In response to the growing public concern about the Common Core, the Common Core Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) testing scheme, and the inappropriate and unfair use of standardized test scores when evaluating Connecticut’s public school teachers, a growing number of state representatives and state senators are stepping forward and introducing legislation that would stop, or at least slow down, the damaging Corporate Education Reform Industry’s agenda that is undermining public education in Connecticut.
Congratulations are in order for every one of these elected officials since, in virtually every situation, their legislative proposals are challenging the policies that have been promoted by Governor Dannel Malloy and his pro-education reform administration.
It is interesting to note that most of these important bills have been proposed by Republican members of the Connecticut General Assembly, but an increasing number of Democratic legislators are standing up and speaking out in favor of Connecticut’s students, parents, teachers and public schools.
Special credit goes out to State Representative Melissa Ziobron, who represents the 34th House District which includes East Hampton, East Haddam, and a part of Colchester.
Representative Ziobron, who is in her second term, has become one of the most outspoken proponents of public education.
As a former member of a Board of Education she witnessed the growing negative consequences of the “No Child Left Behind Act” and the “Race to the Top Initiative,” especially in the standardized testing nightmare that is now driving public education in the country.
As a parent and legislator, she used her first term to study the real issues associated with the Common Core, its testing system and the impact of unfunded mandates on public education.
While recognizing that public education continues to face major challenges and problems that must be addressed, Representative Ziobron has become an advocate for parents who wish to opt their children out of the Common Core tests and for policies that support, not undermine, the role of parents, teachers, and local citizens in how their local schools should be run.
As for legislation now before the General Assembly, the following is an initial list of pro-public education bills that have been introduced so far this session.
A review of the list of sponsors highlights the fact that more and more legislators are responding to the demand that legislative action is needed to protect and support our public schools.
This list of bills will be updated as additional pieces of legislation are identified. Readers can learn more about these bills and identify when action on them is taking place by going to the Connecticut General Assembly’s bill-tracking website: http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/cgasearches.asp
Proposed legislation on the Common Core Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) System;
HB 5398 – AN ACT CONCERNING PARENTAL OPT OUT OF STATE-WIDE EXAMINATIONS FOR STUDENTS; Purpose: To allow the parent or guardian of a student to opt their child out of taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment. Sponsor: Rep. Ziobron,
HB 6422 – AN ACT REPEALING THE REQUIREMENT THAT STUDENTS IN GRADE ELEVEN TAKE THE SMARTER BALANCED ASSESSMENTS; Purpose: To repeal the requirement that students in grade eleven take the Smarter Balanced Assessments. Sponsors: Rep. Ziobron, Rep. Kokoruda,
Proposed legislation to slow down or push back against the Common Core;
HB 5137 – AN ACT CONCERNING THE CREATION OF A DATABASE TO COLLECT INFORMATION RELATING TO COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS IMPLEMENTATION; Purpose: To create a database to track funds being used to implement the common core state standards. Sponsor: Rep. Ziobron
HB 5680 – AN ACT CONCERNING A STUDY EVALUATING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS. Purpose: To conduct a study of the effectiveness of the Common Core State Standards to help policymakers evaluate whether and to what extent the Common Core State Standards are working or should be modified. Sponsors: Rep. MacLachlan, Rep. Carney
SB 785 – AN ACT CONCERNING REVISIONS TO THE COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS CURRICULUM. Purpose: To allow for necessary changes to the Common Core State Standards. Sponsors: Sen. Markley
SB 344 – AN ACT CONCERNING THE PHASE IN OF THE COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS AND SMARTER BALANCED ASSESSMENT; Purpose: To phase in the common core state standards and Smarter Balanced assessments in the public schools. Sponsors: Sen. Boucher
HB 5544 – AN ACT CONCERNING THE PROVISION OF CURRICULUM MATERIALS RELATING TO THE COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS TO SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND TEACHERS. HB 5544 Purpose: To support school districts and teachers by supplying them with materials necessary to teach the Common Core State Standards. Sponsors: Rep. Yaccarino
Proposed legislation to protect student data from the Common Core Testing Companies
SB 786 – AN ACT PROHIBITING THE DISCLOSURE OF PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE STUDENT INFORMATION. Purpose: To prevent the disclosure of student information. Sponsor: Sen. Markley
Proposed legislation requiring an appropriate teacher evaluation program THAT DOES NOT INAPPROPRIATELY utilize standardized test scores.
HB 5400 – AN ACT CONCERNING THE PROHIBITION OF THE USE OF STUDENT MASTERY TEST RESULTS IN TEACHER PERFORMANCE EVALUATIONS. Purpose: To prohibit the use of students’ mastery test results in an individual teacher’s performance evaluation. Sponsor: Rep. Ziobron
HB 5138 – AN ACT PROHIBITING THE USE OF STUDENT MASTERY TEST RESULTS IN TEACHER PERFORMANCE EVALUATIONS. Purpose: To prohibit the use of students’ mastery test results in an individual teacher’s performance evaluation. Sponsors: Rep. Srinivasan, Sen. Witkos
HB 5681 -AN ACT REPEALING THE REQUIREMENT THAT TEACHER PERFORMANCE EVALUATIONS INCLUDE STUDENT MASTERY TEST RESULTS; Purpose: To uncouple students’ test results on the Smarter Balanced Assessment from a teacher’s performance evaluation. Sponsors: Rep. Candelora, Rep. Fritz
HB 5987 – AN ACT CONCERNING THE EXCLUSION OF CERTAIN ELL STUDENT TEST SCORES AS PART OF TEACHER PERFORMANCE EVALUATIONS AND SCHOOL DISTRICT PERFORMANCE MEASURES. Purpose: To limit the use of certain ELL student performance data in teacher performance evaluations and school district performance measures. Sponsors: Rep. Candelaria, Sen. Boucher, Rep. Johnson, S. 049
Proposed legislation holding Charter Schools accountable:
HB 6003 – AN ACT CONCERNING A MORATORIUM ON NEW CHARTER SCHOOLS AND A REVIEW OF EXISTING CHARTER SCHOOLS. Purpose: To place a moratorium on the approval of new charter schools by the Commissioner of Education require the Department of Education to conduct a review of existing charter schools. Sponsors Rep. Vargas, Rep. Gonzalez, Rep. Johnson, et. al.
HB 6532 – AN ACT CONCERNING CHARTER SCHOOL TRANSPARENCY, ACCOUNTABILITY AND PERFORMANCE. Purpose: To improve charter school transparency, accountability and performance. Sponsor: Rep Rojas