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Testing, standards bills keep piling up

Two new Republican testing bills and a proposal on flexibility for rural districts were introduced in the House Friday before lawmakers left the Capitol for a three-day weekend.

The new measures bring to five the number of testing and standards bills introduced so far, three in the House and two in the Senate. The House bills all are sponsored by Republicans, who are in the minority in that chamber. On the other hand, the Senate bills are by Democrats, the minority party there.

Here’s a look at the new bills:

House Bill 15-1123 – Allows district and charter boards to administer only the language arts, math and science tests required by federal law and to stop administering the ACT test to 11th graders. The bill also allows districts to choose their own school readiness and early literacy tests rather than following current state requirements. It also would require the Department of Education to adjust the growth model and accountability requirements to accommodate local district choices. Prime sponsor: Rep. Jack Tate, R-Centennial.

House Bill 15-1125 – Withdraws Colorado from the Common Core State Standards and the PARCC testing consortium, reduces state testing and makes numerous other changes in the testing and standards systems, including creation of a schedule for updating standards. Prime sponsors: Republican Reps. Paul Lundeen of Monument and Terri Carver of Colorado Springs; Sen. Chris Holbert, R-Parker.

House Bill 15-1124 – Permits rural school districts to receive the same waivers from various state laws and rules as those allowed to charter schools. It also allows rural districts to request waivers from the state system of school readiness assessments. Prime sponsor: Rep. Perry Buck, R-Windsor.