(1) DEFINITIONS.—For purposes of the statewide, standardized assessment program and school grading system, the following terms are defined: (a) “Achievement level,” “student achievement,” or “achievement” describes the level of content mastery a student has acquired in a particular subject as measured by a statewide, standardized assessment administered pursuant to s. 1008.22(3)(a) and (b). There are five achievement levels. Level 1 is the lowest achievement level, level 5 is the highest achievement level, and level 3 indicates satisfactory performance. A student passes an assessment if the student achieves a level 3, level 4, or level 5. For purposes of the Florida Alternate Assessment administered pursuant to s. 1008.22(3)(c), the state board shall provide, in rule, the number of achievement levels and identify the achievement levels that are considered passing.
(b) “Learning Gains,” “annual learning gains,” or “student learning gains” means the degree of student learning growth occurring from one school year to the next as required by state board rule for purposes of calculating school grades under this section.
(c) “Student performance,” “student academic performance,” or “academic performance” includes, but is not limited to, student learning growth, achievement levels, and Learning Gains on statewide, standardized assessments administered pursuant to s. 1008.22. (2) SCHOOL GRADES.—Schools shall be graded using one of the following grades, defined according to rules of the State Board of Education:
(a) “A,” schools making excellent progress.
(b) “B,” schools making above average progress.
(c) “C,” schools making satisfactory progress.
(d) “D,” schools making less than satisfactory progress.
(e) “F,” schools failing to make adequate progress.
Each school that earns a grade of “A” or improves at least two letter grades may have greater authority over the allocation of the school’s total budget generated from the FEFP, state categoricals, lottery funds, grants, and local funds.
(3) DESIGNATION OF SCHOOL GRADES.— (a) Each school must assess at least 95 percent of its eligible students, except as provided under s. 1008.341 for alternative schools. Each school shall receive a school grade based on the school’s performance on the components listed in subparagraphs (b)1. and 2. If a school does not have at least 10 students with complete data for one or more of the components listed in subparagraphs (b)1. and 2., those components may not be used in calculating the school’s grade. 1. An alternative school may choose to receive a school grade under this section or a school improvement rating under s. 1008.341. For charter schools that meet the definition of an alternative school pursuant to State Board of Education rule, the decision to receive a school grade is the decision of the charter school governing board.
2. A school that serves any combination of students in kindergarten through grade 3 that does not receive a school grade because its students are not tested and included in the school grading system shall receive the school grade designation of a K-3 feeder pattern school identified by the Department of Education and verified by the school district. A school feeder pattern exists if at least 60 percent of the students in the school serving a combination of students in kindergarten through grade 3 are scheduled to be assigned to the graded school.
3. If a collocated school does not earn a school grade or school improvement rating for the performance of its students, the student performance data of all schools operating at the same facility must be aggregated to develop a school grade that will be assigned to all schools at that location. A collocated school is a school that has its own unique master school identification number, provides for the education of each of its enrolled students, and operates at the same facility as another school that has its own unique master school identification number and provides for the education of each of its enrolled students.
(b)1. Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, a school’s grade shall be based on the following components, each worth 100 points: a. The percentage of eligible students passing statewide, standardized assessments in English Language Arts under s. 1008.22(3). b. The percentage of eligible students passing statewide, standardized assessments in mathematics under s. 1008.22(3). c. The percentage of eligible students passing statewide, standardized assessments in science under s. 1008.22(3). d. The percentage of eligible students passing statewide, standardized assessments in social studies under s. 1008.22(3). e. The percentage of eligible students who make Learning Gains in English Language Arts as measured by statewide, standardized assessments administered under s. 1008.22(3). f. The percentage of eligible students who make Learning Gains in mathematics as measured by statewide, standardized assessments administered under s. 1008.22(3). g. The percentage of eligible students in the lowest 25 percent in English Language Arts, as identified by prior year performance on statewide, standardized assessments, who make Learning Gains as measured by statewide, standardized English Language Arts assessments administered under s. 1008.22(3). h. The percentage of eligible students in the lowest 25 percent in mathematics, as identified by prior year performance on statewide, standardized assessments, who make Learning Gains as measured by statewide, standardized mathematics assessments administered under s. 1008.22(3).
i. For schools comprised of middle grades 6 through 8 or grades 7 and 8, the percentage of eligible students passing high school level statewide, standardized end-of-course assessments or attaining national industry certifications identified in the CAPE Industry Certification Funding List pursuant to rules adopted by the State Board of Education.
