The Senate Education Committee on Tuesday passed the four bills introduced by its chair, State Senator John Flanagan, a Long Island Republican. The measures would ban testing in early grades, require the state to redesign exams so they're more closely aligned with what students are learning, eliminate excess testing from teacher evaluation plans and increase penalties for misuse of student data.
Flanagan's data bill also calls for a one-year moratorium on uploading student information into an online database and allows school districts to opt out.
Other senators in his conference are looking for the bills to go further in slowing the implementation of the rigorous Common Core standards.
State Senator Greg Ball, from Putnam County, sponsored a bill that would ditch the Common Core altogether and introduced another that would implement a three-year moratorium on using test scores for teacher and principal evaluations. Long Island state senator Lee Zeldin released a statement Wednesday announcing his opposition to the speed of Common Core implementation.
The Flanagan bills do nothing but give more power to SED - state bureaucrats get to decide what "excessive testing" is, get to make the other decisions around testing, etc.
These bills are an attempt to make it look like there will be some changes to the SED reform agenda when there really will be no changes.
That's why King and Tisch support these bills.
The Ball bill, however, that "ditches" the CCSS and implements a three year moratorium on evaluations tied to high stakes standardized tests really does make changes to the state's reform agenda.
Which of these sets of bills is likely to pass?
You got it - the Flanagan bills that make it look like meaningful change is coming but provide little meaningful change at all.