This Week in Politics in 5 Sentences (or Fewer)

Bob Kefgen's picture

Thursday morning's House Education Reform Committee hearing was pretty much the only education-related legislative action this week, but the panel managed to pack a lot into a one-hour hearing. The committee overwhelmingly reported out a pair of bills (HB 5707 and 6401) that would return the percentage of teacher and school administrator evaluations that must be based on student growth to 25% (back down from 40% where it moved at the beginning of this school year). The bills would NOT affect the other change in evaluation law that took affect this year: the requirement for ELA and math teachers in grades 4-8 to have half of their student growth data be based on state assessments. The House panel also reported out HB 6291—legislation dealing with CTE program slots for charter schools introduced in response to a situation in St. Clair County—and took further testimony on HB 6314-15—a pair of bills that would create a special designation for so-called innovation schools. The latter bill package is the latest in a series of legislative actions to promote competency-based education and support schools and districts that adopt elements of this model (in this case by potentially granting a sweeping set of exceptions to pupil accounting and state assessment requirements) and creates yet another front for debate going into what is already promising to be a contentious lame duck session.