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HB 91 Exposed Text
Hello. This is Dr. Mary Kay Bacallao with the Educational Freedom Coalition, reporting to you on state legislation related to common core implementation. Georgia lost academic independence through state legislation, so that is what we will address today. We will be studying HB 91. It already passed in our State House of Representatives without a single nay vote. Once we go over it, you will see why we need to stop it when it goes over to the state senate. You can print out a copy of this bill to follow along at our site: www.EducationalFreedomCoalition.com
With the passage of HB 91, students will not have to pass the High School Graduation Test to obtain a high school diploma.
Notice in line 14 that accountability includes at least one of the four measures of student achievement.
High school graduation rates
SAT or ACT performance
The High School Graduation Test, now the end of grade assessments, end of course assessments, or a combination thereof
Or Advanced Placement or international baccalaureate participation and performance
Let’s see how these accountability measures relate to common core implementation.
Let’s start with AP and IB. AP is owned and controlled by the College Board, a private company. The have re-written the U.S. History course to reflect anti-American propaganda. Nothing we do or say here in Georgia is going to change that. Now let’s look at IB. They are part of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization. Fees for IB are paid to UNESCO, so we see an anti-American sentiment in that program as well. Nothing that we do or say here in Georgia will change that. Why didn’t we eliminate number 4 as a measure of accountability?
Option 3 was changed as the High School Graduation test was struck out and end of grade and/or end of course assessments were added. The end of grade and end of course assessments are owned and controlled by the organizations that copyrighted common core. With this new system, we cannot be assured that students will graduate with basic skills in reading, writing, or math because there will be different pathways for college or career and different assessments at the end of each course. Georgia citizens will have no say in what is assessed.
Option 2 involves the SAT or the ACT. David Coleman, the man who brought us common core, is now leading the College Board, the owners of the AP program as described in option 4 and the SAT testing program. He has announced that he will be aligning the SAT with the common core.
Now let’s look at option 1, high school graduation rates. When the high school graduation test is eliminated, high school graduation rates will increase. Why? The test to ensure that high school graduates can read and write will be eliminated. It will be easier to track lower level learners into workforce tracks. When you look at what the Georgia Senate passed in SB 2, there won’t even be a need for academics beyond 10th grade for certain students. When you put HB 91 and SB 2 together, you have the bigger picture.
Look at all we have discovered about HB 91, and we are still looking at the very first page!
Let’s look at page 3 line 93. With the passage of this bill, the 11thgrade curriculum graduation assessment is eliminated. The separate writing assessments are also eliminated. There will not be “writing assessments.” Writing will be assessed, but in the new Georgia Milestones test, it will be part other assessments. A separate score for writing will not be available because it will be considered part of all other subjects including English/Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies.
If we look at page 4, line 98 we see the change to nationally norm-referenced instruments. The Georgia Milestones test that was purchased from McGraw-Hill, the private company that owns the copyright on the common core standards, has a nationally norm referenced component. This component would also satisfy the state requirement for homeschool students to take a nationally norm referenced test. The GMAS is a common core aligned test.
In looking at page 5, line 139, we see that special education students will not be able to have an alternate assessment. They will have to take the grade level based GMAS test. We also see in line 151 that the education team will not be able to choose appropriate assessments. They may select accommodations. Many students with disabilities will have the test read to them by the computer as an accommodation. If this is the case, the teachers will not have to teach these students how to read.
On page 6, lines 190-200 ensure that there will not be no waivers that would allow local boards to administer higher level tests.
On page 7, lines 226-228 offers waivers from end of course assessments for students passing industry certification examinations or state licensure examinations if a student fails the end of course assessment four times, so that the students will still be able to graduate.
On page 8 lines 224-249 the removal of the high school graduation test is retroactive. This will permit these students to graduate and attend college without the need for a GED or a passing score on the High School Graduation test.
On page 9 we see that this bill mirrors what is happening at the federal level with the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Assessments and placements are made in grades 3, 5, and 8. These will determine if a student is tracked into an academic track or a workforce track. They are not offered at the high school level, because once a student reaches high school, the decisions will already be made.
On page 10 in lines 330-334 we see that the parent is one of three on the placement committee, if students do not pass the assessments.
On page 12 in line 383 notice that there is no need for the Governor to sign this legislation, it will become law without such approval.
Let’s summarize. HB 91 promotes and strengthens common core in Georgia. It removes the only non-common core test we have left, the high school graduation test. It supports private organizations such as the anti-American AP and IB programs. It requires common core based end of course tests. It allows students to graduate from high school and be eligible for college without passing the high school graduation test or the GED. If HB 91 passes in the Georgia senate, ALL the accountability measures will be based on Common Core. The governor will not even have to sign the legislation.
When we look at the federal reauthorization of ESEA, we can see that Georgia’s own Johnny Isakson was one of the sponsors of the first version, S. 1101 put out in 2013. It was 220 pages. Notice the use of the word OR in college OR career. The 2015 version does not have any names on it, and it is 387 pages. It ties common core implementation to Title 1 funding, so it must be stopped.
We will update you with more information on additional bills. For now, contact your state senators and ask that they vote against HB 91 when it is brought up in the senate and against SB 2 when it comes up in the house.
This has been Dr. Mary Kay Bacallao with the Educational Freedom Coalition.