Category Archives: HF2380

HF 2380 Debate [updated]

Update: The House passed HF 2380 this morning by a vote of 53-46, after one final technical correction amendment (H-8261).

Update 2:  No Democrats voted in favor of passage; seven Republicans voted against passage: Alons (Sioux), De Boef (Keokuk), Klein (Washington), Massie (Warren), Pearson (Polk), Schultz (Crawford), and Shaw (Pocahontas).

The House debated amendments to HF2380 for almost seven hours.  I stopped counting amendments after thirty; many were withdrawn.  The House began debating amended HF 2380 then recessed until 8 am Wednesday.

The debate included extensive discussion of the automatic third grade retention policy and the 3.0 GPA requirements for teachers.  Other issues discussed included competency-based education, DE waiver authority, assessments, charter schools, and online learning.

Amendments Adopted

H-8141 [98-0] by T. Olson (D-Linn) on competency-based education.

H-8199 [98-0] by Winckler (D-Scott) on Iowa Core Curriculum study.  Would add fine arts, applied arts, humanities, physical education, and world languages to the Iowa Core.

H-8175 [voice vote] by Raecker (R-Polk) on Iowa Core including building capacities that address research-based and data-driven intentional cultures of safety and engagement, competencies for positive behaviors, competencies for deeper learning, and college, career, and citizenship readiness.

H-8180 [63-35] by J. Taylor (R-Woodbury) on religious exemptions from Iowa Core, end-of-course exams, and using the state job posting site, for accredited non-public schools.

H-8176 [93-0] by Chambers (R-O’Brien) on reverting back to current law if choose not to move forward with a statewide teacher and administrator evaluation system.

H-8185 [voice vote] by J. Taylor (R-Woodbury) on requiring State Board approval to disburse grants from the innovation fund.

H-8216 Division B [61-37] by Steckman (D-Cerro Gordo) on increasing voluntary preschool from ten hours to fifteen hours per week.

H-8198 [98-0] by Winckler (D-Scott) on providing weighted funding for AP Online courses.

H-8178 [voice vote] by Chambers (R-O’Brien) on striking the provision for the state to retain ten percent of professional development funding as it was decided not to require statewide professional development.

H-8153 [voice vote] by Willems (D-Linn) on AP performance funding to provide payment to school districts based on students taking AP courses and scoring a 3 or higher on the AP exam.

H-8196 (amended by H-8240) [voice vote] by Steckman (D-Cerro Gordo) on requiring parents who voluntarily enroll a child in kindergarten to comply with compulsory education laws.  Parents could choose to remove the child from voluntary kindergarten.

H-8154 [voice vote] by Isenhart (D-Dubuque) on requiring secondary counselors to take a course on career counseling and exploration.

H-8181 (amended by H-8217 and H-8237) [voice vote] by Chambers (R-O’Brien) on adding back in the 3.0 GPA requirements, extending student teaching by three weeks, providing alternate route to licensure, and establishing school administrative manager.  The 3.0 GPA requirement was struck by amendment [77-19].

H-8191 (amended by H-8241)[voice vote] by Byrnes (R-Mitchell) on creating a remediation council to help students transition into post-secondary education.

H-8179 (amended by H-8249)[voice vote] by Chambers (R-O’Brien) on adding back in online learning provisions with a cap on total online student enrollment.  Amendment caps enrollment to approximately 900 students and adds the Senate online initiative language.

Amendments Lost

H-8204 [39-57] by Hanson (D-Jefferson) on equalizing school transportation costs.

H-8202 [39-59] by Mascher (D-Johnson) on creating non-competitive innovation fund grants.

H-8200 [36-59] by Winckler (D-Scott) on restricting department director waiver authority.

H-8189 (amended by H-8248)[voice vote] by Winckler (D-Scott) on changing assessment provisions.  The Mascher amendment would have allowed the State Board to authorize payment to students earning high scores on on standardized exams to encourage students to take the tests seriously.

H-8207 [voice vote] by Mascher (D-Johnson) on striking provisions amending the charter school law.

H-8214 (amended by H-8230)[37-59] by Winckler (D-Scott) on creating a family literacy initiative and eliminate automatic third grade retention.

