Legislative Call to Action 4/6/14

The Parental Notification of Testing bill (HB 2167) is going to be heard in the full House on Wednesday, 4/9, at 9:00 AM. This is the last legislative hurdle it must clear before it goes to Governor Haslam’s desk. (Its companion bill passed unanimously in the Senate this past Thursday!) The Parental Review of Materials/Opt Out (HB 2453) bill will be heard in the House Education Committee on Tuesday, 4/8, at 11 AM, and its companion Senate bill (SB 2559) will be heard in the full Senate on Tuesday, 4/8, at 10:30 AM.

Contact House Education Committee

Please cut and paste the below text (or something similar) into an email and send it to the emails listed below. If your House Representative happens to be on the Committee, please call his/her office directly and ask him/her to vote in favor of HB 2453. (Phone calls are generally more effective than emails.)

Dear House Education Committee,

I urge you to please vote yes on the Parental Review of Materials (HB 2453) bill. Parents deserve to know which tests and surveys our children are being given and they should also have the right to review/refuse these materials.

Thank you,

rep.mark.white@capitol.tn.gov,rep.harry.brooks@capitol.tn.gov, rep.john.deberry@capitol.tn.gov, rep.john.forgety@capitol.tn.gov, rep.roger.kane@capitol.tn.gov, rep.harold.love@capitol.tn.gov, rep.debra.moody@capitol.tn.gov, rep.joe.pitts@capitol.tn.gov, rep.dawn.white@capitol.tn.gov, rep.raumesh.akbari@capitol.tn.gov, rep.kevin.brooks@capitol.tn.gov, rep.jim.coley@capitol.tn.gov, rep.bill.dunn@capitol.tn.gov, rep.ron.lollar@capitol.tn.gov, rep.ryan.williams@capitol.tn.gov

Harry Brooks (Chair) 615-741-6879, John Forgety (Vice-Chair) 615-741-1725, Raumesh Akbari 615-741-3830, Kevin Brooks 615-741-1350, Jim Coley 615-741-8201, Bill Dunn 615-741-1721, Roger Kane 615-741-4110, Ron Lollar 615-741-7084, Harold Love 615-741-3831, Debra Moody 615-741-3774, Joe Pitts 615-741-2043, Dawn White 615-741-6849, Mark White 615-741-4415, Ryan Williams 615-741-1875

Contact House Representatives

Please contact your House Representative and ask him/her to vote yes on the Parental Notification of Testing bill (HB 2167) . You can find his/her information at this link–and remember that phone calls are more effective than emails.

Contact Senators

Please contact your Senator about the Parental Review of Materials (SB 2559) bill that will be heard in the Senate on Tuesday. Go to this link to find his/her contact information and ask him/her to vote yes on this bill.

Thank you for continuing to fight against the Tennessee testing madness!

 

Legislative Call to Action 4/2/14

The Parental Notification of Testing bill (HB 2167) passed the House Education Committee unanimously on Tuesday and is waiting in the Calendar Committee to be placed on the full House schedule. It’s companion bill in the Senate, SB 2404, was scheduled to be heard today, but the session was adjourned before it could be heard. It is scheduled to be heard in the full Senate Thursday at 9:00 AM.  The Parental Review of Materials/Opt Out (HB 2453) bill that was scheduled to be heard on Tuesday was rolled in the House Education Committee because of some confusion among legislators regarding the opt out provision of the bill. (At least one member believed it should be “opt in” versus “opt out”. Opt in would, clearly, provide us with more control over the tests and surveys our children take. ) The companion Parental Review of Materials/Opt Out (SB 2559) Senate bill is currently waiting in the Calendar Committee to be scheduled for the full Senate.

Contact House Education Committee

Please cut and paste the below text (or something similar) into an email and send it to the emails listed below. If your House Representative happens to be on the Committee, please call his/her office directly and ask him/her to vote in favor of these bills. (Phone calls are generally more effective than emails.)

Dear House Education Committee,

I urge you to please vote yes on the Parental Review of Materials (HB 2453). Parents deserve to know which tests and surveys our children are being given and they should also have the right to review/refuse these materials. 

