Legislature(2011 - 2012)CAPITOL 106

03/30/2011 08:00 AM EDUCATION

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

Audio Topic
08:05:25 AM Start
08:05:59 AM Presentation(s): Superintendent Lower Yukon School District
08:23:11 AM HB15
08:53:02 AM HB5
09:26:18 AM HB199
10:02:06 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation by Lower Yukon School District TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
Scheduled But Not Heard
Moved CSHB 15(EDC) Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 5(EDC) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
             HB 5-CONSTITUTIONAL HISTORY CURRICULUM                                                                         
CHAIR DICK  announced that  the next order  of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL NO.  5, "An  Act requiring  a standardized  statewide                                                               
history of American constitutionalism  curriculum and a secondary                                                               
school  history  of  American  constitutionalism  examination  in                                                               
public  schools in  the  state; and  providing  for an  effective                                                               
date."  [In front of the committee was Version E]                                                                               
8:53:02 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  WES KELLER,  Alaska  State Legislature,  directed                                                               
attention  to  the  closing remarks  from  Chief  Justice  Walter                                                               
Carpeneti during his  State of the Judiciary  address.  [Included                                                               
in  members'  packets]     He  referred  to   the  principles  of                                                               
democracy, and stated that HB  5 would mandate Alaska high school                                                               
curriculum for  US history during  the fifteen  years immediately                                                               
following the signing of the Declaration of Independence.                                                                       
8:54:38 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DICK closed public testimony.                                                                                             
8:54:58 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PRUITT  moved  to  report  CSHB  5,  Version  27-                                                               
LS0018\E,  Mischel,  2/24/11,   from  committee  with  individual                                                               
recommendations and the accompanying zero fiscal note.                                                                          
8:55:18 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON objected.   He said that proposed  HB 5 put                                                               
another  segment   of  curriculum,  another  test,   and  further                                                               
requirements on the school districts.   He declared that the bill                                                               
was not concise with its  curriculum requirements and that he was                                                               
not in favor of establishing vague testing to meet criteria.                                                                    
8:57:32 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON moved to adopt a conceptual amendment.                                                                 
8:57:57 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON withdrew his objection.                                                                                   
8:57:59 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PRUITT withdrew his motion to move the bill.                                                                     
8:58:00 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  P.   WILSON  withdrew  her  motion   to  adopt  a                                                               
conceptual amendment.                                                                                                           
8:59:27 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   PRUITT    asked   Representative    Seaton   for                                                               
clarification of his concerns.                                                                                                  
8:59:56 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  replied that  HB  5  added an  "amorphous                                                               
curriculum  requirement"  with  a  test,  which  was  yet  to  be                                                               
developed,  to  which  passage  was  necessary  for  high  school                                                               
graduation.   He stated  that this  placed a  huge burden  on the                                                               
school  districts.   He opined  that the  high school  graduation                                                               
exam was  already an issue.   He pointed  out that proposed  HB 5                                                               
was not a  statewide standard, but a standard to  be developed by                                                               
each district.  He questioned  whether it was the most productive                                                               
use of  time to develop a  curriculum to discuss the  values held                                                               
during  a 15  year segment  of history  and require  it for  high                                                               
school graduation.                                                                                                              
9:03:24 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PRUITT  asked  if  the  proposed  bill  could  be                                                               
amended to provide instruction without testing.                                                                                 
9:03:55 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  DICK  offered his  understanding  that  the proposed  bill                                                               
empowered  community  members  to confront  local  school  boards                                                               
regarding  the importance  of this  topic.   He  opined that  the                                                               
mandate was for a conversation.                                                                                                 
9:05:27 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON replied that the  requirement was not for a                                                               
conversation, but for a test that  was required to receive a high                                                               
school diploma.   He pointed out that the  high school qualifying                                                               
exam was  a requirement for  receiving a  diploma, and that  HB 5                                                               
required  another  "high stakes  test"  which  was not  precisely                                                               
defined, as written in subsection (b), page 2, lines 26-28.                                                                     
9:07:21 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE FEIGE stated that, as  the proposed bill imposed a                                                               
requirement on school  districts, it was necessary  to define its                                                               
intent.  He  opined that the intent was to  ensure that a student                                                               
graduated  with  a  basic   understanding  of  the  philosophical                                                               
underpinnings of the  United States.  He offered  his belief that                                                               
the principles  of the Bill  of Rights, the US  Constitution, and                                                               
the Declaration of Independence were  the uniting factors for the                                                               
United States.   He  declared the  necessity to  understand these                                                               
principles in order to exercise the privilege of voting.                                                                        
9:10:28 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PRUITT  offered  Conceptual  Amendment  1,  which                                                               
