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Minutes for HB2080 - Committee on Education

Short Title

Authorizing students enrolled in a virtual school to take virtual state assessments.

Minutes Content for Tue, Mar 7, 2023

Chairwoman Baumgardner opened the hearing.

Tamera Lawrence, Revisor, gave an overview of the bill. Senator Straub asked if current state law requires students to participate in state assessments when attending a public school. The Revisor explained state law requires the State Board of Education to provide assessments but would have to research if the student is required to take the assessment. The Chair called for anyone from the Board of Education who would like to speak to this question to come forward and introduce themselves. Beth Fultz, Director of Curriculum Standards and Assessments, Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE), confirmed all public schools must offer assessments to all students but the parent always has the right to opt their student out. Therefore, the state can not mandate a student to take an assessment. Discussion followed, including the integrated camera proctoring of a student shall use two devices during the assessment. (Attachment 1)

Proponent In-Person:

Cassandra Barton, Head of School, Insight School and Kansas Virtual Academy, stood in support of the bill saying it would authorize students enrolled in a virtual school to take state assessments in a virtual format. It is a known testing best practice for students to take assessments in the environment in which they learn material on the subjects assessed. Understanding security is a concern, virtual staff are trained to monitor students online. Students would take the test on their own computer with KITE software that will lock down the use of other programs. The security protocol would be consistent with other major exams. Allowing virtual students to be assessed virtually in a familiar environment would reduce distractions, stress, and anxiety, giving them a better opportunity to truly demonstrate their knowledge and produce accurate outcomes. (Attachment 2)

Discussion followed.

Proponent written only testimony was submitted by Courtney Lohmann, Parent (Attachment 3)

The Chair closed the hearing.