Yes, I’m still on blog vacation, however I have an update on some NC Education issues and an update HB13 (Health assessments).
I’d like to take a moment and apologize if I upset the apple cart with my article the other day. I was particularly hard on Senator Soucek — Sorry about that, but being the voice for ‘we the people’ at times means I have to play bad cop.
Having said that, I might have to play worse cop now, again given what I see restored in HB 13 today.
Let’s start with HB13
It was put on the calendar and heard yesterday, July 23rd. Version 5 of the bill is posted to General Assembly site now.
However, a committee substitute made it through with some changes that are, in my opinion NOT good. It appears this committee substitute reversed an earlier PCS some of what was needed to fix the original bill.
Here’s what’s not good.
Language RESTORING the section related to cognitive and emotional data according to the Kindergarten Entry Assessment criteria of 115C-83.5(a):
(b) A health assessment shall include a medical history and physical examination with screening for vision and hearing and, if appropriate, testing for anemia and tuberculosis. Vision screening shall be conducted in accordance with G.S. 130A‑440.1. The health assessment may also include dental screening and developmental screening for cognition, language, and motor function. The developmental screening of cognition and language abilities may be conducted in accordance with G.S. 115C‑83.5(a).
Although the list of reportable items in the bill disallows the cognitive/emotional information, the Kindergarten Entry Assessment has related domains referencing the Health Assessment form.
The Kindergarten Entry Assessment (KEA) has 5 domains, that include collection of social and emotional data. That data will, at some point, be digitally collected and can include pictures and video of the child.
The KEA was piloted last year and is being rolled out this Fall across the state. The KEA is not optional, your kindergartener will participate. Surprise: The KEA is tied to the Race To The Top – Early Learning Challenge grant.
Other Key Points of HB 13:
- Applicable to any child entering NC public school, not just Kindergarten
- Parents/guardians have 30 days from the day their kid starts to get the form in. If they don’t turn it in by the end of the 30 days, the child can’t come to school. That does not mean they are suspended though; they can continue their work at home until the form is submitted.
- What is allowed on the form is found under ‘reporting’ normal stuff like hearing, vision, allergies, vaccinations/tuberculosis screening.
- The form can only be viewed by authorized school officials and the parent.
Other Education News
A School Choice story I’ve been following and writing about over the last year had BIG WIN yesterday . The NC Supreme court ruled that Opportunity Scholarships are Constitutional. Read the whole AP Story at ABC11, especially the ‘reaction’ sections.
Wake County Schools to Parents – ‘All or nothing’ on Bring Your Own Device Policy.
“Every student in the district will have a signed form on file regarding technology use and access. Parents will be required to select whether or not their child or children can participate in instruction involving any form of computer technology, including desktops, laptops, tablets or cellphones. It also includes Internet access.” – WRAL
Senate Bill 561 has turned into a mess.
The state Senate approved legislation Wednesday that would ban school boards from suing their boards of county commissioners.
If the House approves the Senate’s additions to House Bill 561, the lawsuit ban would be in place until 2020. Sen. Dan Soucek, a Boone Republican, added the provision to the otherwise noncontroversial bill on Tuesday. The final vote was 35-12, with four Democrats joining Republicans to support the bill.
– Charlotte Observer
I’m not sure why Senator Soucek would add that provision.
In Wake County, it would be Democrats suing Democrats; Granted, that would be fun to watch. The last election of Moral Monday tied candidates made the Wake Commissioners one big Democrat controlled board. The Wake County School Board is all Democrat. No, I don’t count Mr. Fletcher, he’s a RINO.
SB 561 does more than just what the Charlotte Observer is focused on. It gives school boards limited judicial powers like issuing subpoenas and the power to punish for contempt. Talk about a bad idea, as it is , most school boards these days are little fiefdoms and are often run like tribunals.
One last tidbit — United Opt Out has lost my support since I learned that they have terrorist Bill Ayers lined up as a speaker for their 2016 conference titled, “Transcending Resistance, Igniting Revolution”.
I checked out the other speakers. It’s a who’s who of radicals. Go Google them, really.
One of them is Antonia Darder, whose own website describes her as “Dr. Antonia Darder is an internationally recognized scholar, artist, poet, activist, and public intellectual.”
‘Poet, Activist and Public Intellectual’.
Translation: ‘Pretentious, Unemployed and an ideologue’.
If the opt out movement is heading toward Occupy town, I’m headed for the exit.
*This article has been updated