Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Senate Bill 1 Amended By House Committee

The House Education Committee amended and approved Senate Bill 1 this afternoon, and a House Floor vote is imminent. If the bill becomes law as amended by the House:
  • 2009 testing will include all of CATS, but no accountability index will be calculated. The only accountability will be from NCLB, for reading and math proficiency.
  • 2010 and 2011 testing will include reading, mathematics, science, social studies, and writing, but again, the only accountability will be reading and math for NCLB.
  • State academic content standards for reading, math, science, and social studies will be revised, using the detailed process from HB 508, to be complete by December 2010.
  • 2011-12 will be the first year of the new test.
  • The new test will include reading, math, science, social studies and writing, using constructed response and on-demand prompts as well as multiple choice, with criterion-referenced and norm-reference scoring.
  • Explore, Plan, and ACT will be used every year, including this year.
  • Program reviews will be used for arts, career studies, and the writing portfolio, with districts checking annually and the department checking every other year.
  • The new accountability system will include the parts of the new test, Explore/Plan/ACT, and the program reviews.
The bill does contain some other elements from HB 508 and the Senate version of SB 1, and I hope to be able to do a full bill summary once the bill is available on line. The items above look to me like the central changes people are watching.


  1. It is wonderful that you are working so quickly to get us complete, accurate and up to date information. Your writings are more detailed and deeper in scope than most available from any other source. Thanks!

  2. In your judgement, is this a good thing or a bad thing overall? I agree with Secretary Grayson about Civic education. We shouldn't stop testing social studies, science, and the humanities just because other states don't and we don't have scores with which to compare them. That just seems like a cheap argument to me. Do you think this is a step backwards?

  3. Is SB 1 with House amendments still current? I'm hearing from other sources about a House substitution for SB 1 that is dractically different from the amended version of SB 1 summarized here.

  4. Tyler,

    The long term plan looks good to me, addressing all core content either with an accountable test or with a program review if it's a subject that's proven hard to test well.

    The short term capitulation is a terrible thing: we need steady accountability for the full curriculum and a three-year vacation is completely wrong.

  5. Anon@8:51,

    Today and tomorrow are the last days for House and Senate to concur on bills, so things are crazy right now. My summary is from a paper copy of the House Committee Sub that was voted out of committee yesterday, and I'm pretty sure the same thing passed the House floor and got rejected by the Senate last night. What you're hearing could be two days old and out of date, or it could be this morning's news that I haven't heard yet. Could you share a bit more about what you've heard and the source?

  6. Susan:
    Thanks for bringing us timely information on the bills. I agree with you about the lack of accountabilty for 3 years. We're giving schools a pass. For those that have worked hard this year to improve past performance it will be a letdown. There will not be a sense of urgency to improve instruction and performance in all areas. This will be a challenge for all members of a school community and require the school leadership to re-focus almost immediately.

  7. Can someone please define for me what a "program review" for the arts would entail. I'm an art teacher of grades 4th-8th (currently 2 tested grades in A&H 5th & 8th). In a discussion about our Arts & Humanitites rotation schedule for next year...I said that we need to make sure that all students are provided equal opportunity in the arts administrator said to me, "Well you know that A&H is no longer going to be part of the assessment" as if it doesn't matter now because its not going to be tested. Does this mean that the Arts will no longer be a vital part of our KY students' educational requirements? Tell me it isn't so! Will the arts teachers layoffs in KY be the next headlines?

  8. Anonymous 9:23, your questions is great, and probably important to other readers. I'll get a post up on the subject tonight.

  9. What does it actually mean for Program Review for the Writing Portfolios??? Are they in or out? That is very confusing.

  10. Hello, Anon!

    Simplest answer: they're out.

    Slightly version of the same answer: individual student scores on the writing portfolio will no longer be part of a school's accountability results.

    Addition: but students will keep portfolios in primary through grade 12, school councils will have writing program policies, districts will check school writing programs against state guidelines annually, and the state itself will check every other year. The district and state checks will be called program reviews, and schools will be accountable for those results.

    Think of program reviews as evaluating the quality of writing curriculum and instruction, so that we're using a close look at those "inputs" from teachers in place of the portfolio "outcomes" in student work.


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