Paul L. Caron

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Cash-Strapped California Bar May Drop NCBE And Hire Kaplan To Create New Test


ABA Journal, Cash-Strapped California Bar Weighs Cutting Ties With NCBE, Teaming With Kaplan on Test-Writing:

California Bar (2021)Driven by money problems, the State Bar of California will decide this week if it will shift test-writing duties from the National Conference of Bar Examiners to Kaplan Test Prep for a Multistate Bar Exam replacement starting in February 2025.

Dan Rodriguez (Northwestern; Google Scholar), Bar Reform in California. A Promising Start:

The Golden State is eschewing its cooperation with the Nat'l Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), the organization based in Madison, Wisconsin — peculiarly, given that this is the state that grants the diploma privilege to state law school grads, but I digress.  The NCBE has had an iron death-grip on the content, and many elements of administration, of the bar exams of states around the country.  The organization has not had a reputation for being especially innovation minded; nor has it been, in my experience, a constructive cooperator. ...

Into this frustrating status quo comes California's decision to work internally on key matters of bar administration, including the possibility of an in-home version of the test — something that so many grads pleaded for during Covid, and disabled grads would benefit from going forward.  Even more promising is the prospect that, in collaboration with Kaplan, Inc., California will develop some ambitious new types of content — something that is really truly a "new generation" bar exam, which the NCBE has been touting with some fanfare for the last few years. ... I hope California will use all the big brains it can muster to give us novel, constructive ideas.

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