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A254, R262, H4328
Sponsors: Reps. Walker, Townsend, Anthony, Clark, J. Hines, J.H. Neal, Owens, E.H. Pitts, D.C. Smith, M.A. Pitts, Bailey, Littlejohn, Clyburn, Toole, Bannister and Loftis
Document Path: l:\council\bills\ggs\22290sj06.doc
Companion/Similar bill(s): 992, 1004
Introduced in the House on January 10, 2006
Introduced in the Senate on January 31, 2006
Last Amended on March 15, 2006
Passed by the General Assembly on March 22, 2006
Governor's Action: March 24, 2006, Signed
Summary: State Assessment Program
HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS
Date Body Action Description with journal page number ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 12/7/2005 House Prefiled 12/7/2005 House Referred to Committee on Education and Public Works 12/13/2005 Scrivener's error corrected 1/10/2006 House Introduced and read first time HJ-32 1/10/2006 House Referred to Committee on Education and Public Works HJ-33 1/19/2006 House Committee report: Favorable with amendment Education and Public Works HJ-2 1/20/2006 Scrivener's error corrected 1/25/2006 House Member(s) request name added as sponsor: Bannister, Loftis 1/25/2006 House Amended HJ-31 1/25/2006 House Debate interrupted HJ-40 1/25/2006 House Read second time HJ-46 1/25/2006 House Roll call Yeas-105 Nays-0 HJ-48 1/26/2006 House Read third time and sent to Senate HJ-14 1/31/2006 Senate Introduced and read first time SJ-11 1/31/2006 Senate Referred to Committee on Education SJ-11 3/14/2006 Senate Committee report: Favorable with amendment Education SJ-21 3/15/2006 Scrivener's error corrected 3/15/2006 Senate Amended SJ-30 3/15/2006 Senate Read second time SJ-30 3/16/2006 Senate Read third time and returned to House with amendments SJ-9 3/22/2006 House Concurred in Senate amendment and enrolled HJ-19 3/23/2006 Ratified R 262 3/24/2006 Signed By Governor 3/28/2006 Copies available 3/28/2006 Effective date 03/24/06 4/5/2006 Act No. 254
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VERSIONS OF THIS BILL
(A254, R262, H4328)
AN ACT 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 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 PERCENTAGE WEIGHTINGS FOR GRADES THREE THROUGH SIX FOR THE FOUR CORE CONTENT AREAS; 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:
Budget and Control Board feasibility study for computer-based state assessment program
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 that yield consistent results and that measure the cognitive knowledge and skills specified in the state-approved academic standards and do not include questions relative to personal opinions, feelings, or attitudes and are not biased with regard to race, gender, or socioeconomic status. The assessments 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."
Statewide assessment program
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; and
(4) provide professional development to educators.
Assessments required to be developed or adopted pursuant to the provisions of this section or chapter must be objective and reliable.
(B) The statewide assessment program in the four academic areas must include grades three through eight, an exit examination in English/language arts and mathematics, which is 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 Carnegie units of credit in English/language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. 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. For use beginning with the 2007-08 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."
Standards-based annual assessments
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 must be administered for the first time at the end of 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."
Student readiness assessment
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 that is linked to the adopted grade-one academic standards and a second-grade readiness test that is linked to the adopted grade-two academic standards. 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."
National Assessment of Education Progress administered
SECTION 6. Section 59-18-340 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 59-18-340. The State Board of Education is directed to administer annually the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) to obtain an indication of student and school performance relative to national performance levels."
Assessment results analyzed
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, 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 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 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.
Ratified the 23rd day of March, 2006.
Approved the 24th day of March, 2006.
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