UPDATE: As of June 2, the House and Senate have both passed Substitute Senate Bill 1095. Read more here.
Legislators today demonstrated they are listening to the concerns of teachers, students, and parents by rolling out Substitute Senate Bill 1095 that eliminates the SBAC exam for 11th graders and establishes a task force to examine the impact of SBAC on students in grades 3-8. The new version of the bill was announced during a press conference at the State Capitol.
CEA President Sheila Cohen said, “We commend teachers for their diligence this year in chronicling the problems with SBAC, and sharing those experiences with their legislators. We applaud legislators, especially Senator Gayle Slossberg and her Education Committee co-chair, State Representative Andy Fleischmann, for listening and taking action by advancing this proposal that increases accountability and provides a strong commitment to Connecticut’s examination of the impact of SBAC, the statewide mastery examination, on student learning time.”
Slossberg said, “The group established by this legislation will look at a number of factors including the age appropriateness of the exam and how much time it is taking students and report back to the legislature.”
“We’re hearing that children are spending days and days with the SBAC exam,” said Fleischmann. “We have to find out if it’s a good exam in terms of its impact on students and teachers.”
Cohen said that CEA will be a well-informed and outspoken advocate on the new task force. “The charge of the task force provides ample opportunity to improve the state testing program to maximize learning time for students and teachers, while ensuring student progress is effectively monitored.”
The provision to eliminate SBAC in 11th grade comes after the state’s High School Assessment Working Group, of which CEA is a member, earlier this week voted to replace SBAC with a college readiness exam 11th graders are already taking.
Fleischmann said, “Hats off to the task force that just earlier this week acted to relieve the testing bottle neck for 11th graders.”
“This reduction in testing at the high school level makes us optimistic that further improvements to provide less testing and more learning in our public schools are in the future,” said Cohen. “We look forward to action by the full Senate and House on Sub. SB 1095.”