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Sponsors: Senator Short
Document Path: l:\council\bills\gjk\20689sd06.doc
Companion/Similar bill(s): 992, 4328
Introduced in the Senate on January 10, 2006
Introduced in the House on March 21, 2006
Last Amended on March 15, 2006
Currently residing in the House Committee on Education and Public Works
Summary: Title 59
HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS
Date Body Action Description with journal page number ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1/10/2006 Senate Introduced and read first time SJ-36 1/10/2006 Senate Referred to Committee on Education SJ-36 3/14/2006 Senate Committee report: Favorable with amendment Education SJ-20 3/15/2006 Scrivener's error corrected 3/15/2006 Senate Amended SJ-27 3/15/2006 Senate Read second time SJ-27 3/16/2006 Senate Read third time and sent to House SJ-9 3/16/2006 Scrivener's error corrected 3/21/2006 House Introduced and read first time HJ-6 3/21/2006 House Referred to Committee on Education and Public Works HJ-7 4/19/2006 House Committee report: Favorable with amendment Education and Public Works HJ-40 4/20/2006 House Requests for debate-Rep(s). Walker HJ-38 4/20/2006 Scrivener's error corrected 4/25/2006 House Requests for debate-Rep(s). Loftis, Hayes, GR Smith, Owens, Rice, Hiott, Skelton, Hamilton, Lucas, Sinclair, Miller, JH Neal, and Weeks HJ-58 4/26/2006 House Debate adjourned until Thursday, April 27, 2006 HJ-79 4/27/2006 House Debate adjourned until Tuesday, May 2, 2006 HJ-20 5/3/2006 House Debate adjourned until Thursday, May 4, 2006 HJ-46 5/4/2006 House Debate adjourned until Tuesday, May 9, 2006 HJ-119 5/10/2006 House Recommitted to Committee on Education and Public Works HJ-91
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VERSIONS OF THIS BILL
Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
April 19, 2006
S. Printed 4/19/06--H. [SEC 4/20/06 7:34 PM]
Read the first time March 21, 2006.
To whom was referred a Bill (S. 1004) to provide for the Budget and Control Board to issue a request for proposals for the purpose of conducting a study to determine the feasibility and cost of converting, etc., respectfully
That they have duly and carefully considered the same and recommend that the same do pass with amendment:
Amend the bill, as and if amended, by striking all after the enacting words and inserting:
/SECTION 1. Title 59, Chapter 35 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 59-35-210. (A) There is created the South Carolina Child Development Education Two-Year Pilot Program. This program shall be available for the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 school year on a voluntary basis. The program shall focus on the developmental and learning support that children must have in order to be ready for school and must incorporate parenting education. The South Carolina Department of Social Services shall serve as the fiscal agent for the program during the two-year pilot.
(B) As used in this chapter, the term:
(1) 'At-risk' means any child whose family income makes them eligible for the free or reduced price lunch program or Medicaid.
(2) 'Department' means the State Department of Education.
(3) 'Parent' means the natural or adoptive parent or legal guardian of a child.
(4) 'Private provider' means a provider other than a public school approved to deliver the school-year four-year-old kindergarten program described in this chapter.
(5) 'Program' means education services provided by either public or private providers to serve at-risk four-year-old children.
(6) 'Provider' means either a state approved public or private program provider chosen by the parent.
(7) 'Public provider' means a public school approved to deliver the school-year four-year-old kindergarten program described in this chapter.
(8) 'Resident school district' means the public school district in which a child resides.
Section 59-35-220. (A) Beginning with the 2006-2007 school year and continuing through the 2007-2008 school year, with funds appropriated by the General Assembly, the South Carolina Child Development Education Two-Year Pilot Program shall first be made available to eligible children from the following eight trial districts in Abbeville County School District et al. vs. South Carolina:
(2) Dillon 2;
(3) Florence 4;
(4) Hampton 2;
(7) Marion 7;
(8) Orangeburg 3.
With any remaining funds available, the pilot shall be expanded to the remaining plaintiff school districts in Abbeville County School District et al. vs. South Carolina. Priority shall be given to implementing the program in the plaintiff districts having proportionally the largest population of underserved at-risk four-year-old children. While participating in the pilot program, Education Improvement Act funding from the four-year-old early childhood program as authorized pursuant to Section 59-139-70 may only be used to fund teacher salary supplements and fringe benefits as required by Section 59-20-50. During the implementation of the pilot program, no funds appropriated by the General Assembly for this purpose shall be used to fund services to at-risk four-year-old children residing outside of the trial or plaintiff districts.
