Common Core Repeal Bill Hits Colorado House

Photo credit: Hustvedt (CC-By-SA 3.0)
Photo credit: Hustvedt (CC-By-SA 3.0)

Colorado legislators in the state’s House of Representatives filed a bill, HF 1208, that would repeal the Common Core State Standards and pull the state from the PARCC assessment consortium.  HF 1208 that was introduced early this month is sponsored by State Representative Gordon Klingenschmitt (R-Colorado Springs).  The bill has been co-sponsored by State Representatives J. Paul Brown (R-Ignacio), Perry Buck (R-Windsor), Justin Everett (R-Littleton), Stephen Humphrey (R-Severence), Janak Joshi (R-Colorado Springs), Clarice Navarro (R-Pueblo), Dan Nordberg (R-Colorado Springs), Kim Ransom (R-Littleton) and Kevin Van Winkle (R-Highlands Ranch).

HF 1208 is also co-sponsored by State Senators Kent Lambert (R-Colorado Springs) and Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud).

Below is an excerpt of the bill’s summary:

The bill repeals the existing academic standards for English language arts and mathematics and requires the state board to adopt new academic standards in these subjects. After adopting the academic standards, the state board must prepare a report that compares the new standards with the previous standards for these subjects and identifies the differences between the old and new standards and submit the report to the general assembly. The state board must ensure that all of the academic standards it adopts are sufficiently general that they do not require a local education provider to adopt specific curricula, textbooks, or other educational materials in order to meet the standards.

The bill requires the state board to adopt state assessments for English language arts and mathematics that are aligned with the new academic standards for these subjects. Until the new state assessments are adopted, the department of education (department) will administer state assessments that are aligned with the standards adopted in 2009 for these subjects.

The bill instructs the state board to adopt requirements and criteria for including an assessment submitted by a local education provider in the state system of assessments. The department will review each submitted assessment to ensure that it meets the requirements and that data from the assessment can be used to measure academic performance statewide. If the department finds that the assessment meets the requirements and the data will be useable, the state board must include the assessment in the state assessment system, and a local education provider may administer the assessment in lieu of a state assessment. The state board and the department must amend the state plan as necessary to allow the use of assessments submitted by local education providers in the state assessment system.

Under the bill, the state board and the department may not enter into any type of agreement or contract with a federal agency or private entity that in any way cedes or limits state or local discretion or control over academic standards and assessments. The bill repeals the requirement that the state board participate in one of the consortia of states that develops assessments for the standards adopted in English language arts and mathematics and states that the state is not a member of a consortium as of the effective date of the bill. The bill requires the state board to adopt state assessments, perform a fiscal analysis on any proposed or adopted assessments, and submit the analysis to the general assembly. The bill allows a parent to excuse his or her child from participating in a state assessment, without incurring consequences for the child, a teacher, an administrator, or the local education provider.

The bill requires each local education provider to adopt a school readiness description and school readiness assessments and a description of postsecondary and workforce readiness. A local education provider may choose to adopt the state school readiness description and school readiness assessments, and the state description of postsecondary and workforce readiness.

The bill specifies the general assembly’s intent that preparing for and completing the state and local assessments, combined, should not take more than 10% of the instruction time in a school year.

The bill requires each local education provider to adopt and implement a written policy and procedures to allow parents and legal guardians to excuse students from participating in the state and local assessments, without incurring negative consequences. The local education provider must make copies of the policy and procedures available to students and their parents or legal guardians before classes commence each school year.

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