SB 157A Contract for high school testing

VOTE: NO – Died In Committee

Status (overview) of bill: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019R1/Measures/Overview/SB157
Committee assigned to bill: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019R1/Committees/WM/Overview

Personal Choice and Responsibility
Currently, students can opt-out of Smarter Balance testing, and if they are college bound they will take the SAT or ACT for college registration.

Limited Government
ORS 329.485(2)(b) requires Oregon Department of Education directly develop the statewide assessment system in mathematics, science, English, history, geography, economics and civics. Now, to bring the department into compliance, this bill adds (c) requiring the department to contract out their responsibility for math and English. In 2009 they contracted with Smarter Balance prior to the authority to do so. States are withdrawing from Smarter Balance and PARCC testing compacts. Smarter Balanced is in better shape than PARCC, but has lost a few members. Missouri and Maine just dropped out this year. Wisconsin is on the verge of defunding it. North Carolina continues their review process and could be leaving as well. Two states, North Dakota and West Virginia, have lawsuits pending. Currently, students in Oregon take the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) summative assessments in mathematics and English language arts at the end of each school year from third grade through eighth grade and once in high school. The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and American College Testing (ACT) are examples of nationally recognized academic assessments that are also used for entrance into post-secondary institutions. This measure requires ODE to contract with a nonprofit entity (Smarter Balance) to administer a nationally recognized assessment to meet Oregon’s high school assessment requirement.

Local Control
The bill started out giving school district more options for the students that take a national assessment, but amendment restricts districts to requiring the statewide assessments by Smarter Balance and no longer allows for an opt-out.

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