(B) The Education Oversight Committee shall conduct an evaluation of the pilot program and shall issue a report to the General Assembly by January 1, 2008. The report shall include a comparative evaluation of children served in the pilot program and children not served in the pilot program. Additionally, based on the evaluation of the pilot program, the Education Oversight Committee shall include recommendations for the creation of and an implementation plan for phasing in the delivery of services to all four-year-old at-risk children in the Dtate.
(C) Annually, any unexpended funds from the prior year for this program shall be carried forward and used by the First Steps to Readiness Board of Trustees and the State Department of Education to provide funds to school districts and private providers for services to children zero to three years of age in the districts outlined in subsection (A).
Section 59-35-230. (A) Each child residing in the pilot districts, who will have attained the age of four years on or before September 1, of the school year, and meets the at-risk criteria established in this chapter is eligible for enrollment in the South Carolina Child Development Education Two-Year Pilot Program for one year.
(B) The parent of each eligible child may enroll the child in one of the following programs:
(1) A school-year four-year-old kindergarten program delivered by an approved public provider, or
(2) A school-year four-year-old kindergarten program delivered by an approved private provider.
(C) The parent enrolling a child must complete and submit an application to the approved provider of choice. The application must be submitted on forms prescribed by the South Carolina Department of Social Services and must be accompanied by a copy of the child's birth certificate, immunization documentation, and an appropriate free and reduced lunch application form or statement of Medicaid eligibility.
(D) In submitting an application for enrollment, the parent agrees to comply with provider attendance policies during the school year. This shall consist of six and one-half hours of instructional time daily and one hundred eighty days per year. Pursuant to program guidelines, noncompliance with attendance policies may result in removal from the program.
(E) No parent is required to pay tuition or fees solely for the purpose of enrolling in or attending the program established under this article. Nothing in this article prohibits charging fees for childcare that may be provided outside the times of the instructional day provided in these programs.
Section 59-35-240. (A) Providers choosing to participate in the South Carolina Four-Year-Old Child Development Kindergarten Program must submit an application to the South Carolina Department of Social Services. The application must be submitted on the forms prescribed, contain assurances that the provider meets all program criteria set forth in this article, and will comply with all reporting and assessment requirements.
(B) Providers shall:
(1) comply with all federal and state laws and constitutional provisions prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, gender, national origin, religion, ancestry, or need for special education services;
(2) comply with all state and local health and safety laws and codes;
(3) comply with all state laws that apply regarding criminal background checks for employees and exclude from employment any individual not permitted by state law to work with children;
(4) be accountable for meeting the education needs of the child and report regularly to the parent on his progress;
(5) comply with all program, reporting, and assessment criteria required of providers;
(6) maintain individual student records for each child enrolled in the program to include, but not limited to, assessment data, health data, records of teacher observations, and records of parent and teacher conferences;
(7) designate whether extended day services will be offered to the parents of children participating in the program; and
(8) be approved, registered, or licensed by the Department of Social Services.
(C) Providers may limit student enrollment based upon space available. However, if enrollment exceeds available space, providers shall enroll children with first priority given to children with the lowest scores on an approved pre-kindergarten readiness assessment. Private providers shall not be required to expand their programs to accommodate all children desiring enrollment.
Section 59-35-250. The Education Oversight Committee, in consultation with the State Department of Education and the Office of First Steps to School Readiness, shall:
(1) develop a list of approved curricula for use in the program based upon established criteria and the South Carolina content standards;
(2) develop a list of approved pre-kindergarten readiness assessments to be used in conjunction with the program;
(3) establish criteria for awarding new classroom equipping grants;
(4) establish criteria for the parenting education program providers must offer; and
(5) establish a list of early childhood related fields that may be used in meeting the lead teacher qualifications.
Section 59-35-260. (A) Providers of South Carolina Child Development Education Two-Year Pilot Program shall offer a complete educational program in accordance with age-appropriate instructional practice and a research based preschool curriculum aligned with school success. The program must focus on the developmental and learning support children must have in order to be ready for school. The provider must also incorporate parenting education that promotes the school readiness of preschool children by strengthening parent involvement in the learning process with an emphasis on interactive literacy.