Thank you,

rep.mark.white@capitol.tn.gov,rep.harry.brooks@capitol.tn.gov, rep.john.deberry@capitol.tn.gov, rep.john.forgety@capitol.tn.gov, rep.roger.kane@capitol.tn.gov, rep.harold.love@capitol.tn.gov, rep.debra.moody@capitol.tn.gov, rep.joe.pitts@capitol.tn.gov, rep.dawn.white@capitol.tn.gov, rep.raumesh.akbari@capitol.tn.gov, rep.kevin.brooks@capitol.tn.gov, rep.jim.coley@capitol.tn.gov, rep.bill.dunn@capitol.tn.gov, rep.ron.lollar@capitol.tn.gov, rep.ryan.williams@capitol.tn.gov

Harry Brooks (Chair) 615-741-6879, John Forgety (Vice-Chair) 615-741-1725, Raumesh Akbari 615-741-3830, Kevin Brooks 615-741-1350, Jim Coley 615-741-8201, Bill Dunn 615-741-1721, Roger Kane 615-741-4110, Ron Lollar 615-741-7084, Harold Love 615-741-3831, Debra Moody 615-741-3774, Joe Pitts 615-741-2043, Dawn White 615-741-6849, Mark White 615-741-4415, Ryan Williams 615-741-1875

Contact House Representatives

The Parental Notification of Testing bill (HB 2167) has not been placed on the full House calendar yet, but the House is now moving in “Flow Motion” so they are able to suspend rules and push bills through the committee process much more quickly. Please contact your House Representative and let them know that you want them to vote yes on this bill. You can find their information at http://www.capitol.tn.gov/legislators/. And remember that phone calls are more effective than emails.

Contact Senators

Please contact your Senator about the Parental Notification of Testing (SB 2404) and Parental Review of Materials/Opt Out bills that will be heard in the Senate very soon. (Please act quickly because the vote for the Parental Notification bill is at 9:00 on Thursday morning and, because the bills are now being heard at such a rapid pace, it is possible that they Parental Review of Materials bill could be heard with little to no warning.)  Go to this link to find his/her contact information and ask him/her to vote yes on these bills. (Phone calls are generally more effective than emails.)

Thank you for continuing to fight against the Tennessee testing madness!

 

URGENT PARCC Field Test Information

The PARCC field test in Tennessee runs March 24-April 11, 2014 & May 5-June 6, 2014 and will include a survey. This test benefits the billion-dollar, for-profit company, Pearson, that produces this test–not our children. Some parents, including many Stop the TN Testing Madness Members, are refusing to let their children take this test.

Click here to see a tentative list of participating schools that was provided by the TN DOE. We have received word that this list is not complete and that there are some schools that are administering the test that are not included on this list; so we recommend that you contact your child’s school even if you do not see it on this list. When you call, talk to your child’s teacher or principal and find out if his/her classroom/grade level is participating in the test. Some schools are participating only in specific grade levels or classes. Click here to see a list of Metro Nashville schools that are administering the test: PARCC Field Test School Participation List 03.20.14

Feel free to copy and paste the following test refusal letter that a TN Testing Madness parent gave us permission to share:

Dear (Administrator) and (Teacher), 

My child will not be taking the PARCC field test that is being administered in his/her classroom. It is my understanding that this test is not mandated by the state of TN (http://www.wsmv.com/story/24027817/common-core-practice-test-coming-to-some-tn-schools) and there is no state law indicating that my child’s performance on this field test will affect his/her grades. This test benefits the billion-dollar, for-profit company–Pearson–that manufactures this test. If Pearson wants to use my child as a research and development subject, they can pay him/her and administer the test outside of school hours. Please allow my child to read quietly or work on schoolwork in another classroom while his/her classmates are testing. Please respond to this email and confirm that you 1) will honor my refusal of this test, 2) will allow my child to read quietly or work on schoolwork in another classroom while his/her classmates are testing, and 3) will not punish my child in any way for this refusal–including, but not limited to, docking grades, denying recess, or forcing him/her to sit in the class while others take the test. Thank you in advance for honoring my parental right to guide my child’s education. 

Sincerely, 

Thank you for continuing to fight the TN testing madness!

 

Proposed Federal Testing Law

The testing issue is finally getting some national attention!

A bipartisan bill has been introduced in Congress that would decrease the number of federally mandated tests given to our children. Please click on this link to send an email to your congressional House Representative asking him/her to support this bill.

And just yesterday (Wednesday), the Today Show did a segment on standardized testing and a Boston-area teacher who resigned because of the testing madness in the schools. You can watch part of the piece at this Facebook link. (Thanks to TN State Representative Bo Mitchell for posting this link on his page!)

Keep speaking up! The over-testing of our children is finally on our national “radar”. Let’s end this testing madness!

Call to Action! 3/25/14

The House Education Subcommittee is done hearing bills for the year, but the Senate Education Committee is hearing some testing bills today (Wednesday, 3/26) at 3:30 PM. Below is an update on bills that were heard in the House Education Subcommittee yesterday (Tuesday) and a call to action on bills that will be heard in the Senate Education Committee today.