     Page 1, line 2,                                                                                                            
          Delete "and examination"                                                                                              
     Page 2, line 19,                                                                                                           
          Delete "and final examination"                                                                                        
     Page 2, line 27                                                                                                            
          Delete "and examination"                                                                                              
9:11:20 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DICK objected for discussion.                                                                                             
9:11:35 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA asked if  the proposed conceptual amendment                                                               
would  allow  the development  of  course  curricula without  the                                                               
9:11:59 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   PRUITT   replied    that   "the   chief   school                                                               
administrator of a school district  shall [develop] and submit to                                                               
the  governing  body  of  the  school  district  a  syllabus  for                                                               
curriculum  in the  history of  American constitutionalism."   He                                                               
explained that  it would require  each school district  to create                                                               
its own  curriculum, but  that a final  examination would  not be                                                               
required for high school graduation.                                                                                            
9:12:37 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA  expressed  a necessity  to  maintain  the                                                               
priority for increasing the number of high school graduates.                                                                    
9:13:35 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PRUITT expressed disagreement  with the concept of                                                               
increasing the  graduation rate, if  it meant that  students were                                                               
less educated.   He  stated his  desire to  be that  "we've given                                                               
them all  the tools they need  to succeed."  He  opined that this                                                               
was "a  good opportunity  to help  our kids  be prepared  as they                                                               
step out into the real world and become a part of society."                                                                     
9:14:52 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE FEIGE  endorsed a need  to demand a  high standard                                                               
for  faculty and  students  in order  to  obtain improvement  and                                                               
performance from students.                                                                                                      
9:15:57 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON declared  that the  proposed bill  did not                                                               
state high standards,  it designated some standards.   He offered                                                               
his  belief that  the values  of the  American people  during the                                                               
writing  of the  Articles of  Confederation and  the first  state                                                               
constitutions were not generally known.   He agreed that it was a                                                               
good academic  exercise to  read these  documents, but  he opined                                                               
that it  would be  difficult to  be tested on  the values  of the                                                               
people during  that era.   He expressed approval for  the removal                                                               
of the examinations, as the segment  could then be adopted into a                                                               
theme-base  curriculum.   He stated  that he  would vote  for the                                                               
proposed  amendment,  but  that  he was  not  supportive  of  the                                                               
proposed bill.                                                                                                                  
9:19:17 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  stated  her support  for the  proposed                                                               
amendment, but  she expressed her  concern with making  a mandate                                                               
to the schools.   She opined that the suggested  topics should be                                                               
taught in the  schools, but that she did not  support a mandatory                                                               
test of the curriculum as  a graduation requirement.  She offered                                                               
her belief that  examinations should include a  bit of everything                                                               
that was  being taught.  She  stated her support for  proposed HB                                                               
9:20:40 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  stated  his opposition  to  the  proposed                                                               
amendment, and  directed attention  to page  2, line  18, stating                                                               
that the curriculum  and the examination were to  be submitted to                                                               
the  governing body  of the  school  district for  approval.   He                                                               
offered his belief that the  proposed amendment weakened the bill                                                               
as the  local school board  would not be allowed  the opportunity                                                               
to discuss  the curriculum.   He declared an obligation  to young                                                               
voters to ensure that they understood their responsibilities.                                                                   
9:22:15 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON suggested  that many parents  would not                                                               
support this examination.                                                                                                       
9:23:00 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DICK  stated his  opposition to  the proposed  amendment as                                                               
"it takes the teeth out of the bill."                                                                                           
9:24:03 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI removed his objection.                                                                                  
9:24:13 AM                                                                                                                    
A  roll  call  vote  was taken.    Representatives  Kawasaki,  P.                                                               
Wilson, Seaton, Cissna,  and Pruitt voted in  favor of Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 1.   Representatives Feige  and Dick voted  against it.                                                               
Therefore, Conceptual Amendment 1 passed by a vote of 5-2.                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  PRUITT  moved  to  report  CSHB  5,  Version  27-                                                               
LS0018\E,  Mischel,  2/24/11,  as amended,  from  committee  with                                                               
individual  recommendations  and  the accompanying  fiscal  note.                                                               
There  being no  objection,  CSHB 5(EDC)  was  reported from  the                                                               
House Education Standing Committee.                                                                                             

Document Name Date/Time Subjects