Bills to be heard at Education Committee Public Hearing May 15, 2007
When: Tuesday afternoon, May 15, 1:00 pm
Where: Massachusetts State House - Room A1
What: Education Committee public hearing new bills before the Legislature
Important bills to pay attention to -- both good and bad -- are in red.
S285 -- AN ACT TO IMPROVE SCIENCE EDUCATION IN THE COMMONWEALTH
http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/senate/185/st00/st00285.htm (Sen. Augustus)
Creates yet another board (of "distinguished scholars") to recommend science curricula in the public schools.
S306 -- AN ACT ESTABLISHING A GRANT PROGRAM FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND UPDATING OF SCHOOL CURRICULUMS
http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/senate/185/st00/st00285.htm (Sen. Creem)
State Board of Education: Grants for local school districts.
S340 -- AN ACT PROMOTING A FRAMEWORK FOR CIVIC EDUCATION http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/senate/185/st00/st00340.htm (Sen. Moore)
Would establish "special commission on civic engagement and learning" - members would include legislators, teachers' unions, League of Women Voters, Mass. Municipal Assoc., and school administrators (i.e., various left-wing groups). Would establish "Massachusetts History Day" and promote "Massachusetts Student Government Day."
S345 -- AN ACT RELATIVE TO A HIGH SCHOOL CIVICS REQUIREMENT
http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/senate/185/st00/st00345.htm (Sen. Moore)
Text of bill: "In all public elementary and high schools American history and civics, including the constitution of the United States, the declaration of independence and the bill of rights, and in all public high schools the constitution of the commonwealth and local history and government, shall be taught as required subjects for the purpose of promoting civic service and a greater knowledge thereof, and of fitting the pupils, morally and intellectually, for the duties of citizenship. High school civic instruction for each public high school student shall be required as a means of graduation."
S356 -- AN ACT RELATIVE TO HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS
http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/senate/185/st00/st00356.htm (Sen. O'Leary)
Provides for four years of math and four years of science at the secondary level as a requirement for high school graduation.
S367 -- AN ACT RELATIVE TO IMPROVING SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATH EDUCATION IN THE COMMONWEALTH
http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/senate/185/st00/st00367.htm (Sen. Spilka)
Creates commission to study ways to improve science, technology, engineering and math, to be known as STEM, education in the commonwealth.
S372 -- AN ACT TO RECOGNIZE GLOBAL WARMING
http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/senate/185/st00/st00372.htm (Sen. Tarr)
Text of bill: "Global Warming Awareness. In all public elementary and high schools there shall be a program of an instruction providing for global warming awareness. Said program shall be named the global warming awareness program and shall occur each year on a date designated by the commissioner. Said program shall instruct students as to the scientific causes of and global climate effects of global warming with materials provided by the department."
H384 -- An Act Establishing a Youth Awareness Week
http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/house/185/ht00pdf/ht00384.pdf (Rep. Allen)
Calls for Governor proclamation to make youth aware of "benefit and operation of government".
H404 -- An Act Relative to the Study of History in the Public Schools
http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/house/185/ht00pdf/ht00404.pdf (Rep. Canavan)
Requires 3 days of field trips to historic sites, museums, State House.
H410 -- An Act Establishing a Financial Literacy Curriculum
http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/house/185/ht00pdf/ht00410.pdf (Rep. Curran)
Creates grant program to educate on financial literacy.
H411 -- Requiring Financial Literacy Courses in High School
http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/house/185/ht00pdf/ht00411.pdf (Rep. Dempsey)
Requires courses on personal finance in high schools.
H432 -- Requiring teaching of African-American History in all public elementary and secondary schools
http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/house/185/ht00pdf/ht00432.pdf (Rep. Fox)
Opens the door to all kinds of specialized politically correct requirements. Best left to local decision.
H444 -- An Act Relative to Business Education
(Rep. Hall, Sen. Panagiotakos)
H498 -- An Act Establishing a Financial Literacy Curriculum
http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/house/185/ht00pdf/ht00498.pdf (Rep. LeDuc)
H522 An Act relative to the incorporation of civics in the High School Curriculum
http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/house/185/ht00pdf/ht00522.pdf (Rep. Poirier)
Creates "diploma seal for excellence in civics education" -- study of state & federal constitutions, voluntary community service, etc.
H551 -- An Act Relative to the teaching of Islamic and Middle Eastern History
http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/house/185/ht00pdf/ht00551.pdf (Rep. Sannicandro)
Requires state Board of Education to enact a policy that will facilitate school districts to teach Islamic and Middle Eastern history at the middle and high school levels.
H554 -- An Act Relative to Civics Education in Schools
http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/house/185/ht00pdf/ht00554.pdf (Rep. Scaccia for Leo Sullivan)
Great bill: Requires "“the articles of confederation, the history of the political climate
that led to the American Revolution, the federal structure which emphasizes the vertical separation of powers and the relationship of the constitutions of the commonwealth and county and duties of citizenship.”
“Course material shall be taught as originally drafted with no intentional omissions of the original intent of the founding fathers. The teaching of a revisionist form of history shall be considered invalid."
H588 -- An Act Relative to High School Civics Requirement
http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/house/185/ht00pdf/ht00588.pdf (Rep. Martin Walsh)
Looks OK: Requires study of founding documents of our country as a graduation requirement.
H592 -- An Act Relative to Creating a Community Service Graduation Requirement
http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/house/185/ht00pdf/ht00592.pdf (Rep. Steven Walsh)
Local school committees given option of creating 10-hour community service requirement for graduation. Is this necessary?