Another Bill to Review Federal and State Testing Policies

dmbtestA new bill has been introduced in Congress to reduce testing.  This one funds efforts by states to review and eliminate redundant and low quality tests.  It is sponsored by Senator Baldwin (WI) and Representative Bonamici (OR).

 

The bill is called the “Support Making Assessments Reliable and Timely (SMART)” act.  According to Rep. Bonamici’s website, the bill has bipartisan support.  The press release does not explain why states would need federal money to do a review of their tests.

 

This bill is quite different from the Gibson and Sinema bill that seeks to reduce federally mandated annual assessments.

Difference Between U. S. House and Senate Education Bills

congress-74032_1280The Senate version of the education bill (See: US Senator Lamar Alexandar Bill ) and the House version differ mostly on the requirements for achievement testing.

The House version is a reintroduction of last year’s Student Success Act.  Both version emphasize returning control to the states.

A summary of the House version follows.  We will track the bills.  Check Legislative Updates on the rotating banner for the blog.  It is the photo of the green chalkboard.

Continue reading

SB 616 Filed to Reduce Testing Impact

dmbtestSenate Education Chairman, John Legg, filed SB 616 to limit testing time and reduce the impact of achievement gain scores on teacher evaluations.

There is also a district option for changing how State assessment results are reported for 2014-15.

Will the bill have a meaningful impact on the amount of testing that is required?  Given that districts must still do local testing in courses not covered in statewide assessments, it is not clear how the number of tests will be reduced.

Testing and learning have always been intertwined.  The question at hand is how much testing and for which purposes should tests be used?  The legislators are listening.  Send them your thoughts.

Continue reading

New Mexico Proposes Better Charter Management

nm2The New Mexico legislation has strong provisions relating to the charter school management and facilities.  SB 236 Beffort strengthens these provisions.  The proposed bill is instructive because it highlights corrective measures to improve the regulations and oversight of charter facilities and conflict of interest.

These proposals can inform the regulations in other states.

 

Continue reading

New Mexico to Audit Teacher and School Evaluations for Validity???

legislation1You can think of this bill SB 263 by Howie Morales as the “It is time to check the checkers” bill.  It appears that some legislators want real data with valid results.  It has just been introduced, so passage is a ways off.

The summary of the bill states that the “State Auditor shall adopt quality and accuracy audits of teacher evaluations, merit pay, and school ratings conducted by the Department of Education.  Look at what the auditor be required to do.  It will bring a smile to many.  It makes me think that others have read “Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics”.

 

Continue reading

Which are the Elephants in the Room?

elephant-baby-266792_1280

I read ‘The Man Behind Common Core Math‘ twice.  It is personal, candid, and gives a different perspective  of Common Core (CC).  Part of CCs development  was a happy accident.  Other parts had  unhappy consequences that must be addressed.  Motives and methods of for-profit testing companies are questioned.

Which are the elephants in the room, the Standards;  the Tests;  the power brokers’ funding, or the passing rates?  Let’s consider which of these babies we should throw out with the bath water.  You will find some useful sources and some interesting ideas.

 

Continue reading

If Race to the Top loses, What is Lost? What is Gained?

Federal officials will tell you that education is a state responsibility, but federal dollars impact state policy.

So, if Race to the Top (RTT)children-402166_1280 does lose it funding in the new Omnibus  bill, what goes away?

 

What are the new education priorities in the bill?  A listing from the U.S. Department of Education website gives a list of RTT grant initiatives that may be affected.

 

 

New priorities are set.  School Improvement Grants (S.I.G.) remain.Continue reading

Florida Legislators Hear Testing Uproar

The Florida Legislature is listening.

 

dmbtest

The Tampa Bay Times reported today that some testing reform is likely in the next legislative session. The article School testing poised to get scaled back by Florida lawmakers’ cites several tentative proposals for reforming assessment practices in Florida.  Senator John Legg acknowledges that testing has grown for many well intentioned reasons, but ” …one question got waylaid: How is it affecting the students?”

Proposals are surfacing, Continue reading

Brevard Schools Proactive on Informing Public about Impact of Testing

by Maria Seemer

The announcement for the Brevard School Board’s legislative platform comes with a series of public information events to explain the need for revisions to K-12 legislation in the upcoming session of the Florida Legislature.  The School Board of Brevard County Legislative Platform details changes in procedures and funding to make a more equitable educational system.  Continue reading