I’m reviewing proposed special provisions associated with H.B. 97, 2015 Appropriations Act (pdf).

The House Appropriations Committee on Education recommendation is to strike the following  language currently in Chapter 115C-105.35 of the NC General Statutes.

During the 2004-2005 school year and at least every five years thereafter, the State Board shall evaluate the accountability system and, if necessary, modify the testing standards to assure the testing standards continue to reasonably reflect the level of performance necessary to be successful at the next grade level or for more advanced study in the content area.

As part of this evaluation, the Board shall, where available, review the historical trend data on student academic performance on State tests. To the extent that the historical trend data suggest that the current standards for student performance may not be appropriate, the State Board shall adjust the standards to assure that they continue to reflect the State’s high expectations for student performance.

Frankly, I’m not cool with eliminating the review.

Five-year reviews of our accountability system allow stakeholders to assess the quality of our testing program and the usefulness of the data produced.  Given the importance, scale, and scope of North Carolina’s accountability program, periodic review is absolutely critical.

I would also advise House members to rethink the idea to eliminate the Report on Founding Principles/Civic Literacy.  The NC State Board of Education and NC Department of Public Instruction should evaluate the Founding Principles Act until we know that the law has been implemented with fidelity and gusto.