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       Florida Senate - 2010                                     SB 224
       By Senator Ring
       32-00296-10                                            2010224__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to statewide assessments; amending s.
    3         1008.22, F.S.; revising provisions relating to the
    4         schedule for administering comprehensive statewide
    5         assessments; providing that a comprehensive statewide
    6         assessment may be administered the week before the
    7         week of April 15 if a religious holiday occurs during
    8         that week; providing an effective date.
   10  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   12         Section 1. Paragraph (c) of subsection (3) of section
   13  1008.22, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   14         1008.22 Student assessment program for public schools.—
   15         (3) STATEWIDE ASSESSMENT PROGRAM.—The commissioner shall
   16  design and implement a statewide program of educational
   17  assessment that provides information for the improvement of the
   18  operation and management of the public schools, including
   19  schools operating for the purpose of providing educational
   20  services to youth in Department of Juvenile Justice programs.
   21  The commissioner may enter into contracts for the continued
   22  administration of the assessment, testing, and evaluation
   23  programs authorized and funded by the Legislature. Contracts may
   24  be initiated in 1 fiscal year and continue into the next and may
   25  be paid from the appropriations of either or both fiscal years.
   26  The commissioner is authorized to negotiate for the sale or
   27  lease of tests, scoring protocols, test scoring services, and
   28  related materials developed pursuant to law. Pursuant to the
   29  statewide assessment program, the commissioner shall:
   30         (c) Develop and implement a student achievement testing
   31  program known as the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test
   32  (FCAT) as part of the statewide assessment program to measure a
   33  student’s content knowledge and skills in reading, writing,
   34  science, and mathematics. Other content areas may be included as
   35  directed by the commissioner. Comprehensive assessments of
   36  reading and mathematics shall be administered annually in grades
   37  3 through 10. Comprehensive assessments of writing and science
   38  shall be administered at least once at the elementary, middle,
   39  and high school levels. End-of-course assessments for a subject
   40  may be administered in addition to the comprehensive assessments
   41  required for that subject under this paragraph. An end-of-course
   42  assessment must be rigorous, statewide, standardized, and
   43  developed or approved by the department. The content knowledge
   44  and skills assessed by comprehensive and end-of-course
   45  assessments must be aligned to the core curricular content
   46  established in the Sunshine State Standards. The commissioner
   47  may select one or more nationally developed comprehensive
   48  examinations, which may include, but need not be limited to,
   49  examinations for a College Board Advanced Placement course,
   50  International Baccalaureate course, or Advanced International
   51  Certificate of Education course or industry-approved
   52  examinations to earn national industry certifications as defined
   53  in s. 1003.492, for use as end-of-course assessments under this
   54  paragraph, if the commissioner determines that the content
   55  knowledge and skills assessed by the examinations meet or exceed
   56  the grade level expectations for the core curricular content
   57  established for the course in the Next Generation Sunshine State
   58  Standards. The commissioner may collaborate with the American
   59  Diploma Project in the adoption or development of rigorous end
   60  of-course assessments that are aligned to the Next Generation
   61  Sunshine State Standards. The testing program must be designed
   62  as follows:
   63         1. The tests shall measure student skills and competencies
   64  adopted by the State Board of Education as specified in
   65  paragraph (a). The tests must measure and report student
   66  proficiency levels of all students assessed in reading, writing,
   67  mathematics, and science. The commissioner shall provide for the
   68  tests to be developed or obtained, as appropriate, through
   69  contracts and project agreements with private vendors, public
   70  vendors, public agencies, postsecondary educational
   71  institutions, or school districts. The commissioner shall obtain
   72  input with respect to the design and implementation of the
   73  testing program from state educators, assistive technology
   74  experts, and the public.
   75         2. The testing program shall be composed of criterion
   76  referenced tests that shall, to the extent determined by the
   77  commissioner, include test items that require the student to
   78  produce information or perform tasks in such a way that the core
   79  content knowledge and skills he or she uses can be measured.
   80         3. Beginning with the 2008-2009 school year, the
   81  commissioner shall discontinue administration of the selected
   82  response test items on the comprehensive assessments of writing.
   83  Beginning with the 2012-2013 school year, the comprehensive
   84  assessments of writing shall be composed of a combination of
   85  selected-response test items, short-response performance tasks,
   86  and extended-response performance tasks, which shall measure a
   87  student’s content knowledge of writing, including, but not
   88  limited to, paragraph and sentence structure, sentence
   89  construction, grammar and usage, punctuation, capitalization,
   90  spelling, parts of speech, verb tense, irregular verbs, subject
   91  verb agreement, and noun-pronoun agreement.
   92         4. A score shall be designated for each subject area
   93  tested, below which score a student’s performance is deemed
   94  inadequate. The school districts shall provide appropriate
   95  remedial instruction to students who score below these levels.
   96         5. Except as provided in s. 1003.428(8)(b) or s.
