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H.R. 2846 (rh) To prohibit spending Federal education funds on national testing without explicit and specific legislation. ...
105th CONGRESS 2d Session H. R. 2846 _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES February 5, 1998 Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Labor and Human Resources _______________________________________________________________________ AN ACT To prohibit spending Federal education funds on national testing without explicit and specific legislation. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. FINDINGS. The Congress finds the following: (1) High State and local standards in reading, mathematics, and other core academic subjects are essential to the future well-being of elementary and secondary education in this country. (2) State and local control of education is the hallmark of education in the United States. (3) Each of the 50 States already utilizes numerous tests to measure student achievement, including State and commercially available assessments. State assessments are based primarily upon State and locally developed academic standards. (4) Public Law 105-78, the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Act, 1998, ensures that Federal funds may not be used to field test, pilot test, implement, administer, or distribute in any way, any federally sponsored national test in fiscal year 1998, requires the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study to determine whether an equivalency scale can be developed that would allow existing tests to be compared one to another, and permits very limited test development activities in fourth grade reading and eighth grade mathematics in fiscal year 1998. (5) There is no specific or explicit authority in current Federal law authorizing the proposed federally sponsored national tests in fourth grade reading and eighth grade mathematics. (6) The decision of whether or not this country implements, administers, disseminates, or otherwise has federally sponsored national tests in fourth grade reading and eighth grade mathematics or any other subject, will be determined primarily through the normal legislative process involving Congress and the respective authorizing committees. SEC. 2. PROHIBITION ON FEDERALLY SPONSORED TESTING. Part C of the General Education Provisions Act is amended by adding at the end the following: ``Sec. 447. Prohibition on federally sponsored testing ``(a) General Prohibition.--Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal law and, except as provided in sections 305 through 311 of Public Law 105-78, the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Act, 1998, funds provided to the Department of Education or to an applicable program under this Act or any other Act, may not be used to develop, plan, implement (including pilot testing or field testing), or administer any federally sponsored national test in reading, mathematics, or any other subject that is not specifically and explicitly provided for in authorizing legislation enacted into law. ``(b) Exceptions.--Subsection (a) shall not apply to the Third International Math and Science Study or other international comparative assessments developed under authority of section 406(a)(6) of the National Education Statistics Act of 1994, and administered to only a representative sample of pupils in the United States and in foreign nations.''. Passed the House of Representatives February 5, 1998. Attest: ROBIN H. CARLE, Clerk.
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