The State Bar seeks comment on the 2017 Content Validation Study of the California Bar Examination.
Deadline: Nov. 3, 2017
2017 Content Validation Study on the California Bar Examination
In response to the declining passing rates on the California Bar Examination (CBX), the Committee of Bar Examiners (CBE) authorized, and the Board of Trustees’ approved the completion of four different studies regarding the CBX. Two studies: “Recent Performance Changes on the California Bar Exam” prepared by Roger Bolus, Ph.D., and “Conducting a Standard Setting Study for the California Bar Exam” prepared by Chad Buckendahl, Ph.D., have been completed and published. The third study authorized was “Conducting a Content Validation Study for the California Bar Exam,” which was also conducted by Chad Buckendahl, Ph.D.; this study has also now been completed. The final study, “Law School Bar Exam Performance Study,” which requires the participation of law schools in the provision of data regarding their graduates, is in process.
These studies and the recommendations of the CBE and the Board of Trustees relative to the CBX pass line and content are in response to a letter dated Feb. 28, 2017, from the Chief Justice of California directing the State Bar to report back to the Court “once the investigation and all studies are concluded." The report "must include a detailed summary of the investigation and findings, as well as recommendation for changes, if any, to the bar exam and/or grading, and a timeline for implementation. The State Bar’s report and recommendations should be submitted to the court as soon as practicable and in no event later than Dec. 1, 2017."
The third study, “Conducting a Content Validation Study for the California Bar Exam,” was considered by the CBE during its meeting on Oct. 13 and 14, 2017.
The report and an in depth discussion of the report and recommendations from State Bar staff are contained in an agenda item that was considered by the CBE during its Oct. 13 and 14, 2017 meeting (Attachment A).
Following a discussion by the CBE of the report and staff’s recommendation, the CBE took the following action:
It was moved, seconded and duly carried that the report "Conducting a Content Validation Study for the California Bar Exam," prepared by Chad Buckendahl, Ph.D. and the two evaluations of the report prepared by independent consultants Mary J. Pitoniak, Ph.D. and Tracy A. Montez, Ph.D. be received and filed and authorized for publication, subject to the Board of Trustees’ approval; that the Committee’s position that the current scope of subjects tested on the California Bar Examination not be modified at this time be reported to the Board of Trustees and the California Supreme Court; and that the Board of Trustees and the California Supreme Court be advised that the Committee supports conducting a California job analysis study, and then a revised Content Validation Study that will inform further discussions of possible future changes to the content, development, format and grading of the examination.
The Board of Trustees took action at its Oct. 6, 2017, delegating the authority to publish the Content Validation Study to the CBE. The study will be circulated for public comment through Oct. 27, 2017. Comments received will be reviewed and discussed in the agenda item on this subject prepared for the Board of Trustees for review during its Nov. 2 and 3, 2017 meeting.
Pending final recommendation
A. Committee of Bar Examiners Agenda Item: Content Validation Study and Scope of California Bar Examination
Committee of Bar Examiners
Nov. 3, 2017
The State Bar of California is seeking public comment regarding the 2017 Content Validation Study. To submit your comments, please use the following online form.
Alternatively, written comments may be sent to:
Public.Comment@calbar.ca.gov or to
The State Bar of California
Re: California Bar Exam
180 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94105