even those planning to attend the community colleges or not attend college at all. Senator Alarcon has already included this recommendation in his bill, SB 1731, which requires that high schools enroll each and every student in the “a-g” course pattern unless the student, his or her parents, and a school official consent in writing to the student “opting out.”
  • Create an intersegmental faculty body of the senates of UC, CSU, CCC, AICCU, and K-12 (which does not currently have an academic senate) to work on K-12/higher education alignment of curriculum, exit assessments, admissions, and placement requirements.
  • Create longitudinal databases linked among the various segments to track and report students' progress on achieving the learning standards articulated in the report.

Finance and Facilities. This work group split into subgroups, one for postsecondary and one for K-12. Recommendations for the postsecondary level focus on adopting state policies to dampen the “boom and bust” cycles in higher education appropriations and to provide more stable funding for the segments. Consistent with the “partnership” model, the report recommends annually funding core higher education needs and enrollment growth but using additional funds in “good” years only for one-time rather than base-building expenditures. The report also recommends adopting and adhering to a consistent student fee policy, establishing 10.93 percent as the community college’s share of Proposition 98, and reviewing the marginal cost approach to budgeting.

There were work group discussions about differential funding by student level in public postsecondary institutions (i.e., lower division, upper division, graduate). No recommendations to that effect were included in the work group report although this issue may re-emerge in the draft Master Plan. The report does recommend allowing UC and CSU to charge differential fees, “taking into account large differentials in instructional costs and the personal economic benefits available to graduates later in their careers.”

Other recommendations. Other work group report recommendations of interest to higher education and the University include the following:

  • Increase the capacity of higher education to produce more teachers and educators.
  • Develop an infrastructure at the public segments to support the ongoing professional development of future and existing higher education faculty.
  • Develop new and expanded education doctorate programs in the public sector. The CSU request for an independent doctorate was a very contentious issue. However, the CSU/UC agreement on the Ed.D. is likely to become the template for resolving this issue.
  • Focus some portion of postsecondary funding on program/certificate/degree completion, time to completion, and education/labor market outcomes rather than only enrollment.
  • Consider granting educational segments “flexibility in their internal allocation of funds to address the higher costs associated with career, technical, and scientific instruction and contextualized learning more broadly.” CSU representatives advocated this recommendation because of their concern that marginal cost is not adequate for higher cost programs.
  • Identify an individual or entity to be responsible for developing and disseminating an annual forecast of education in California, including short (1-3 years), intermediate (5-10 years), and long-term (20 year) projections related to student demand, capital facilities, the education workforce, and system performance. Create a statewide student data system and Establish common identification numbers for all students in the public education system.

Final reports later this year. Further deliberations will occur for the rest of the legislative session with the goal of adoption of a new Master Plan by late July or early August. It is unclear yet how many additional issues will emerge beyond those discussed in the work groups.

THE EDUCATION DOCTORATE AND EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP. The Joint Master Plan Committee is still likely to address the issue of education doctorates in its draft report. However, the focus has shifted considerably since CSU and UC announced their agreement to pursue a Joint Ed.D. Since the joint agreement was reached in November, the Joint Ed.D. Board has already held four meetings, consulted with K-12 and community college leaders, issued a Request for Proposals, and received a number of proposals beginning April 15th. The Joint Ed.D. Board hopes to fund a number of these proposals before the summer. Board members already have consulted with senior K-12 and community college leaders about the ideal content of and need for Ed.D. programs. The Board will be undertaking a process to identify state and regional needs for new programs, building on three regional meetings with county superintendents in which the University participated last fall. Also, UC and CSU will be co-sponsoring a resolution in the Legislature to memorialize and obtain legislative support for the Joint CSU/UC Ed.D. agreement.

UC continues to move forward with planning for the creation of a new California Institute for Educational Leadership (CIEL). A faculty design team has been meeting to discuss how UC can best assist in efforts to improve educational leadership in the state. That team has also been meeting with K-12 and community college leaders.