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The Senate Education Committee endorsed Wednesday a bill that would allow students to receive class credit for their efforts on standardized tests.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Senate Education Committee has endorsed a bill that would allow teachers to give class credit to students for their efforts on standardized tests.

HB118, sponsored by Rep. Mike Winder, R-West Valley City, "legalizes the carrots while prohibiting the sticks," he said.

The legislation doesn't penalize students who opt out of standardized testing. But for students to take the tests and give their best efforts, the bill allows those "hours of test taking count for something,’’ Winder said during committee discussion Wednesday.

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Currently, state law prohibits schools from encouraging participation on the year-end tests. Under HB118, teachers could give extra credit to students who perform well but hold harmless students who elect to opt out or score poorly.

The bill does not prescribe how class credit would be offered but if a student's test results indicate mastery of subject matter, a teacher could offer to drop a classroom exam in which the student performed poorly and give credit for the student's standardized test score instead, Winder said.

The bill, which passed the House on a 58-14 vote, moves to the Senate after a 4-2 committee vote.