The Testing Reduction Advisory Group recently released its recommendations that include streamlining the required number of tests students must take in order to graduate from high school.
HF1392, sponsored by Rep. Peggy Bennett (R-Albert Lea), contains similar goals, but it takes the added step of eliminating the requirement that students must take the ACT in order to graduate. Instead, its provisions would treat the ACT as an optional test that the state would pay for in 11th or 12th grade.
The House Education Innovation Policy Committee approved the bill Tuesday on a divided voice vote and sent it to the House Higher Education Policy and Finance Committee. It has no Senate companion.
Dayton wrote to House and Senate education committee members last week to express his support for reducing the number of required tests students must take by one-third.
Bennett’s bill would not go that far, but it would reduce the number of tests students must take in order to graduate and restore state standards-based assessments that provide valuable feedback to teachers, parents and students. It would also allow students enrolled in grades 8-12 to take the high school MCA exams in reading, writing and math as an alternate assessment in order to graduate from high school.
Opponents said the bill needs more time to be fully vetted by the committee and Department of Education before such drastic changes take place.
Rep. Carlos Mariani (DFL-St. Paul) stated we are asking this bill to come and totally change our student assessment system without getting the information we asked our executive branch to get for us.
Bennett stressed the need to eliminate the amount of instruction time that standardized tests eat up through the course of the academic year.