GOP petitions for hearings on bills


Proposals target teacher evaluations, Common Core curriculum

Rosa Rebimbas
Rosa Rebimbas

HARTFORD — House Republican lawmakers filed a petition this week to force the Education Committee to hold a public hearing on bills related to teacher evaluations and the Common Core curriculum.

The proposals would call for the creation of a subcommittee of classroom teachers to discuss the evaluation program and another that would delay the implementation of Common Core.

“Considering the concern expressed by parents, educators and administrators, these are concepts that should be evaluated by committee members,” state Rep. Lezlye Zupkus (R-89) said in a press release. “If we hadn’t pursued the petition, people concerned about these issues weren’t going to get to share their thoughts on the record.”

House Republican legislators utilized a seldom used petitioning process, Joint Rule 11, to gather the 51 signatures needed, according to a press release issued by state Rep. Rosa Rebimbas (R-70). The petition will allow the two bills to be raised that were previously denied by the chairs of the Education Committee, the release stated.

“Educational standards impact everyone in our state and taking the time to make sure the people have a chance to voice their opinions is the right thing to do,” Rebimbas said in the release. “Our teachers, administrators, parents and students deserve a public hearing to express their opinions.”

Lezlye Zupkus
Lezlye Zupkus

Aside from creating a subcommittee of teachers, proposed Bill No. 5331, “An Act Concerning the Implementation of the Revisions to the PEAC Guidelines,” would reduce the number of formal classroom evaluations to one per year, streamline data management and, perhaps most important, enable the exclusion of student scores on statewide mastery tests from factoring into a teacher’s evaluation, according to the release.

Proposed Bill No. 5078, “An Act Imposing a Moratorium on the Implementation of the Common Core State Standards,” would also require the state’s Department of Education to investigate the impact of implementing the standards and prevent the department from spending appropriated money on putting the curriculum in place pending the investigation’s results, the release stated.