(B) Providers shall offer high-quality, center-based programs that must include, but shall not be limited to, the following:
(1) employ a lead teacher with a two-year degree in early childhood education or related field or be granted a waiver of this requirement from the South Carolina Department of Social Services;
(2) employ an education assistant with pre-service or in-service training in early childhood education;
(3) maintain classrooms with at least ten four-year-old children, but no more than twenty four-year-old children with an adult to child ratio of 1:10. With classrooms having a minimum of ten children, the 1:10 ratio must be a lead teacher to child ratio;
(4) offer a full day, center-based program with six and one-half hours of instruction daily for one hundred eighty school days.
(5) provide an approved research-based preschool curriculum that focuses on critical child development skills, especially early literacy, numeracy, and social/emotional development;
(6) engage parents' participation in their child's educational experience that shall include a minimum of two documented conferences per year; and
(7) adhere to professional development requirements outlined in this article.
Section 59-35-270. Every classroom providing services to four-year-old children established pursuant to this article must have:
(1) a lead teacher with at least a two-year degree in early childhood education or related field and who is enrolled and is demonstrating progress toward the completion of a teacher education program within four years; and
(2) at least one education assistant per classroom who shall have the minimum of a high school diploma or the equivalent, and at least two years of experience working with children under five years old. The teaching assistant shall have completed the Early Childhood Development Credential (ECD) 101 or enroll and complete this course within twelve months of hire.
Section 59-35-280. The General Assembly recognizes there is a strong relationship between the skills and preparation of pre-kindergarten instructors and the educational outcomes of students. To improve these educational outcomes, participating providers shall require all personnel providing instruction and classroom support to students participating in the South Carolina Child Development Education Two-Year Pilot Program to participate annually in a minimum of fifteen hours of professional development to include teaching children from poverty. Professional development shall provide instruction in strategies and techniques to address the age-appropriate progress of pre-kindergarten students in developing emergent literacy skills, including, but not limited to, oral communication, knowledge of print and letters, phonemic and phonological awareness, and vocabulary and comprehension development.
Section 59-35-290. Both public and private providers shall be eligible for transportation funds pursuant to Section 59-35-320 for the transportation of children to and from school. Nothing herein prohibits providers from contracting with another entity to provide transportation services provided the entities adhere to the requirements of Section 56-5-195. Providers shall not be responsible for transporting students attending programs outside the district lines. Parents choosing program providers located outside of their resident district shall be responsible for transportation. When transporting four-year-old child development students, providers shall make every effort to transport them with students of similar ages attending the same school.
Section 59-35-300. For all private providers approved to offer services pursuant to this article, the Office of First Steps to School Readiness shall:
(1) verify student enrollment eligibility;
(2) coordinate oversight, monitoring, technical assistance, coordination, and training for classroom providers;
(3) serve as a clearing house for information and best practices related to four-year-old kindergarten programs;
(4) receive new classroom grant applications and make recommendations for approval based on approved criteria to the South Carolina Department of Social Services;
(5) coordinate activities and promote collaboration with other private and public providers in developing and supporting four-year-old kindergarten programs; and
(6) maintain a database of the children enrolled in the program.
Section 59-35-310. For all public school providers approved to offer services pursuant to this article, the State Department of Education shall:
(1) verify enrollment eligibility;
(2) coordinate oversight, monitoring, technical assistance, coordination, and training for classroom teachers and educational assistants;
(3) serve as a clearing house for information and best practices related to four-year-old kindergarten programs;
(4) receive new classroom grant applications and make recommendations for approval based on approved criteria to the South Carolina Department of Social Services;
(5) coordinate activities and promote collaboration with public and other private providers in developing and supporting four-year-old kindergarten programs; and
(6) maintain a database of the children enrolled in the program.
Section 59-35-320. (A) The General Assembly shall provide funding for the South Carolina Child Development Education Two-Year Pilot Program. For the 2006-2007 school year, the funded cost per child shall be three thousand seventy-seven dollars. Additionally, a reimbursement rate of one hundred eighty-five dollars will be appropriated to providers if they transport children to and from school. Providers who are reimbursed are required to retain records as required by their fiscal agent. For the 2007-2008 school year the funded cost per child shall be the same but shall be increased by the same projected rate of inflation as determined by the Division of Research and Statistics of the Budget and Control Board for the Education Finance Act.
