OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 6623 (as amended by House “A”)*

AN ACT CONCERNING STUDENT ASSESSMENTS.

SUMMARY:

This bill:

1. allows students to take their final mastery examination in grade 11 as an alternative to grade 10 beginning in the 2013-14 school year;

2. changes all references to the testing system in existing law from “state-wide mastery examination” to “mastery examination,” except for science;

3. eliminates testing requirements for endowed or incorporated high schools, but permits such schools to base promotion or graduation on a student achieving a satisfactory score;

4. requires the State Department of Education (SDE) to approve, rather than supervise, the provision and administration of all mastery exams;

5. requires SDE to conduct a study on the use of standardized testing in public schools;

6. extends, from October 1, 2007 to April 1, 2014, the deadline for the education commissioner to develop and implement an assessment tool for measuring a child's kindergarten readiness and no longer requires that this be done within available appropriations; and

7. eliminates the statutory requirement that mastery testing conform with the testing requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

The bill also makes several technical and conforming changes.

*House Amendment “A” changes the deadline for the education commissioner to create a kindergarten readiness assessment tool from April 1, 2013 to April 1, 2014, consistent with the provision's July 1, 2013 effective date.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2013, except for the provision on the study of standardized testing, which takes effect upon passage.

STUDY OF STANDARDIZED TESTS

The bill requires SDE to conduct a study of the use of standardized tests in public schools. Study topics must include (1) the fiscal, administrative, and educational impact of standardized tests and (2) a review of standardized tests currently implemented and proposed in the state. SDE must submit the study to the Education Committee by July 1, 2014.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Education Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

26

Nay

0

(03/28/2013)