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TO REQUIRE THAT THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION IMMEDIATELY SHALL, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, THE OFFICE OF FIRST STEPS TO SCHOOL READINESS, THE EDUCATION OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE, AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS AS APPROPRIATE, BEGIN TO CONSIDER WHICH ASSESSMENT MUST BE USED TO ANALYZE THE EARLY LITERACY COMPETENCIES OF CHILDREN IN STATE-FUNDED FULL-DAY AND HALF-DAY FOUR-YEAR-OLD KINDERGARTEN PROGRAMS AND OF ALL CHILDREN ENTERING KINDERGARTEN PROGRAMS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS DURING THE 2014 - 2015 SCHOOL YEAR; TO PROVIDE THE ASSESSMENT MUST BE THE SAME OR ALIGNED TO ASSESSMENTS INTENDED TO PROVIDE DIAGNOSTIC INFORMATION TO TEACHERS AND MEASURE STUDENT GROWTH OVER TIME; TO REQUIRE THE BOARD TO PROVIDE A REPORT SUMMARIZING THE ASSESSMENT IT HAS SELECTED TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY BEFORE JUNE 1, 2015; AND TO PROVIDE SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS FOR THE EARLY LITERACY MEASURE SELECTED BY THE BOARD.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. (A) The State Board of Education immediately shall, in consultation with the Department of Education, the Office of First Steps to School Readiness, the Education Oversight Committee and other stakeholders as appropriate, begin to consider which assessment must be used to analyze the early literacy competencies of children in state-funded full-day and half-day four-year-old kindergarten programs and of all children entering kindergarten programs in public schools during the 2014 - 2015 school year. The assessment must be the same or aligned to assessments intended to provide diagnostic information to teachers and measure student growth over time. Before June 1, 2014, the board shall submit to the General Assembly a report summarizing the assessment that it has selected.
(B) The early literacy measure selected by the board pursuant to subsection (A) must continue to be used until the board chooses a comprehensive kindergarten readiness assessment standard compatible with the requirements of subsection (A); provided, however, that the board may not choose another such assessment without submitting a report summarizing the replacement kindergarten readiness assessment that it has selected to the General Assembly and the Governor before June first immediately preceding the school year in which the board intends for the replacement assessment to be used.
SECTION 2. This joint resolution takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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