H-8210 [voice vote] by Steckman (D-Cerro Gordo) on reducing K-3 class sizes.

H-8212 [36-59] by Willems (D-Linn) on increasing use of regional academies by allowing certain school district funds to be spent outside district boundaries.

H-8208 [39-59] by Steckman (D-Cerro Gordo) on requiring the state to cover the costs of all mandates contained in the bill.

H-8201 [37-61] by Mascher (D-Johnson) on limiting online coursework to fifty percent of, or twenty percent for open-enrolled students.  Online coursework exceeding fifty percent will be considered HSAP.

I just want to finish by noting that the Iowa House has provided excellent tools for transparency.  Audio and video live streaming of debates and votes is available as is nearly real time updating of House Floor Action with links to bills and amendments under consideration.


HF 2380 Public Hearing 3

Governor Branstad was permitted to address the assembled legislators prior to the start of public testimony.  He called on the legislators to “pass ambitious education reform” and outlined the Blueprint proposals.  He addressed third-grade retention, saying that he was sympathetic that retention might be painful for the child, but that it is harder to be illiterate.  He ended with, “Iowans are counting on you to be bold, not timid.”

More than seventy people signed up to speak.  Each speaker was allotted three minutes and public comments were cut off after two hours.  Ultimately, forty people were able to comment during the public hearing; written comments are invited, and those present were offered an informal opportunity to talk to legislators after the end of public testimony.

[Incidentally, I love the live House audio stream that allows me to listen in without leaving my house–the only real trick is knowing when a bill of interest will be debated.]

There were a mix of commenters in favor and against the bill or specific provisions of it.  There were a few commenters generally in favor of or generally against the bill; most commenters focused on specific proposals. Commenters touched upon annual teacher evaluations, the use of value-added measures, competency-based education, the 3.0 GPA requirement to enter teacher preparation programs, alternative teacher certification, ACT/career-readiness exams for all high school juniors, innovation, third-grade literacy programs, lower class sizes, parental engagement programs, and a statewide tobacco-free schools provision.

Commenters spoke against the charter school and online-learning provisions.  There seems to be suspicion that education reform will be used to funnel public money to private corporations who will provide substandard education services.

Many commenters also noted the need for local control over at least some decisions (like local control of professional development but in favor of statewide standards like the Iowa Core) and the need for more money.


HF 2380 Public Hearing 2

I’m looking forward to hearing the public comments on HF 2380 tomorrow night.

I can’t attend in person, so I’ll post a few comments here (most of which I have shared at other opportunities):

Iowa can’t be a leader in education while following multi-state initiatives or by chasing federal dollars and approval.

Iowa can’t foster innovation and excellence through micromanagement and enforcement of uniformity; schools need flexibility and real authority over programming.

Iowa can’t engage parents and communities by inviting us to the table after all of the decisions have been made.

It would be more fruitful to identify and remove obstacles to effective instruction and innovative programming rather than coercing parents, teachers, and schools into working harder to get around them.

HF 2380 Public Hearing

From the Iowa House Democrats:

The Iowa House has scheduled a public hearing on the Education Reform Bill HF 2380. We want to hear comments from parents, teachers and students about the proposed bill. . . .

Monday, March 5, 2012

6:30 p.m.

Iowa House of Representatives Chamber

Persons wishing to speak may sign up at the Legislative Information Office (LIO), Room G16, located in the Iowa State Capitol, or call the LIO at 515-281-5129. Please do not leave a recorded message by telephone. If unable to attend, you may e-mail written testimony to the LIO: . Please typeTestimony in the subject line.

UPDATE:  Live House audio and video streams are available at

House Ed Reform Bill

The House Education Committee’s amendments to Governor Branstad’s education reform bill are available online now (now known as HF 2380).

Here’s the short version of this blog post: Mandatory third-grade retention (beginning July 1, 2016) is in.  An end to seniority-based layoffs is in.  Home rule authority is in.  Changes to charter schools are in.  Expansion of the Iowa Core and creation of a model curriculum are in.  More assessments for students, and more evaluations for teachers and administrators are in.  Changes to teacher preparation programs and parent engagement networks are out.

Here’s the long version of what made the cut:

Creates a competency-based instruction task force to study competency-based instruction standards and options.

