Colorado Lawmakers Push To Remove English Language Testing Requirement

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Jason Chulack Reporting Intern
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Republicans and Democrats in Colorado are looking to rescind a controversial decision by the State Board of Education that requires schools to test students’ reading abilities in English, the Denver Post reported Tuesday.

The requirement to test kindergarten through third grade students at least once in English would mean some students would need to be tested twice. Students whose native language is Spanish would be subject to tests in both English and Spanish.

House Bill 1160, sponsored by Democrat Rep. Millie Hamner and Republican Rep. Jim Wilson, would give school districts the choice to test students in English or Spanish, eliminating the requirement to test students once in English. Students in kindergarten through third grade enrolled in bilingual programs would be eligible to receive language testing in Spanish.

The issue of double testing stems from the 2012 READ Act which required Colorado public schools to identity students who are not reading at grade-level by third grade.

The bill, which received unanimous support from the House Education Committee on Monday, would overrule the state Board of Education decision if signed into law.