Dear PTA Members,
Wednesday afternoon, the House passed House Bill 2214 which will make needed reforms to academic testing in Washington State. The Washington State PTA supports this effort and we are asking you to Take Action and send a message to the state senate urging its passage out of the senate this Thursday.
The bipartisan proposal was developed by Representatives Chad Magandenz, Chris Reykdal and David Taylor. According to prime sponsor Representative Chris Reykdal, “There is a moment to reflect if we have layered on too many things. Have we added too much cost, have we made the system more complex than we intended, and did we actually encourage students out of our system instead of encourage them to work hard?” The bill would reduce the seven high school assessments to three – Language Arts, Math, and a comprehensive science assessment, saves $60 million over the four year forecast, and restores local control.
Representative Magendanz in his closing remarks noted that the bill “addresses both rigor and a forward-looking intervention that is going to benefit kids, create more opportunities for higher education to handle greater capacity, and it’s much better than the current practice of collection of evidence.” We at the Washington State PTA agree and we urge you to contact your state senator and tell them to pass House Bill 2214 today.
And more about that bill (thank you Linda Myrick via Veronica Cook):
Rep. Chris Reykdal's message: "With an 87-7 vote, the State House just passed HB-2214. This bill reduces the number of standardized high school tests (from7 to 3). It saves $30 million per biennium and compels students to take rigorous coursework their senior year when they don't meet standard on junior-year assessments. With fewer tests and more courses, far more students will attend college without the need for remediation.
Please encourage the Senate to act! 2,000 kids are at risk of not graduating in the coming weeks because of one biology test. It will be tens of thousands in math in the coming years if we don't act now.
We need to be about student growth, not a test-driven bar that rejects our kids. When we deny kids a diploma we rob them of economic opportunity. We can have rigor and course-based solutions. Tests do not equal rigor, they are merely a temporary gauge.
Let's trust our teachers to get our kids to our new higher standards!"
Personally, I would love to see even fewer standardized tests for our kids. But kids are at risk right now, today, and we need an immediate solution to a problem that is of our own making. We have created a testing culture that is unhealthy for our kids and our schools. This bill could be a small step in the right direction. Please, Senators, let's get this done. Now.
Cyrus Habib Mike Sells Marko Liias Maralyn Chase Bob Hasegawa David Frockt Rosemary McAuliffe
PLEASE TELL YOUR FRIENDS. THIS IS URGENT FOR THESE KIDS!
Article just posted explains impact: http://www.ksl.com/?sid=34822536&nid=
And more (thank you, Kendahl):
This is what David Frock said:
Pass the word around and get people to email legislators particularly those on the senate education committee and in Republican senate leadership. Republicans in particular. I can surmise that virtually all of the 23 senate democrats are likely to support the bill. But we need the Rs to agree to bring the bill up for a vote. I suspect it passes relatively easily if it is put on the floor as I'm betting there are many Rs who have heard fr their constituents - as I have - that we need a better approach to assessments.
Click on this link and go down to early learning and K-12 education. You can click on each name to get their email. http://app.leg.wa.gov/rosters/CommitteeMembersByCommittee.aspx?Chamber=S
I also know that Pam Roach http://pamroach.src.wastateleg.org/ and Marayln Chase http://sdc.wastateleg.org/Chase/ are people that need to hear that this may not be a perfect bill but is a step in the right direction.
Here are the others:
I would have anyone you know sending emails too. We need to flood them with the info.
Shoreline PTA Council