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Report by Paula Antolini
August 7, 2015 9:12PM EDT
Rep. Lavielle Applauds Federal Authorization Allowing CT to Reduce Testing for 11th Graders
by Alyssa Di Rubbo
HARTFORD – State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143), Ranking Member of the General Assembly’s Education Committee, released the following statement on the US Department of Education’s approval of a waiver request allowing Connecticut to replace the SBAC test with the SAT for all students in the 11th grade:
“Our schools should be focused first and foremost on activities that help students learn and make progress,” said Rep. Lavielle. “While assessments are important for evaluating progress, testing must not take the place of learning. Students, teachers, and parents have been telling us consistently that the amount of testing required in Connecticut’s public schools has become overwhelming. In many cases, they feel that testing is actually diminishing student learning and achievement. Eliminating the SBAC test in 11th grade – a year when students must take a particularly large number of exams – will both reduce students’ stress and increase their learning time in the classroom. It will also make college accessible to more students, because everyone will be able to take the SAT at no cost.
“A new state law was necessary to make this solution possible, and as Education Committee Ranking Member, I was very pleased to work together with the committee’s Co-Chairs during the last legislative session on passing a bill that received overwhelmingly bipartisan support. The bill also creates a Mastery Examination Committee that must address the question of how much and what kind of testing is appropriate in the lower grades,” Rep. Lavielle said.
SB 1095, now PA 15-238, An Act Concerning Student Assessments, passed almost unanimously in both chambers of the state legislature and was signed into law by the governor in June. The federal approval of the waiver request will allow the law to take effect immediately, and the SAT will replace the SBAC test for Connecticut’s eleventh-graders during the 2015-2016 academic year.
State Rep. Gail Lavielle represents Wilton, Norwalk, and Westport. She is Ranking Member of the General Assembly’s Education Committee and a member of the Appropriations and Transportation Committees.