   97  1003.43(11)(b), students must earn a passing score on the grade
   98  10 assessment test described in this paragraph or attain
   99  concordant scores as described in subsection (10) in reading,
  100  writing, and mathematics to qualify for a standard high school
  101  diploma. The State Board of Education shall designate a passing
  102  score for each part of the grade 10 assessment test. In
  103  establishing passing scores, the state board shall consider any
  104  possible negative impact of the test on minority students. The
  105  State Board of Education shall adopt rules which specify the
  106  passing scores for the grade 10 FCAT. Any such rules, which have
  107  the effect of raising the required passing scores, shall apply
  108  only to students taking the grade 10 FCAT for the first time
  109  after such rules are adopted by the State Board of Education.
  110         6. Participation in the testing program is mandatory for
  111  all students attending public school, including students served
  112  in Department of Juvenile Justice programs, except as otherwise
  113  prescribed by the commissioner. If a student does not
  114  participate in the statewide assessment, the district must
  115  notify the student’s parent and provide the parent with
  116  information regarding the implications of such nonparticipation.
  117  A parent must provide signed consent for a student to receive
  118  classroom instructional accommodations that would not be
  119  available or permitted on the statewide assessments and must
  120  acknowledge in writing that he or she understands the
  121  implications of such instructional accommodations. The State
  122  Board of Education shall adopt rules, based upon recommendations
  123  of the commissioner, for the provision of test accommodations
  124  for students in exceptional education programs and for students
  125  who have limited English proficiency. Accommodations that negate
  126  the validity of a statewide assessment are not allowable in the
  127  administration of the FCAT. However, instructional
  128  accommodations are allowable in the classroom if included in a
  129  student’s individual education plan. Students using
  130  instructional accommodations in the classroom that are not
  131  allowable as accommodations on the FCAT may have the FCAT
  132  requirement waived pursuant to the requirements of s.
  133  1003.428(8)(b) or s. 1003.43(11)(b).
  134         7. A student seeking an adult high school diploma must meet
  135  the same testing requirements that a regular high school student
  136  must meet.
  137         8. District school boards must provide instruction to
  138  prepare students to demonstrate proficiency in the core
  139  curricular content established in the Next Generation Sunshine
  140  State Standards adopted under s. 1003.41, including the core
  141  content knowledge and skills necessary for successful grade-to
  142  grade progression and high school graduation. If a student is
  143  provided with instructional accommodations in the classroom that
  144  are not allowable as accommodations in the statewide assessment
  145  program, as described in the test manuals, the district must
  146  inform the parent in writing and must provide the parent with
  147  information regarding the impact on the student’s ability to
  148  meet expected proficiency levels in reading, writing, and
  149  mathematics. The commissioner shall conduct studies as necessary
  150  to verify that the required core curricular content is part of
  151  the district instructional programs.
  152         9. District school boards must provide opportunities for
  153  students to demonstrate an acceptable level of performance on an
  154  alternative standardized assessment approved by the State Board
  155  of Education following enrollment in summer academies.
  156         10. The Department of Education must develop, or select,
  157  and implement a common battery of assessment tools that will be
  158  used in all juvenile justice programs in the state. These tools
  159  must accurately measure the core curricular content established
  160  in the Sunshine State Standards.
  161         11. For students seeking a special diploma pursuant to s.
  162  1003.438, the Department of Education must develop or select and
  163  implement an alternate assessment tool that accurately measures
  164  the core curricular content established in the Sunshine State
  165  Standards for students with disabilities under s. 1003.438.
  166         12. The Commissioner of Education shall establish schedules
  167  for the administration of statewide assessments and the
  168  reporting of student test results. The commissioner shall, by
  169  August 1 of each year, notify each school district in writing
  170  and publish on the department’s Internet website the testing and
  171  reporting schedules for, at a minimum, the school year following
  172  the upcoming school year. The testing and reporting schedules
  173  shall require that:
  174         a. There is the latest possible administration of statewide
  175  assessments and the earliest possible reporting to the school
  176  districts of student test results which is feasible within
  177  available technology and specific appropriations; however, test
  178  results must be made available no later than the final day of
  179  the regular school year for students.
  180         b. Beginning with the 2010-2011 school year, a
  181  comprehensive statewide assessment of writing is not
  182  administered earlier than the week of March 1 and a
  183  comprehensive statewide assessment of any other subject is not
  184  administered earlier than the week of April 15. However, if any
  185  religious holiday, including, but not limited to, Passover and
  186  Easter, occurs during the week of April 15, the comprehensive
  187  statewide assessment may be administered the week before the
  188  week during which the religious holiday occurs.
  189         c. A statewide standardized end-of-course assessment is
  190  administered within the last 2 weeks of the course.
  192  The commissioner may, based on collaboration and input from
  193  school districts, design and implement student testing programs,
  194  for any grade level and subject area, necessary to effectively
  195  monitor educational achievement in the state, including the
  196  measurement of educational achievement of the Sunshine State
  197  Standards for students with disabilities. Development and
  198  refinement of assessments shall include universal design
  199  principles and accessibility standards that will prevent any
  200  unintended obstacles for students with disabilities while
  201  ensuring the validity and reliability of the test. These
  202  principles should be applicable to all technology platforms and
  203  assistive devices available for the assessments. The field
  204  testing process and psychometric analyses for the statewide
  205  assessment program must include an appropriate percentage of
  206  students with disabilities and an evaluation or determination of
  207  the effect of test items on such students.
  208         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.

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