Gradebook is reporting that the House Education Policy Council will meet on Monday, the day after Easter, to consider that chamber’s bill on assessment and high school graduation policy, HB 7053. The bill includes a requirement that students pass a biology class and a class in either chemistry or physics to graduate from high school. It also replaces the 11th grade Science FCAT with a biology end-of-course exam, and has a list of end-of-course exams that will be implemented when budget conditions allow and the Commissioner of Education selects them. The list includes EOC’s in chemistry, Earth/space science and physics. The bill has sailed through its first two committee stops, with a favorable vote of 13-1 in the House PreK-12 Policy Committee and another of 15-0 in the Full Appropriations Council on Education & Economic Development.
The meeting will begin at noon and is scheduled to last for eight-and-a-half hours. Of course, it is not expected that HB 7053 will consume much of that time. Instead, it is likely that HB 7189, the controversial bill on teacher employment and compensation policies, will take up nearly all the time. The extraordinary length of the meeting was scheduled to allow a large number of public speakers to participate and to give the Council’s Democratic minority a chance to argue for its long list of amendments to HB 7189.