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Wednesday Churn: Testing bill diluted

What’s churning:

Updated 12:15 p.m. – Sen. Keith King, R-Colorado Springs, today watered down one of his key bills and saw another delayed.

King has been a major legislative voice on education for years, and he wants to end his lawmaking career on a high note.

King has said the top priority for his last session is Senate Bill 12-047, which proposed to require that every high school student take the same basic skills assessment tests that community colleges use to place incoming students. The idea is that giving such tests in high school would provide early warning of student deficiencies and give high schools the chance to catch students up before they get to college – and need remediation.

The Senate Education Committee today passed an amended version of the bill that says districts “may” give such tests but don’t have to do so. A sticking point with King’s original version was its potential cost.

King runs Colorado Springs Early Colleges, uses the Accuplacer tests there and is an evangelist for their usefulness.

Also on the committee’s agenda today was King’s Senate Bill 12-106. That’s even more of a blue-sky proposal that would expand the powers of early colleges (if they’re accredited by regional higher education authorities) to offer college-level classes. The committee delayed action on the bill until Thursday.

King decided not to run for reelection after the redistricting process put him in the same district as another Republican incumbent.

What’s on tap:

Following a 5 p.m. work session, the Adams 12-Five Star regular board meeting starts at 7 p.m. at the educational support center, 1500 E. 128th Ave. in Thornton. Agenda

Good reads from elsewhere:

Wisconsin vouchers: Milwaukee was a pioneer in vouchers, and a new study finds that voucher student enrollment has grown significantly in Wisconsin following enactment of a new law that was championed by controversial Gov. Scott Walker. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has the story.

The EdNews’ Churn is a daily roundup of briefs, notes and meetings in the world of Colorado education. To submit an item for consideration in this listing, please email us at EdNews@EdNewsColorado.org.

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