Assessing the Impact of CSU's Quantitative Reasoning Proposal

In January of 2020, the CSU board approved an actionThis link will open a PDF file. (pdf) (pdf) that took into consideration concerns expressed by external stakeholders regarding the CSU’s quantitative reasoning proposal. Among those actions, the board required a third-party independent analysis of implementation and the potential impact of the proposed requirement on CSU applicants.

Following the January 2020 meeting, the CSU initiated a public competitive bidding process according to state regulations and CSU policy. MDRC is the organization selected to conduct the assessment required by the CSU board. MDRC This link will take you to an external website in a new tab. is a nonprofit, nonpartisan education and social policy research organization dedicated to learning what works to improve educational programs and policies, especially those that potentially affect low-income communities. MDRC is best known for mounting large-scale demonstrations and evaluations of real-world policies and programs. MDRC’s Statement of Principles This link will take you to an external website in a new tab. guides its work and codifies its research and assessment practices. The MDRC study will focus on four primary areas:

  1. Analysis of the planned implementation and potential impact of the CSU’s proposed quantitative reasoning requirement;
  2. Analysis of any potential disparate impacts of the admission policy change on CSU-bound students;
  3. Analysis of the potential admission policy change on CSU students’ success in college for all students and particular subgroups of students;
  4. A qualitative assessment of the implementation needs for the proposed change to be successful and equitable.

MDRC is tentatively expected to provide a progress report to the CSU board at its March 2021 meeting and a final report by January 2022. According to the resolution adopted in January 2020, the CSU board will consider approving the requirement and Title 5 change by spring 2022 to be effective fall 2027.

James T. Minor, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice-Chancellor and Senior Strategist
Academic Success and Inclusive Excellence
(562) 951-4317