Senate Republicans Introduce Common Core Refusal Bill (Updated)
Two freshman Republican lawmakers this week introduced a bill that’s aimed at strengthening parents ability to have their children opt out from Common Core testing.
The measure, known as the Common Core Refusal Act, would require the state Department of Education to notify parents of their right to not have children in grades 3 through 8 participate in Common Core-based testing.
The bill was introduced by GOP Sens. Terrence Murphy and Rich Funke.
Updated: The bill is being carried by Republican Assemblyman Jim Tedisco in the Democratic-led chamber.
“This bill codifies that parents receive proper notification of their rights as it relates to refusing to have their children participate in these field tests,” the bill’s memorandum states. “More importantly, it protects school districts, individual schools, teachers, and students alike from facing any withholding of funds, state takeovers, sanctions, negative impact on a teacher’s evaluation or any other punitive measures associated with the outcomes related to test refusal.”
Specifically, the bill is taking aim at tests provided by Pearson, an education company that has provided Common Core-based testing and has come under scrutiny for its $32 million contract to administer the tests for the state.
The bill would require a “universal notification” posted on school district websites as well as a mailed notification to parents.
The measure would block punishment for not participating in the tests, including withholding state aid and include protections for both teachers and students.
The bill comes after a pitched election year debate over the controversial education standards in schools across the state.
Republican candidate for governor Rob Astorino ran on a newly formed Stop Common Core ballot line last year, which has now morphed into the Reform Party ballot line with a broadened agenda (to the consternation of anti-Common Core advocates).
Lawmakers estimate that 60,000 students last year declined to participate in Common Core-based testing.
Common Core has made for unlikely allies in New York and nationally for both conservatives who are skeptically of a nationally imposed education standard as well as teachers unions.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo last year negotiated a bill with the statewide teachers union that would delay the impact of Common Core testing on teacher evaluations.
But Cuomo ultimately vetoed that measure as he pursues this year a more stringent teacher evaluation law.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on March 5, 2015 at 11:01 am, and is filed under Education. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|