In calculating Learning Gains for the components listed in sub-subparagraphs e.-h., the State Board of Education shall require that learning growth toward achievement levels 3, 4, and 5 is demonstrated by students who scored below each of those levels in the prior year. In calculating the components in sub-subparagraphs a.-d., the state board shall include the performance of English language learners only if they have been enrolled in a school in the United States for more than 2 years.
2. For a school comprised of grades 9, 10, 11, and 12, or grades 10, 11, and 12, the school’s grade shall also be based on the following components, each worth 100 points:
a. The 4-year high school graduation rate of the school as defined by state board rule.
b. The percentage of students who were eligible to earn college and career credit through College Board Advanced Placement examinations, International Baccalaureate examinations, dual enrollment courses, or Advanced International Certificate of Education examinations; or who, at any time during high school, earned national industry certification identified in the CAPE Industry Certification Funding List, pursuant to rules adopted by the state board.
(c)1. The calculation of a school grade shall be based on the percentage of points earned from the components listed in subparagraph (b)1. and, if applicable, subparagraph (b)2. The State Board of Education shall adopt in rule a school grading scale that sets the percentage of points needed to earn each of the school grades listed in subsection (2). There shall be at least five percentage points separating the percentage thresholds needed to earn each of the school grades. The state board shall periodically review the school grading scale to determine if the scale should be adjusted upward to meet raised expectations and encourage increased student performance. If the state board adjusts the grading scale upward, the state board must inform the public and the school districts of the reasons for and degree of the adjustment and its anticipated impact on school grades.
2. The calculation of school grades may not include any provision that would raise or lower the school’s grade beyond the percentage of points earned. Extra weight may not be added in the calculation of any components.
(d) The performance of students attending alternative schools and students designated as hospital or homebound shall be factored into a school grade as follows: 1. The student performance data for eligible students attending alternative schools that provide dropout prevention and academic intervention services pursuant to s. 1003.53 shall be included in the calculation of the home school’s grade. The term “eligible students” in this subparagraph does not include students attending an alternative school who are subject to district school board policies for expulsion for repeated or serious offenses, who are in dropout retrieval programs serving students who have officially been designated as dropouts, or who are in programs operated or contracted by the Department of Juvenile Justice. As used in this subparagraph, the term “home school” means the school to which the student would be assigned if the student were not assigned to an alternative school. If an alternative school chooses to be graded under this section, student performance data for eligible students identified in this subparagraph shall not be included in the home school’s grade but shall be included only in the calculation of the alternative school’s grade. A school district that fails to assign statewide, standardized end-of-course assessment scores of each of its students to his or her home school or to the alternative school that receives a grade shall forfeit Florida School Recognition Program funds for one fiscal year. School districts must require collaboration between the home school and the alternative school in order to promote student success. This collaboration must include an annual discussion between the principal of the alternative school and the principal of each student’s home school concerning the most appropriate school assignment of the student.
2. Student performance data for students designated as hospital or homebound shall be assigned to their home school for the purposes of school grades. As used in this subparagraph, the term “home school” means the school to which a student would be assigned if the student were not assigned to a hospital or homebound program.
(4) SCHOOL REPORT CARD.—The Department of Education shall annually develop, in collaboration with the school districts, a school report card to be provided by the school district to parents within the district. The report card shall include the school’s grade; student performance in English Language Arts, mathematics, science, and social studies; information regarding school improvement; an explanation of school performance as evaluated by the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), 20 U.S.C. ss. 6301 et seq.; and indicators of return on investment. Each school’s report card shall be published annually by the department on its website based upon the most recent data available.
