U-PASS and NCLB history

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2005, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

2000 - Utah lawmakers adopt a statewide school-accountability system called the Utah Performance Assessment System for Students (U-PASS). System requires a battery of tests, a high-school exit exam, school report cards and a system to label quality.

2001 - President Bush signs his No Child Left Behind (NCLB) initiative - a federal accountability system - into law. The system requires schools to show annual gains on state tests for all student groups, regardless of ethnicity, poverty, first language or disability.

2001-2003 - State Office of Education pauses development of U-PASS system to focus on requirements of No Child law.

January 2004 - Rep. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, sponsors a bill to opt out of NCLB, citing federal intrusion and excessive cost.

February 2004 - U.S. Department of Education officials come to Salt Lake City and threaten to withhold $106 million - most of it targeting low-income students - if Utah boycotts NCLB.

March 2004 - Legislature pushes Dayton's bill to interim study.

January 2005 - Dayton returns with House Bill 135, which doesn't opt out but instead places Utah's education priorities and systems ahead of NCLB.

February 2005 - House unanimously passes HB135.

March 2005 - Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. asks Senate not to take final vote before general session's end. He wants more time to negotiate with Washington for flexibility under NCLB. Huntsman promises a special session to pass Dayton's bill if feds don't budge. The Senate honors his request.

March-April 2005 - Huntsman education deputy Tim Bridgewater continues negotiations with federal government.

April 7 - U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announces flexibility for testing special education students, as well as a willingness to consider state accountability plans.

April 18 - Spellings sends letter to Sen. Orrin Hatch detailing potential $76 million loss in federal funding if Utah doesn't comply with NCLB.

April 19-20 - Special session to vote on Dayton's bill, now known as House Bill 1001.