Referred to Committee
March 19, 2012
March 13, 2012(Key vote)
Title: Amends Education Provisions
Vote Smart's Synopsis:
Vote to pass a bill on education reform.
Authorizes students to earn academic credit by demonstrating proficiency in a subject rather than completing a course and creates a task force to study the effectiveness of competency based learning (Secs. 1 & 2).
Requires the Department of Education to conduct a study of core curriculum and core content standards and issue a report to the General Assembly by November 15th, 2012 (Sec. 10).
Establishes an “online learning program model” and an Iowa learning online initiative (Secs. 23–26).
Requires the Legislative Council to establish an interim study committee to study the appropriate use of online learning, sources of funding, and potential use for online learning as an exclusive way of providing course work, among other things (Sec. 87)
Specifies teachers will be evaluated annually, rather than every three years under current law (Secs. 14 & 15).
Requires that a decision by the Board of Directors of a school district to not renew a teacher's contract due to a reduction in force shall be based on the following (Sec. 52):
The “teacher's effectiveness” demonstrated during the review process;
The teacher's licensure, endorsements, and the needs of the school district and students; and
The hiring date of the teacher only if the prior two criteria are equal for another teacher.
Requires each school district to assess kindergarten readiness in all pre-kindergarten or 4 year old children (Sec. 43).
Requires high school students to complete end-of-course exams that would be factored into graduation requirements (Secs. 38–41, & 43).
Requires high school juniors to take college-entrance exams or career readiness assessments at no cost to the student (Secs. 37, 38, & 44).
Requires the state to implement a “value-added assessment” system using testing to measure student achievement and teacher performance. Results of the tests would be used to evaluate teachers (Sec. 42).
Authorizes several new entities, including colleges and universities, cities and nonprofit organizations to open charter schools (Secs. 57 & 58).
Requires the director of the Department of Education to maintain, on the department's website, educational job postings for Iowa schools including charter schools and accredited nonpublic schools (Sec. 30).