(B) With funds appropriated by the General Assembly, the South Carolina Department of Social Services shall approve grants, based upon the recommendations of the State Department of Education for public providers and the Office of First Steps to School Readiness for private providers, of up to ten thousand dollars per class for the equipping of new classrooms.
Section 59-35-340. Pursuant to this article, the South Carolina Department of Social Services shall:
(1) develop the provider application form;
(2) develop the child enrollment application form;
(3) review and recommend approved providers to the State Board of Education and to the First Steps to School Readiness Board of Trustees for final approval. In considering approval of providers, consideration must be given to the provider's availability of permanent space for program service and whether temporary classroom space is necessary to provide services to any children;
(4) maintain a list of curricula meeting the criteria approved pursuant to Section 59-35-250;
(5) maintain a list of all approved public and private providers;
(6) adopt procedures for payment of providers;
(7) grant lead teacher related-field waivers pursuant to Section 59-35-250;
(8) approve grants of up to ten thousand dollars for equipping new classrooms; and
(9) promulgate guidelines necessary for the implementation of the pilot.
Section 59-35-350. (A) The Education Oversight Committee shall conduct a comparative evaluation of the South Carolina Child Development Education Two-Year Pilot Program and issue their findings in a report to the General Assembly by January 1, 2008. Based on information, data, and evaluation results, the Education Oversight Committee shall include as part of their report recommendations for the creation of and implementation of a statewide four-year-old kindergarten program for at-risk children. The report also shall include information and recommendations on lead teacher qualifications and options for creating comparable salary schedules for certified teachers employed by private providers.
(B) To aid in this evaluation, the Education Oversight Committee shall determine the data necessary and both public and private providers are required to submit the necessary data as a condition of continued participation in and funding of the program. This data shall include developmentally appropriate measures of student progress. Additionally, the Department of Education shall issue a unique student identifier for each child receiving services from a private provider. The Department of Education shall be responsible for the collection and maintenance of data on the public state-funded full-day and half-day four-year-old kindergarten programs. The Office of First Steps to School Readiness shall be responsible for the collection and maintenance of data on the state-funded programs provided through private providers. The Education Oversight Committee shall use this data and all other collected and maintained data necessary to conduct a research based review of the program's implementation and assessment of student success in the early elementary grades.
Section 59-35-360. If a section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this article is for any reason held to be unconstitutional or invalid, this holding does not affect the constitutionality or the validity of the remaining portions of this article, the General Assembly hereby declaring that it would have passed this article, and each section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, and word thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more other sections, subsections, paragraphs, subparagraphs, sentences, clauses, phrases, or words thereof may be declared to be unconstitutional, invalid, or otherwise ineffective."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor. /
Renumber sections to conform.
Amend title to conform.
RONALD P. TOWNSEND for Committee.
TO PROVIDE FOR THE BUDGET AND CONTROL BOARD TO ISSUE A REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS FOR THE PURPOSE OF CONDUCTING A STUDY TO DETERMINE THE FEASIBILITY AND COST OF CONVERTING THE STATE ASSESSMENT PROGRAM TO A COMPUTER-BASED OR COMPUTER-ADAPTIVE FORMAT; TO AMEND SECTIONS 59-18-120, 59-18-310, AS AMENDED, 59-18-320, 59-18-330, 59-18-340, AND 59-18-360, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, ALL RELATING TO THE EDUCATION ACCOUNTABILITY ACT AND THE ADOPTION OF EDUCATIONAL STANDARDS AND ASSESSMENT PROGRAMS, SO AS TO FURTHER DEFINE CERTAIN TERMS, TO PROVIDE FOR THE CREATION OF A STATEWIDE ADOPTION LIST OF FORMATIVE ASSESSMENTS THAT PROVIDE DIAGNOSTIC INFORMATION TO SCHOOL DISTRICTS, TO REVISE CERTAIN EXIT EXAMINATION REQUIREMENTS, TO PROVIDE THAT THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION SHALL ADOPT A DEVELOPMENTALLY APPROPRIATE FORMATIVE READING ASSESSMENT FOR FIRST AND SECOND GRADES, TO PROVIDE FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR ASSESSMENTS, TO PROVIDE FOR CERTAIN ANNUAL SCIENCE AND SOCIAL STUDIES ASSESSMENTS, TO PROVIDE FOR A TASK FORCE TO RECOMMEND ALTERNATIVE EVIDENCE AND PROCEDURES FOR GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS PURSUANT TO CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, TO PROVIDE FOR CONTINUING TEACHER TRAINING TO ENSURE THE VALID AND RELIABLE USE OF ASSESSMENTS, TO PROVIDE THAT THE READINESS ASSESSMENT MUST