The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce supports policies that work to enhance academic achievement and accountability. We believe it is critical to demand high expectations of students and educational institutions to eliminate the achievement gap. This year we have placed the utmost importance on supporting policies that increase the number of students who are ready to pursue higher education and join our workforce equipped with the skills necessary. We have done so by focusing on Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards.
The legislature is considering a number of bills that would affect the progress teachers and students have been making over the past four years to implement higher learning standards. Our students are improving and schools do not have the time or money to constantly make changes. We have identified these bills that impact Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards:
H2180 SCHOOLS; MENU OF ASSESSMENT- Chamber is monitoring this bill
The State Board of Education would be required to adopt multiple statewide, nationally recognized achievement assessments to measure student achievement of the state academic standards. Beginning the 2015-2016 school year, the Board would allow each school district, schools, and charter schools to select from a menu the assessment that would be administered to students.
H2190 SCHOOLS; COMMON CORE; REPLACEMENT- Chamber Formally Opposes
The State Board of Education would be prohibited from adopting the Common Core standards, Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards, or any other standards or assessments aligned with those proposed by the partnership for assessment standards. Beginning with the 2015-2016 school year, the Board would be required to adopts areas of subject matter standards in specified subjects that are subject to legislative review and approval, which would be implemented statewide by every public school.
H2246 STATEWIDE ASSESSMENTS; PARENTAL OPT OUT- Chamber Formally Opposes
A parent, on behalf of that parent’s child, would have the opportunity to opt out of the statewide assessments prescribed by statute. The State Board of Education would be required to make available a form for parents to sign and submit to the school in order to opt their children out. If a parent opts out of the assessments, the lack of results for that child cannot be factored into the school or district achievement profile classification or the information contained on the school report card. For students who have opted out, the school district or charter school must use an alternative to determine whether a third grade student’s reading ability is sufficient to promote the student and to determine whether they have satisfied that portion of the high school graduation requirements.
H2392 SCHOOLS; COMMON CORE; PROHIBITION- Chamber Formally Opposes
The State Board of Education would be prohibited from implementing the Common Core Standards, Arizona’s College & Career Ready Standards or any other standards that are developed outside of Arizona.
S1191 GRADUATION; PASSING TEST SCORE; MORATORIUM- Chamber will be reviewing this bill in our Workforce Readiness Committee on February 23, 2015 at 11 AM
Students would not be required to obtain a passing score on a standardized test during the 2014-2015 through 2017-2018 school years in order to graduate from high school. This would not apply to the requirement to pass the civics portion of the naturalization test.
S1289 SCHOOLS; LETTER CLASSIFICATION; TRANSITION PROCESS- Chamber will be reviewing this bill in our Workforce Readiness Committee on February 23, 2015 at 11 AM
The Department of Education would be prohibited from assigning schools or school districts letter grade classifications for school years 2014-2015 through 2016-2017 in order for the State Board of Education to develop and implement a revised accountability system for schools and school districts. Other transitional provisions are specified. The Board would be required to report to the Governor and Legislature by Dec. 15th, 2015 with proposed legislation to implement the revised accountability system.
S1305 CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT ACADEMIC STANDARDS COMMITTEE- Chamber will be reviewing this bill in our Workforce Readiness Committee on February 23, 2015 at 11 AM
This bill establishes a 12-member Arizona Continuous Improvement Academic Standards Committee in the Department of Education to hold public meetings and seek public input in the education standards in Arizona, review academic standards and related education issues, and make recommendations to the State Board of Education for changes to the academic standards. The Board would be required to hold a public roll call vote on each standard recommended by the Committee.
S1458 SCHOOLS; ACADEMIC STANDARDS; TESTS– Chamber will be reviewing this bill in our Workforce Readiness Committee on February 23, 2015 at 11 AM
Each school district and charter school governing board would be required to adopt its own academic standards, which must meet or exceed the standards adopted by the State Board of Education for use during or after 1998-99 school year. School boards would be required to submit the standards to the Superintendent of Public Instruction for approval. School Boards would also be required to adopt an “instrument to measure standards” test, replacing the AIMS test in statute.
As mentioned, many of these bills will be going through our Workforce Readiness meeting held on February 23, 2015 at 11 AM in the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce Board Room.