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Lawmaker wants more oversight on student testing

3 years 1 month 21 hours ago April 28, 2014 Apr 28, 2014 Monday, April 28 2014 April 28, 2014 4:52 PM in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Jason Newton

BATON ROUGE - Debate over a bill intended to give the state legislature more control over standardized testing decisions was delayed until next week.

State Representative Brett Geymann (R-Lake Charles) wants more oversight when it comes to testing in education. Geymann has questions regarding the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), associated with the Common Core standards and he wants the state legislature to help in finding the answers.

"We haven't had any debate or discussions about costs of other national tests out there," Geymann said. "So the idea of HB 380 is to bring oversight over the contract before to make sure we're getting a good deal."

House Bill 380 would require approval from the legislature before the state enters into any contract for student assessments. At least one group of education advocates said that is a bad idea, aimed directly at getting rid of the Common Core, meant to compare students to others nationwide.

"You need assessments aligned to those standards in order to make sure kids learn and teachers are teaching to the standards," said Rayne Martin, executive director of Stand for Children Louisiana.

They said doing away with Common Core and PARCC would costs the state millions of dollars by having to create a new set of assessments.

"Right now we know that 30 percent of kids take remedial courses immediately," said Martin. "The assessments give us a chance to make sure that doesn't happen."

But Geymann said his bill would simply allow the state to make the best decision financially.

"It's not going into the marketplace," Geymann said. "It's not being vetted by the market, so it should require some oversight to make sure this is the best contract we can enter into."

House Bill 380 was scheduled for debate today, but was pushed back until next week.

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