BE MODIFIED TO PROVIDE INFORMATION ON STUDENT LITERACY DEVELOPMENT, TO PROVIDE THAT THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION SHALL ADMINISTER ANNUALLY THE NATIONAL ASSESSMENT OF EDUCATION PROGRESS TO OBTAIN AN INDICATION OF STUDENT PERFORMANCE RELATIVE TO NATIONAL PERFORMANCE, AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SHALL CONVENE ANNUALLY ITS TEAM OF CURRICULUM EXPERTS TO ANALYZE THE RESULTS OF THE ASSESSMENTS; TO AMEND SECTION 59-18-1595, RELATING TO REALLOCATION OF TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FUNDING, SO AS TO CHANGE A REFERENCE FROM THE PALMETTO ACHIEVEMENT CHALLENGE TEST TO END-OF-YEAR ASSESSMENT; TO AMEND SECTION 59-28-200, RELATING TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF INFORMATIONAL MATERIALS, SO AS TO CHANGE A REFERENCE FROM THE PALMETTO ACHIEVEMENT CHALLENGE TESTS TO STATEWIDE ASSESSMENTS; AND TO REPEAL CHAPTER 30 OF TITLE 59 RELATING TO THE BASIC SKILLS ASSESSMENT PROGRAM.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Computerized assessments allow for rapid reporting of assessment results and can provide for more accurate information regarding student achievement in a shorter period of time. To begin positioning South Carolina for delivery of state assessments by the computer, the Budget and Control Board shall issue a request for proposals for the purpose of conducting a study on the feasibility and cost of converting the state assessment program to a computer-based or computer-adaptive format. The study must include, but is not limited to, the following:
(1) descriptions of state assessment programs which are computer based or computer adaptive;
(2) a review of the literature on the comparability of scores obtained by examinees when assessments are administered by computer rather than paper and pencil;
(3) a determination as to whether the conversion of the state assessment program to a computer-based or computer-adaptive format will satisfy the federal No Child Left Behind requirements;
(4) recommendations regarding subject area assessments to be computer-based or computer-adaptive to include a recommendation regarding order of implementation;
(5) feasibility of inclusion of constructed response items as part of the writing assessment and feasibility of movement of the writing assessment to a separate administration;
(6) hardware, software, staffing, and training requirements at the state, district, and school level to administer a statewide computer-based or computer-adaptive assessment;
(7) costs to the State of converting the state assessment program to a computer-based or computer-adaptive format;
(8) current state, district, and school capacity, to include personnel, for administering a computer-based or computer-adaptive state assessment;
(9) costs to bring the State, districts, and schools to needed capacity for delivery and maintenance of a computer-based or computer-adaptive state assessment;
(10) issues regarding window of administration, test security, and need of a backup system for state, district, school, and classroom purposes;
(11) delivery of results for schools and students and the ability to provide instructionally informative results to districts, schools, teachers, and parents;
(12) advantages and disadvantages of converting the state assessment program to a computer-based or computer-adaptive assessment;
(13) a reasonable implementation schedule; and
(14) conclusions and recommendations.
The Education Oversight Committee, in conjunction with the State Department of Education, shall convene an advisory panel to serve in an advisory capacity throughout the study. The panel must include, but is not limited to, state and district instructional technology personnel, assessment personnel, and curriculum and instruction personnel. The panel also must include the following legislative members to serve ex-officio: President Pro Tempore of the Senate or his designee; Speaker of the House of Representatives or his designee, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee or his designee, Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee of the House of Representatives or his designee, Chairman of the Senate Education Committee or his designee, and Chairman of the Education and Public Works Committee of the House of Representatives or his designee. The Budget and Control Board shall issue a report on the findings of the study no later than December 15, 2006, to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Chairmen of the Senate Finance, House Ways and Means, Senate Education, and House Education and Public Works Committees.
SECTION 2.A. Section 59-18-120(10) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"(10) 'Objective and reliable statewide assessment' means assessments
which that yield consistent results and which that measure the cognitive knowledge and skills specified in the state-approved academic standards and does do not include questions relative to personal opinions, feelings, or attitudes and is are not biased with regard to race, gender, or socioeconomic status. It is not intended that the The assessments be limited to true/false or must include a writing assessment and multiple-choice questions designed to reflect a range of cognitive abilities beyond the knowledge level. Constructive response questions may be included as a component of the writing assessment."
