Sussex County Delaware

Senate Approves
Compromise on
Education Reform

The General Assembly ...

Text of SB 260
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DOVER -- Education reform took another step forward on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2000, when the Delaware Senate unanimously approved a compromise bill, SB 260, for Educator Accountability.

The compromise moves the controversial measure to the House of Reprentatives, which is expected to hold five public hearings throughout the state before bringing the bill to a vote in March.

The compromise bill links teachers' and administrator's job performance evaluations to student performance on statewide tests that are a key component of the Student Accountability Act already passed by the legislature.

It also delays implementation of the Student Accountability measures that had already passed until 2004.

Student Accountability has been delayed due to a flood of complaints about the fairness of determining a student's promotion to the next grade or graduation on one test.

To address many of the issues raised in debates last fall, SB 260 includes alternatives to mandatory summer school for students who don't meet state testing requirements and the creation of three different diplomas for students to address the testing issue:

  • Standard Diploma -- For students who reach minimum classroom standards but do not meet minimum testing requirements;
  • Academic Diploma -- For students who meet minimum testing and classroom standards;
  • Distinguished Achievement Diploma -- For students who exceed classroom and testing standards (to be defined by the state Department of Education)

Another amendment to SB 260 would require school districts to give teachers an improvement plan before firing them.

Gov. Carper hoped to pass the Educator Accountability bill last fall but the uproar over the Student Accountability measures derailed the Educator Accountability until this session.

Gov. Carper expressed frustration that the House of Representatives may not vote on SB 260 until March.

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