As educators push for a long-overdue change to how Michigan funds public education, they today applauded the bi-partisan effort being led by Rep. John Reilly (R — Oakland Township) to eliminate the requirement for schools to administer the widely panned WorkKeys test to students. Rep. Reilly’s bill, HB 4162, would take a significant step toward removing special interest spending from the K-12 budget that takes resources out of classrooms and forces teachers to spend time administering standardized tests instead of classroom instruction.
“In an era in which progress in Lansing is too often stalled by politics, this bipartisan effort to stop spending money and wasting classroom time on pointless testing deserves the support of every parent, teacher and administrator in Michigan,” said Ken Gutman, TCA Secretary/Treasurer and Superintendent of Walled Lake Consolidated Schools. “Educators often hear elected officials say that they are opposed to these unnecessary standardized tests, but it’s important to put those words into action and we appreciate that Rep. Reilly has done exactly that.”
Educators pointed out that special interests have succeeded in adding an ever increasing amount of “pork” to the K-12 budgets in recent years. In the recently passed House K-12 budget, they have identified more than $60 million in spending solely on products that pad the pockets of vendors rather than educate Michigan’s students. By removing the requirement for schools to administer the ACT’s WorkKeys test, HB 4162 would not only save the state $4 million per year, but would free-up classroom time for teachers to spend educating students.
“This is a common-sense step in the right direction that will allow schools to stop wasting time and get back to the business of educating our students,” added Gutman. “We encourage the House of Representatives to now quickly bring this bill up for a vote on the floor and show that the interests of our students are more important than those of a vendor looking to increase profits at their expense.”