B. Section 59-18-120 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding the following:
"(12) 'Formative assessment' means assessments used within the school year to analyze general strengths and weaknesses in learning and instruction, to understand the performance of students individually and across achievement categories, to adapt instruction to meet students' needs, and to consider placement and planning for the next grade level. Data and performance from the formative assessments must not be used in the calculation of school or district ratings."
SECTION 3. Section 59-18-310 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 59-18-310. (A) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the State Board of Education, through the Department of Education, is required to develop or adopt a statewide assessment program to promote student learning and to measure student performance on state standards and:
(1) identify areas in which students need additional support;
(2) indicate the academic achievement for schools, districts, and the State;
(3) satisfy federal reporting requirements
(4) provide professional development to educators.
All Assessments required to be developed or adopted under pursuant to the provisions of this section or chapter must be objective and reliable.
(B) The statewide assessment program in the four academic areas
shall must include grades three through eight, an exit examination, which is to be first administered in grade ten, and end-of-course tests for gateway courses awarded Carnegie units of credit in English/language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies for grades nine through twelve. 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.
(C) While assessment is called for in the specific areas mentioned above, this should not be construed as lessening the importance of foreign languages, visual and performing arts, health, physical education, and career
/ or occupational programs.
(D) By March 31, 2007, the State Board of Education shall create a statewide adoption list of formative assessments aligned with the state content standards and satisfying professional measurement standards in accordance with criteria jointly determined by the Education Oversight Committee and the State Department of Education. The formative assessments must provide diagnostic information in a timely manner to all school districts for each student during the course of the school year. With funds appropriated by the General Assembly, local districts must be allocated resources to select and administer formative assessments from the statewide adoption list to use to improve student performance in accordance with district improvement plans. However, if a local district already administers formative assessments, the district may continue to use the assessments if they meet the state standards and criteria pursuant to this subsection.
(E) The State Board of Education shall adopt a developmentally appropriate formative reading assessment for use in first and second grades to be administered initially in the 2007-08 school year. The assessment must provide opportunities for periodic formative assessment during the school year, reports that are useful for informing classroom instruction, strand, or significant groupings of standards level information about individual students, and must be compatible with best practices in reading instruction and reading research. The State Department of Education shall provide appropriate and on-going professional development to support appropriate use of the assessment.
(F) The State Department of Education shall provide on-going professional development in the development and use of classroom assessments, the use of formative assessments and the use of the end-of-year state assessments so that teaching and learning activities are focused on student needs and lead to higher levels of student performance."
SECTION 4. Section 59-18-320(B) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"(B) After review and approval by the Education Oversight Committee, the standards-based assessment of mathematics, English/language arts, social studies, and science will be administered to all public school students to include those students as required by the 1997 reauthorization of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and by Title 1 at the end of grades three through eight. To reduce the number of days of testing, to the extent possible, field test items must be embedded with the annual assessments. In accordance with the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, science assessments must be administered annually to all students in one elementary and one middle school grade. The State Department of Education shall develop a sampling plan to administer science and social studies assessments to all other elementary and middle school students. The plan shall provide for all students and both content areas to be assessed annually; however, individual students, except in census testing grades, are not required to take both tests. In the sampling plan, approximately half of the assessments must be administered in science and the other half in social studies in each class. To ensure that school districts maintain the high standard of accountability established in the Education Accountability Act, performance level results reported on school and district report cards must meet consistently high levels in all four core content areas. Beginning with the 2007 report card, the core areas must remain consistent with the following percentage weightings established and approved by the Education Oversight Committee: in grades three through five, thirty percent each for English/language arts and math, and twenty percent each for science and social studies; and in grades six through eight, twenty-five percent each for English/language arts and math, and twenty-five percent each for science and social studies. The exit examination
in these four academic areas will must be administered for the first time at the end of grade ten the student's second year of high school enrollment beginning with grade nine. For students with documented disabilities, the assessments developed by the Department of Education shall include the appropriate modifications and accommodations with necessary supplemental devices as outlined in a student's Individualized Education Program and as stated in the Administrative Guidelines and Procedures for Testing Students with Documented Disabilities. The State Board of Education shall establish a task force to recommend alternative evidence and procedures that may be used to allow students to meet graduation requirements even if they have failed the exit examination. The alternative evidence only may be used in the rare instances where there is compelling evidence that a student is well qualified for graduation, but extreme circumstances have interfered with passage of the exit examination and, for that reason alone, the student would be denied a state high school diploma."