(5) DISTRICT GRADE.—Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, a school district’s grade shall include a district-level calculation of the components under paragraph (3)(b). This calculation methodology captures each eligible student in the district who may have transferred among schools within the district or is enrolled in a school that does not receive a grade. The department shall develop a district report card that includes the district grade; the information required under s. 1008.345(5); measures of the district’s progress in closing the achievement gap between higher-performing student subgroups and lower-performing student subgroups; measures of the district’s progress in demonstrating Learning Gains of its highest-performing students; measures of the district’s success in improving student attendance; the district’s grade-level promotion of students scoring achievement levels 1 and 2 on statewide, standardized English Language Arts and mathematics assessments; and measures of the district’s performance in preparing students for the transition from elementary to middle school, middle to high school, and high school to postsecondary institutions and careers. (6) RULES.—The State Board of Education shall adopt rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer this section. 1(7) TRANSITION.—School grades pursuant to this section and school improvement ratings pursuant to s. 1008.341 for the 2013-2014 school year shall be calculated based on statutes and rules in effect on June 30, 2014. To assist in the transition to 2014-2015 school grades and school improvement ratings, calculated based on new statewide, standardized assessments administered pursuant to s. 1008.22, the 2014-2015 school grades and school improvement ratings shall serve as an informational baseline for schools to work toward improved performance in future years. Accordingly, notwithstanding any other provision of law: (a) A school may not be required to select and implement a turnaround option pursuant to s. 1008.33 in the 2015-2016 school year based on the school’s 2014-2015 grade or school improvement rating under s. 1008.341, as applicable. The benefits of s. 1008.33(4)(c), relating to a school being released from implementation of the turnaround option, and s. 1008.33(4)(d), relating to a school implementing strategies identified in its school improvement plan, apply to a school using turnaround options pursuant to s. 1008.33 which improves at least one letter grade during the 2014-2015 school year. (b)1. A school or approved provider under s. 1002.45 which receives the same or a lower school grade or school improvement rating for the 2014-2015 school year compared to the 2013-2014 school year is not subject to sanctions or penalties that would otherwise occur as a result of the 2014-2015 school grade or rating. A charter school system or a school district designated as high performing may not lose the designation based on the 2014-2015 school grades of any of the schools within the charter school system or school district, as applicable. 2. The Florida School Recognition Program established under s. 1008.36 shall continue to be implemented as otherwise provided in the General Appropriations Act. (c) Until such time as an independent verification of the psychometric validity of the statewide, standardized assessments first implemented in 2014-2015 is provided, for purposes of grade 3 English Language Arts student performance and high school graduation requirements pursuant to s. 1003.4282, student performance on the 2014-2015 statewide, standardized assessments shall be linked to 2013-2014 student performance expectations. Students who score in the bottom quintile on the 2014-2015 grade 3 English Language Arts assessment shall be identified as students at risk of retention. School districts must notify parents of such students, provide evidence as outlined in s. 1008.25(6)(b), and provide the appropriate intervention and support services for student success in grade 4.
This subsection is repealed July 1, 2017.
1Note.—Section 11, ch. 2015-6, added paragraph (7)(d), which is repealed effective December 31, 2015, to read:
(d)1. An independent verification of the psychometric validity of the statewide, standardized assessments first implemented in 2014-2015 must be completed before the 2014-2015 school grades results may be published and before the student performance data resulting from such assessments may be used for purposes of instructional personnel and school administrator evaluations.
2. The independent entity must be selected by a panel consisting of one member appointed by the Governor, one member appointed by the President of the Senate, and one member appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. In selecting the independent entity, the panel must consider, at a minimum:
a. The national reputation and length of establishment of the entity;
b. The experience and expertise of the independent entity in validating such data; and
c. The use of professional standards, codes, and guidelines that address applicable practices in the profession, such as the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing.
3. The panel must select the independent entity no later than June 1, 2015. Upon selection of the independent entity, the Department of Education shall immediately contract with the independent entity to perform the independent verification, which must be completed by September 1, 2015. This paragraph is repealed December 31, 2015.