Adds music and other fine arts, applied arts, foreign languages, physical education, and entrepreneurship education to the Iowa Core.

Directs the Director of the Department of Education (DE) to create and disseminate a model curriculum.  The model curriculum shall identify a developmentally appropriate scope and sequence of instruction applicable to the core content standards, instructional material resources, and teaching and assessment strategies.

Establishes a core curriculum framework and core content standards advisory council made up of members appointed by the director.

Directs the development of a statewide teacher evaluation system and a statewide administrator evaluation system that school districts, charter schools, and accredited nonpublic schools shall use.  Establishes annual teacher evaluations and annual administrator evaluations.  Directs a statewide educator evaluation system task force to submit findings, recommendations, and a proposal for statewide teacher and administrator evaluation systems by October 15, 2012.

Establishes a teacher performance, compensation, and career development task force to develop recommendations for a new teacher compensation system.  Members of the task force to be appointed by the director.  The task force is directed to submit findings and recommendations by October 15, 2012.

Establishes an innovation acceleration program to provide competitive grants.

Online learning pupils are counted as 0.3 of one pupil (same as homeschool students participating in a district Home School Assistance Program).

Grants the director the authority to grant exemptions for innovative curriculum projects if the director determines the project will adequately meet the educational needs and interests of the pupils and be broadly consistent with the intent of the educational program.  The director will report exemptions granted annually.

Directs the director to maintain an internet posting of education job openings which shall be submitted by school districts, area education agencies, charter schools, and accredited nonpublic schools.

Grants additional funding for students participating in Project Lead the Way (not listed by name but the program fits this description listed in the bill: a class that ” . . . uses an activities-based, project-based, and problems-based learning approach and that is offered through a partnership with a nationally recognized provider of rigorous and innovative science, technology, engineering, and mathematics curriculum for schools, which provider is exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code . . . “).

Establishes a school instructional time task force to study whether time should be added to the school day and/or the school year.  Members to be appointed by the director.

Directs the state board to identify and approve multiple statewide assessment measures for accountability reporting.

Directs the DE to establish a new accountability system by July 1, 2014.  The accountability system shall, at a minimum, define and measure student achievement, student growth, student achievement gaps, college and career readiness, student well-being, parent satisfaction, school staff working conditions, school fiscal responsibility, and graduation and attendance rates.  College and career readiness exams will be required (this does not appear to be ACT for all).

Requires the use of high school end-of-course assessments (for subject areas included under the core content standards) as part of graduation requirements.

Directs the DE to establish and implement a value-added assessment system by January 31, 2013.

Directs school districts to administer a kindergarten readiness assessment.  Requires college and career readiness exams for 11th graders and specifies counseling/intervention strategies to be provided depending upon the results.  The results become part of the student’s official education record.

Maintains awards for National Board Certification, including an annual award of $2,500.

Directs the state board to adopt rules to establish a statewide plan for professional development.  The statewide plan shall be designed to make every reasonable effort to utilize best practices, current technologies, and social media, and shall be implemented by the area education agencies.  Directs the director to approve, amend and approve, or reject the professional development plans submitted by area education agency boards.  It appears that ten percent of the professional development supplement (both to the districts and AEAs) will be diverted to the DE for purposes of implementing a statewide professional development plan [the statewide school district portion of this diversion of funding would amount to $1.9 million to $2.7 million (depending on whether it affects just the general PD supplement or general plus Core Curriculum PD supplement)].

Appears to end seniority based layoffs, instead requiring consideration of the teacher’s effectiveness and the teacher’s licensure and endorsements and the needs of the district.  If teachers considered for layoff are substantially equal on these points, then hiring dates may be considered.

Revises the charter school law including: expanding the kinds of entities eligible to submit charter school applications; requiring charter schools to comply with the core curriculum, core content standards, and assessments; setting rules for the formation of the charter school board; requiring charter schools to apply for permission to expand; and allows charter schools to lease, build, or purchase space.

Establishes a literacy plan similar to the Senate bill plan except with mandatory third-grade retention (subject to a few good cause exemptions) beginning July 1, 2016.

Grants home rule authority to school district boards of directors.

Establishes an interim study committee relating to online learning and programming for school districts and related educational issues.