House Education Subcommittee

Parental Notification of Testing (HB 2167): Passed. Referred to House Education Committee.

Reimbursement for Common Core Tests (HB 2290): Passed. Referred to House Education Committee.

Reimbursement for Common Core Testing Technology (HB 2336): Bill has been pulled off notice and is “dead” for the year.

Testing Opt-Out (HB 1841): Bill pulled off notice and is “dead” due to defeat in Senate Education Committee. (See HB 2453 below for more information about another opt out option.)

Parental Review of Materials/Opt Out (HB 2453): Passed!

Senate Education Committee

Parental Notification of Testing (SB 2404): Deferred to 3/26.

Reimbursement for Common Core Tests (SB 2057): Deferred to 3/26.

Testing Opt-Out (SB 2221): Defeated 8-0 with 1 abstention.

Parental Review of Materials/Opt Out (SB 2559): Deferred to 3/26.

 

Please contact the Senate Education Committee about the above bills that will be heard today if you have not done so already.  Cut and paste the below email addresses into an email and include the following (or a similar) message to the legislators:

Dear Senate Education Subcommittee,

I urge you to please vote yes on the following bills: Parental Notification of Testing (SB 2404), Reimbursement for Common Core Tests (SB 2057), and Parental Review of Materials (SB 2559). Parents deserve to know which tests and surveys our children are being given and they should also have the right to review/refuse these materials. In addition, our cash-strapped schools deserve fully-funded,state-level mandates.

Thank you,

sen.dolores.gresham@capitol.tn.gov, sen.reginald.tate@capitol.tn.gov, sen.steven.dickerson@capitol.tn.gov, sen.charlotte.burks@capitol.tn.gov, sen.stacey.campfield@capitol.tn.gov, sen.rusty.crowe@capitol.tn.gov, sen.todd.gardenhire@capitol.tn.gov, sen.joey.hensley@capitol.tn.gov, sen.brian.kelsey@capitol.tn.gov

 

Legislative Call to Action! 3/20/14

We anticipated that there would be no more House Education Subcommittee and Senate Education Committee meetings after this week. That is not the case because all of the bills we told you about earlier this week were deferred to meetings that will be held early next week.

House Education Subcommittee

Parental Notification of Testing (HB 2167): Deferred to 3/25.

Reimbursement for Common Core Tests (HB 2290): Deferred to 3/25.

Reimbursement for Common Core Testing Technology (HB 2336): Deferred to 3/25. (Not yet placed on calendar for Senate Education Committee.)

Testing Opt-Out (HB 1841): Deferred to 3/25. From bill sponsor, Rep. Gloria Johnson: “Just ran my opt out bill and lost 5-4. They are allowing me the opportunity to amend it to keep the parts they like….which means I may not like it so much…but I will work to try to get something passed!” The bill did not pass, but it appears that the committee will allow it to be reheard in another form on 3/25. Therefore the bill is considered “deferred” at this point in time.

Parental Review of Materials/Opt Out (HB 2453): Deferred to 3/25.

                                                                                                                    Senate Education Committee

Parental Notification of Testing (SB 2404): Deferred to 3/24.

Reimbursement for Common Core Tests (SB 2057): Deferred to 3/24.

Testing Opt-Out (SB 2221): Deferred to 3/24. (See note above on House version of this bill.) 

Parental Review of Materials/Opt Out (SB 2559): Deferred to 3/24

Because these bills will all be heard on Monday or Tuesday of this coming week, we urge you to please click on this link from earlier this week and send emails to the members listed in the post as soon as possible. (You can cut and paste the email addresses and the emails to simplify things.). Even if you sent emails before, we urge you to send them again. And if one of your senators and/or house representatives is on either committee, please take the time to call his/her office and ask him/her to support these bills. (Phone calls are much more effective than emails.) Click on this link to find out who your legislators are and how to contact them. Thanks for fighting against Tennessee testing madness! We must not stop now–let’s keep up the fight. Our children and their teachers are depending on us!

Contact Legislators! 3/15/14

The House Education Subcommittee is hearing several testing related bills on Tuesday morning and afternoon, as well as Wednesday afternoon. Please cut and paste the below email addresses into an email and include the following (or a similar) message to the legislators:

Dear House Education Subcommittee,

I urge you to please support the following bills: Parental Notification of Testing (HB 2167), Reimbursement for Common Core Tests (HB 2290), Reimbursement for Common Core Testing Technology (HB 2336), Testing Opt-Out (HB 1841), Parental Review of Materials/Opt Out (HB 2453). Parents deserve the right to choose if their children take questionnaires or standardized tests. And our cash-strapped schools deserve fully-funded state-level mandates. 

