State Representative Tony D’Amelio (R-71) joined the House Republican caucus today and forced Democrats to hold a formal public hearing on the controversial Common Core curriculum and public school teacher evaluation process.

By utilizing a seldom used petitioning process called Joint Rule 11, House Republican lawmakers were able to gather the required 51 signatures to force a public hearing. The petition will allow two bills relating to the Common Core Curriculum and teacher evaluations to be raised. Previous efforts to request a public hearing were denied by the Chairs of the Education committee.

“It’s a shame the Education Committee has refused to grant public hearings on such important issues, but today we took the difficult step of forcing those hearings because it’s the right thing to do,” Rep. D’Amelio said. “The teachers, administrators, parents and students involved deserve a chance to speak their mind on issues that will greatly impact their education and our state.”

The House Republican caucus also proposed two bills which would freeze implementation of the curriculum and also create a subcommittee to revamp the evaluation process.

Proposed Bill No. 5078, authored by Rep. Marilyn Giuliano (R-23), would freeze the implementation of the Common Core curriculum for further study until all stakeholders have time to examine its potential effects and reduce classroom evaluations for teachers.

Proposed Bill No. 5331, put forth by the House Republican caucus, calls for the creation of  subcommittee of classroom teachers to discuss and share their issues involving the teacher evaluation program, reduces the number of formal classroom evaluations to one per school year, reduces the amount of goals to be established by each teacher, streamlines data management, and perhaps most importantly, enables the exclusion of student scores on statewide mastery tests, including the Smarter Balanced assessment test, from being factored into a teacher’s evaluation.

“Doing the right thing is difficult but always worthwhile, and I’m proud of the Republican caucus for standing up for the people of our state,” Rep. D’Amelio said.

A time and date for the hearings has not been set yet.