Updated 09/18/2012 06:19 PM
Lawmakers question drivers education curriculum
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RALEIGH—The legislative watchdog Program Evaluation Committee met in Raleigh Tuesday to discuss what has been accomplished in the state's effort to revamp its drivers education program.
“I think DPI has failed miserably in creating a curriculum that adequately prepares these students to pass the test,” said Rep. Edgar Starnes, a Caldwell County Republican.
For a lot of the lawmakers, they say they were hoping for more progress.
“We are now two years into this, and we don't have anymore answer than we had two years ago,” said Sen. Fletcher Harstell, a Cabarrus County Republican.
The Department of Public Instruction pointed out changes that have been made. To date, online pilot programs has been implemented, data on student achievement has been gathered, and a standardized statewide curriculum is now place.
However, there are questions if that curriculum will actually help a student pass a written test when they go to get their license.
“That is another discussion to make sure that what we are teaching is captured when the students go to get their license,” said Paula Hildebrand with the Department of Public Instruction.
DPI says the curriculum is aligned with the test, but includes a lot more information beyond that. But for lawmakers, some of whom are parents of students who failed the written test a time or two, they say they aren't convinced the lesson plan is on target.
“I am just curious as to why when we are creating a curriculum why are we not using the DMV textbook if you will which is what we have asked our children to study so they can pass,” said Rep. Moffitt.
The Department of Public Instruction is still analyzing what is the most cost effective method to deliver drivers education; either online or in the classroom.