Thank you,

rep.mark.white@capitol.tn.gov,rep.harry.brooks@capitol.tn.gov, rep.john.deberry@capitol.tn.gov, rep.john.forgety@capitol.tn.gov, rep.roger.kane@capitol.tn.gov, rep.harold.love@capitol.tn.gov, rep.debra.moody@capitol.tn.gov, rep.joe.pitts@capitol.tn.gov, rep.dawn.white@capitol.tn.gov

The Senate Education Committee is also hearing several testing related bills on Wednesday morning at 9:30 AM. Please cut and paste the below email addresses into an email and include the following (or a similar) message to the legislators:

Dear Senate Education Subcommittee,

I urge you to please vote yes on the following bills: Parental Notification of Testing (SB 2404), Reimbursement for Common Core Tests (SB 2057), Testing Opt-Out (SB 2221), Parental Review of Materials/Opt Out (SB 2559). Parents deserve the right to choose if their children take high-stakes tests or questionnaires. And our cash-strapped schools deserve fully-funded state-level mandates. 

Thank you,

sen.dolores.gresham@capitol.tn.gov, sen.reginald.tate@capitol.tn.gov, sen.steven.dickerson@capitol.tn.gov, sen.charlotte.burks@capitol.tn.gov, sen.stacey.campfield@capitol.tn.gov, sen.rusty.crowe@capitol.tn.gov, sen.todd.gardenhire@capitol.tn.gov, sen.joey.hensley@capitol.tn.gov, sen.brian.kelsey@capitol.tn.gov

Stop Expansion of High Stakes Tests!

The Voucher bill that will push standardized testing into private schools is up for a vote in the House Finance Committee on Tuesday at 3:00. (There are also some non-testing related bills, such as for-profit charters and the state charter authorizer, that will be voted on Monday and Tuesday of this coming week.) Please click here to send an email to legislators expressing your concern about the expansion of high-stakes testing into private institutions via vouchers.

Legislative Update, March 10th

The following bill is scheduled to be heard in the House Education Subcommittee on Tuesday March, 11th. (Please click on this link to find contact information for the subcommittee.) 

Educator Respect and Accountability Act (HB2263/SB2047): “This bill prohibits the State Board of Education from using standardized test scores to revoke the licenses of teachers.”

The following bills are scheduled to be heard in the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday, 3/12. (Please click on this link to find contact information for the committee.) 

Funding for State-Mandated Tests (HB1826/SB1986):  This bill requires that the state pay for any future state-mandated tests. This is important because many districts and schools are having problems finding the funds to pay for Common Core/PARCC testing. (It is reportedly scheduled to be heard during the final House Education Subcommittee meeting.)

Educator Respect and Accountability Act (HB2263/SB2047): “This bill prohibits the State Board of Education form using standardized test scores to revoke the licenses of teachers.”

Update on Other Bills

Parental Notification of Testing (HB2167/SB2404): Has not yet been placed on the House Education Subcommittee or Senate Education Committee calendars.

Testing Opt-Out (HB1841/SB2221): Is reportedly going to be heard during the final House Education Subcommittee hearing. Has not been placed on the calendar in the Senate.

Reimbursement for Common Core Tests (HB 2290/SB 2057): Is reportedly going to be heard during the final House Education Subcommittee hearing. It is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Education Committee on 3/19.

Reimbursement for Common Core Testing Technology (HB 2336/SB 2456): Is reportedly going to be heard during the final House Education Subcommittee Hearing. Has not been placed on the calendar in the Senate.

Please call the Governors office at 615-741-2001, Speaker Harwell at 614-741-0709, and Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey at 615-741-4524 and ask that all bills related to standardized testing be heard by the legislature as soon as possible. We are tired of their stall tactics and it’s time they let our voices be heard!

Legislative Update 3/6/14

Here is an update on the testing bills that were heard in the Senate Ed Committee on Wednesday: SB 1986 that would require approval by the legislature for future state mandated tests was rolled to next week (3/12). SB 2057 that would require the state to reimburse districts for any costs related to CC testing and standard implementation was deferred until 3/19. We are still waiting on our other bills to be heard in committee. Please call the Governors office at 615-741-2001, Speaker Harwell at 614-741-0709, and Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey at 615-741-4524 and ask that all bills related to standardized testing be heard by the legislature as soon as possible. We are tired of their stall tactics and it’s time they let our voices be heard!