SECTION 5. Section 59-18-330 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 59-18-330. The State Board of Education, through the State Department of Education, shall develop, select, or adapt a first-grade readiness test
which that is linked to the adopted grade-one academic standards and a second-grade readiness test which that is linked to the adopted grade-two academic standards. The first administration of this test must occur no later than the 2000-2001 school year. The purpose of the tests is to measure individual student readiness, and they are not to be used as an accountability measure at the state level. However, the grade-two readiness test will serve as the baseline for grade-three assessment. The State Department of Education shall provide continuing teacher training to ensure the valid and reliable use of the assessments and develop a minimum statewide data collection plan to include the amount and types of evidence to be collected. Beginning with the 2006-07 school year, the readiness assessment must be modified to provide detailed information on student literacy development."
SECTION 6. Section 59-18-340 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 59-18-340. The State Board of Education
, following the recommendations of the Accountability Division of the Education Oversight Committee, is directed to select a norm referenced test administer annually the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) to obtain an indication of student and school performance relative to national performance levels. The test must be administered annually to a statistically valid random sample of students in at least three grades from grades three through eleven. The Oversight Committee shall determine an appropriate sampling plan for the norm referenced test that must be administered beginning in the 1998-1999 school year."
SECTION 7. Section 59-18-360 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 59-18-360. (A) The State Board of Education, in consultation with the Education Oversight Committee, shall provide for a cyclical review by academic area of the state standards and assessments to ensure that the standards and assessments are maintaining high expectations for learning and teaching. All academic areas must be initially reviewed by the year 2005. At a minimum, each academic area should be reviewed and updated every seven years. After each academic area is reviewed, a report on the recommended revisions must be presented to the Education Oversight Committee for its consideration. After approval by the Education Oversight Committee, the recommendations may be implemented. As a part of the review, a task force of parents, business and industry persons, community leaders, and educators, to include special education teachers,
must shall examine the standards and assessment system to determine rigor and relevancy.
(B) Beginning with the 2005 assessment results, the State Department of Education annually shall convene a team of curriculum experts to analyze the results of the assessments, including performance item by item. This analysis must yield a plan for disseminating additional information about the assessment results and instruction and the information must be disseminated to districts not later than January fifteenth of the subsequent year."
SECTION 8. Section 59-18-1595 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 59-18-1595. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, and in order to provide assistance at the beginning of the school year, schools may qualify for technical assistance based on the criteria established by the Education Oversight Committee for school ratings and on the most recently available
PACT end-of-year assessment scores. In order to best meet the needs of low-performing schools, the funding provided for technical assistance under the Education Accountability Act may be reallocated among the programs and purposes specified in this section. The State Department of Education shall establish criteria for reviewing and assisting schools that will be rated unsatisfactory using a tiered system with the lowest-performing schools receiving highest priority. Not to exceed the statewide total number of specialists stipulated by the Education Accountability Act, the highest priority school assistance shall include a year-long technical assistance team that may include a lead principal or curriculum specialist, or both. All specialists shall have a demonstrated record of success in their field and shall be entitled to the incentives and benefits of a teacher specialist. Technical assistance for below average schools shall be provided to the extent possible in order of need. The State Department of Education shall provide information on the technical assistance strategies and their impact to the State Board of Education, the Education Oversight Committee, the Senate Education Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, the House of Representatives Education and Public Works Committee, and the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee annually."
SECTION 9. Section 59-28-200 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 59-28-200. The Education Oversight Committee and the State Superintendent of Education shall develop and publish jointly informational materials for distribution to all public school parents and to teachers. The informational materials for distribution shall include:
(1) an explanation of the grade-level academic content standards and advice on how parents can help their children achieve the standards and the relationship of the standards to the
Palmetto Achievement Challenge Tests (PACT) state assessments; and
(2) printed information about the standards and advice relative to parental involvement in their children's education for visible display and use in every public school K-12 classroom."
SECTION 10. Chapter 30 of Title 59 of the 1976 Code is repealed.
SECTION 11. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
This web page was last updated on Friday, December 4, 2009 at 3:34 P.M.