The Iowa House passe- a sweeping education reform package on a largely party-line vote late Wednesday morning that requires more student testing, calls for the expansion of charters schools and keeps a controversial third grade retention program in place.
The House also rejected key components in Gov. Terry Branstad’s reform proposal such as requiring prospective teachers to have and maintain a 3.0 GPA and put new restrictions on who can take online classes.
“This online learning is a strange new animal, but we have some language to tame that animal,” Rep. Royd Chambers, R-Sheldon, told his colleagues shortly before the vote. Chambers is a high school teacher and floor managed the House bill. “This bill is a blow to the status quo, which is a positive thing.”