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Thu May 30, 2013
Senators Reject Delay of Teacher Evaluation, School Grading Changes
Attempts to slow down parts of a public education overhaul have been quashed.
The Senate Education Committee opted Thursday not to take action on a bill that would have put off changes to the school grading system that take ACT results into account.
Rep. Kenny Havard, who authored the bill, said using the college entrance exam in performance score calculations will penalize schools where career-bound students opt not to prepare for or take the test. Schools graded a “C” or worse by the state can lose students and resources.
“The schools get dinged and there are going to be unintended consequences," Havard said.
Chas Roemer is president of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education that approved the grading method using the ACT.
"We ought to push, and we ought to ask our own students, and our own schools, and our own teachers to set the bar as high as possible. And one of the things that does that is requiring an ACT test," Roemer said.
The exam will account for 25 percent of public high schools’ performance scores going forward.
The Senate Education Committee also deferred a bill that would have delayed the disciplinary consequences of new teacher evaluations for another year. Teachers rated “ineffective” could be fired.
Both bills passed with overwhelming majorities on the House floor, but are now likely dead for the legislative session.