Amend the committee report, as and if amended, Section 59-18-310(B), as contained in SECTION 1, by deleting the subsection in its entirety and inserting:
/ "(B)(1) The statewide assessment program must include the subjects of English/language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies in grades three through eight, as delineated in Section 59-18-320(B), to be first administered in 2009,
an exit examination in English/language arts and mathematics to be first administered in a student's second year of high school enrollment beginning with grade nine, and end-of-course tests for gateway courses awarded units of credit in English/language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. Student performance targets must be established following the 2009 administration. The assessment program must be used for school and school district accountability purposes beginning with the 2008-2009 school year. The publication of the annual school and school district report card may be delayed for the 2008-2009 school year until no later than February 15, 2010. A student's score on an end-of-year assessment may not be the sole criterion for placing the student on academic probation, retaining the student in his current grade, or requiring the student to attend summer school. Beginning with the graduating class of 2010, students are required to pass a high school credit course in science and a course in United States history in which end-of-course examinations are administered to receive the state high school diploma. Beginning with the graduating class of 2015, students are no longer required to meet the exit examination requirements set forth in this section and State Regulation to earn a South Carolina high school diploma.
(2) A person who is no longer enrolled in a public school and who previously failed to receive a high school diploma or was denied graduation solely for failing to meet the exit exam requirements set forth in Section 59-18-310(B) and State Regulation, may petition the local school board to determine the student's eligibility to receive a high school diploma pursuant to this chapter. The local school board will transmit diploma requests to the South Carolina Department of Education in accordance with department procedures. Petitions under this section must be submitted to the local school district by December 31, 2015. Students receiving diplomas in accordance with this section shall not be counted as graduates in the graduation rate calculations for affected schools and districts, either retroactively or in current or future calculations. On or before January 31, 2017, the South Carolina Department of Education shall report to the State Board of Education and the General Assembly, the number of diplomas granted, by school district, under the provision. The State Board of Education shall remove any conflicting requirement and promulgate conforming changes in its applicable regulations. The department shall advertise the provisions of this item in at least one daily newspaper of general circulation in the area of each school district within forty-five days after this enactment. At a minimum, this notice must consist of two columns measuring at least ten inches in length and measuring at least four and one-half inches in combined width, and include:
(a) a headline printed in at least a twenty-four point font that is boldfaced;
(b) an explanation of who qualifies for the petitioning option;
(c) an explanation of the petition process;
(d) a contact name and phone number; and
(e) the deadline for submitting a petition." /
Amend the bill further, Section 59-48-35, as contained in SECTION 2, by deleting the SECTION in its entirety and inserting:
/ SECTION 2. Section 59-48-35 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 59-48-35. The students enrolled in the Special School of Science and Mathematics who earn a total of twenty units of credit distributed as specified in the Defined Minimum Program for South Carolina school districts
, who pass the exit examination described in Section 59-30-10(f), and who meet the school's requirements for graduation are eligible to receive a state high school diploma. The board of the Special School, in its discretion, may issue its own high school diploma." /
Amend the bill further by adding an appropriately numbered SECTION to read:
/ SECTION ___. Section 59-18-950 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 59-18-950. Notwithstanding another provision of law to the contrary, the Education Oversight Committee may base ratings for school districts and high schools on criteria that include graduation rates
, exit examination performance, and other criteria identified by technical experts and appropriate groups of educators and workforce advocates." /
Amend the bill further, Part III, by deleting Part III in its entirety.
Renumber sections to conform.
Amend title to conform.