My apologies to those of you who wanted to see the testimony before the House Special Initiatives sub-committee and found it was unavailable due to heavy traffic. Over the weekend it was uploaded to YouTube. It's been broken down into seven segments of about five minutes each for ease in finding and digesting what's most interesting to the viewer. Comments in the right hand column let you know what's in each clip. That page is hosted at TnHomeEd.com.
Rep. G. A. Hardaway (D-Memphis) states in his introductory comments:
"What it does, Mr. Chairman, is to make use of best practices that the homeschoolers would be able to develop, proven out. We've got to have some general way of measurement and actually collecting that data and bringing it into the school system. But that's cheaper and makes a whole lot more sense than having to develop umpteen laboratory schools. We've already got it working..."further in clip six he states:
"Let's work on things together. Let's talk about whether the assessment tests that the public schoolers are doing and the assessment tests that the private schools and the homeschoolers are doing need to be the same. "Lest folks brush this off as a homeschool issue please see what is in bold above. His intention is to measure all students in every home and private school in an effort to find out what works. Sitting down over coffee or reviewing the information already out there won't work. He tells us we won't know what works unless the State of Tennessee actually collects data. Further he thinks testing students not in the public school system will be cheaper. The fiscal note for this bill quickly puts it at about $4 million a year and I believe they've highly underestimated the number of students not in the public school system. I don't call that cheap. I know some schools that could do a LOT with $4 million as public school parents are quick to point out.
And we haven't even gotten into the particulars of testing itself. As those who toil under the yoke of NCLB will tell you...the test doesn't always tell you the whole story. Criterion reference or normed reference have big problems--especially if the students aren't following the expected scope and sequence.
The calls to Hardaway and his partners in this effort Rep. Joe Towns (D-Memphis) and Rep. Tommie Brown's (D-Chattanooga) will continue until the bill is withdrawn.