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February24

Assessment exemption bill back from the dead

Mere hours after its death in the House Education committee, House Bill 1187 was revived through a smoke out on the floor of the House.

 

Rep. Jim Bolin, the bill’s sponsor, pleaded with Representatives to get the bill, which provides for the exemption of certain students from the requirement to take certain academic assessment tests, to the floor.

 

“(The bill) deals with an issue that is vital to the people of this state,” Rep. Bolin said.

 

Twenty-four Representatives, the minimum number needed, agreed with Rep. Bolin and supported the smoke out. HB 1187, which is opposed by ASBSD, will be debated and voted on by the entire body on Tuesday.

 

Earlier in the day, House Education committee members voted 8-7 to defeat the bill.

 

“I think this is a terrible precedent (to set),” Rep. Timothy Johns said about the bill and its potential to open the door for additional academic assignments and activities students could opt out of.

 

Proponents of the bill argued it protected parents’ rights and the assessments were unnecessary and not supported by the public.

 

“Parents don’t want this. The only ones that want this are the pushers of Common Core,” Rep. Elizabeth May said. “These tests don’t mean anything. I would argue we could do away with tests completely.”

 

Opponents of HB 1187 supported the assessment’s capability to measure student progression and said permitting the right to opt out of the assessment would hinder measurements.

 

“(The assessment) informs teachers about (student) progression. With allowing kids to opt out it’s going to (create) incomplete data,” Secretary of Education Melody Schopp testified during the bill’s committee hearing. “I ask you to think about the ramifications.”

 

The bill’s potential ramifications will now be discussed on the House floor.

 

For updates on HB 1187 and other legislation, check the ASBSD Blog and Bill Tracker page.

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