2009 Florida Statutes
Student assessment program for public schools.
1008.22 Student assessment program for public schools.--
(1) PURPOSE.--The primary purposes of the student assessment program are to provide information needed to improve the public schools by enhancing the learning gains of all students and to inform parents of the educational progress of their public school children. The program must be designed to:
(a) Assess the annual learning gains of each student toward achieving the Sunshine State Standards appropriate for the student's grade level.
(b) Provide data for making decisions regarding school accountability and recognition.
(c) Identify the educational strengths and needs of students and the readiness of students to be promoted to the next grade level or to graduate from high school with a standard or special high school diploma.
(d) Assess how well educational goals and curricular standards are met at the school, district, and state levels.
(e) Provide information to aid in the evaluation and development of educational programs and policies.
(f) Provide information on the performance of Florida students compared with that of other students across the United States.
(2) NATIONAL EDUCATION COMPARISONS.--It is Florida's intent to participate in the measurement of national educational goals. The Commissioner of Education shall direct Florida school districts to participate in the administration of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or a similar national assessment program, both for the national sample and for any state-by-state comparison programs which may be initiated. The assessments must be conducted using the data collection procedures, the student surveys, the educator surveys, and other instruments included in the National Assessment of Educational Progress or similar program being administered in Florida. The results of these assessments shall be included in the annual report of the Commissioner of Education specified in this section. The administration of the National Assessment of Educational Progress or similar program shall be in addition to and separate from the administration of the statewide assessment program.
(3) STATEWIDE ASSESSMENT PROGRAM.--The commissioner shall design and implement a statewide program of educational assessment that provides information for the improvement of the operation and management of the public schools, including schools operating for the purpose of providing educational services to youth in Department of Juvenile Justice programs. The commissioner may enter into contracts for the continued administration of the assessment, testing, and evaluation programs authorized and funded by the Legislature. Contracts may be initiated in 1 fiscal year and continue into the next and may be paid from the appropriations of either or both fiscal years. The commissioner is authorized to negotiate for the sale or lease of tests, scoring protocols, test scoring services, and related materials developed pursuant to law. Pursuant to the statewide assessment program, the commissioner shall:
(a) Submit proposed Next Generation Sunshine State Standards to the State Board of Education for adoption and periodic review and revision under s. 1003.41
(b) Develop and implement a uniform system of indicators to describe the performance of public school students and the characteristics of the public school districts and the public schools. These indicators must include, without limitation, information gathered by the comprehensive management information system created pursuant to s. 1008.385 and student achievement information obtained pursuant to this section.
(c) Develop and implement a student achievement testing program known as the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) as part of the statewide assessment program to measure a student's content knowledge and skills in reading, writing, science, and mathematics. Other content areas may be included as directed by the commissioner. Comprehensive assessments of reading and mathematics shall be administered annually in grades 3 through 10. Comprehensive assessments of writing and science shall be administered at least once at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. End-of-course assessments for a subject may be administered in addition to the comprehensive assessments required for that subject under this paragraph. An end-of-course assessment must be rigorous, statewide, standardized, and developed or approved by the department. The content knowledge and skills assessed by comprehensive and end-of-course assessments must be aligned to the core curricular content established in the Sunshine State Standards. The commissioner may select one or more nationally developed comprehensive examinations, which may include, but need not be limited to, examinations for a College Board Advanced Placement course, International Baccalaureate course, or Advanced International Certificate of Education course or industry-approved examinations to earn national industry certifications as defined in s. 1003.492, for use as end-of-course assessments under this paragraph, if the commissioner determines that the content knowledge and skills assessed by the examinations meet or exceed the grade level expectations for the core curricular content established for the course in the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards. The commissioner may collaborate with the American Diploma Project in the adoption or development of rigorous end-of-course assessments that are aligned to the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards. The testing program must be designed as follows:
1. The tests shall measure student skills and competencies adopted by the State Board of Education as specified in paragraph (a). The tests must measure and report student proficiency levels of all students assessed in reading, writing, mathematics, and science. The commissioner shall provide for the tests to be developed or obtained, as appropriate, through contracts and project agreements with private vendors, public vendors, public agencies, postsecondary educational institutions, or school districts. The commissioner shall obtain input with respect to the design and implementation of the testing program from state educators, assistive technology experts, and the public.
2. The testing program shall be composed of criterion-referenced tests that shall, to the extent determined by the commissioner, include test items that require the student to produce information or perform tasks in such a way that the core content knowledge and skills he or she uses can be measured.
3. Beginning with the 2008-2009 school year, the commissioner shall discontinue administration of the selected-response test items on the comprehensive assessments of writing. Beginning with the 2012-2013 school year, the comprehensive assessments of writing shall be composed of a combination of selected-response test items, short-response performance tasks, and extended-response performance tasks, which shall measure a student's content knowledge of writing, including, but not limited to, paragraph and sentence structure, sentence construction, grammar and usage, punctuation, capitalization, spelling, parts of speech, verb tense, irregular verbs, subject-verb agreement, and noun-pronoun agreement.
4. A score shall be designated for each subject area tested, below which score a student's performance is deemed inadequate. The school districts shall provide appropriate remedial instruction to students who score below these levels.
5. Except as provided in s. 1003.428(8)(b) or s. 1003.43(11)(b), students must earn a passing score on the grade 10 assessment test described in this paragraph or attain concordant scores as described in subsection (10) in reading, writing, and mathematics to qualify for a standard high school diploma. The State Board of Education shall designate a passing score for each part of the grade 10 assessment test. In establishing passing scores, the state board shall consider any possible negative impact of the test on minority students. The State Board of Education shall adopt rules which specify the passing scores for the grade 10 FCAT. Any such rules, which have the effect of raising the required passing scores, shall apply only to students taking the grade 10 FCAT for the first time after such rules are adopted by the State Board of Education.
6. Participation in the testing program is mandatory for all students attending public school, including students served in Department of Juvenile Justice programs, except as otherwise prescribed by the commissioner. If a student does not participate in the statewide assessment, the district must notify the student's parent and provide the parent with information regarding the implications of such nonparticipation. A parent must provide signed consent for a student to receive classroom instructional accommodations that would not be available or permitted on the statewide assessments and must acknowledge in writing that he or she understands the implications of such instructional accommodations. The State Board of Education shall adopt rules, based upon recommendations of the commissioner, for the provision of test accommodations for students in exceptional education programs and for students who have limited English proficiency. Accommodations that negate the validity of a statewide assessment are not allowable in the administration of the FCAT. However, instructional accommodations are allowable in the classroom if included in a student's individual education plan. Students using instructional accommodations in the classroom that are not allowable as accommodations on the FCAT may have the FCAT requirement waived pursuant to the requirements of s. 1003.428(8)(b) or s. 1003.43(11)(b).
7. A student seeking an adult high school diploma must meet the same testing requirements that a regular high school student must meet.
8. District school boards must provide instruction to prepare students to demonstrate proficiency in the core curricular content established in the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards adopted under s. 1003.41, including the core content knowledge and skills necessary for successful grade-to-grade progression and high school graduation. If a student is provided with instructional accommodations in the classroom that are not allowable as accommodations in the statewide assessment program, as described in the test manuals, the district must inform the parent in writing and must provide the parent with information regarding the impact on the student's ability to meet expected proficiency levels in reading, writing, and mathematics. The commissioner shall conduct studies as necessary to verify that the required core curricular content is part of the district instructional programs.
9. District school boards must provide opportunities for students to demonstrate an acceptable level of performance on an alternative standardized assessment approved by the State Board of Education following enrollment in summer academies.
10. The Department of Education must develop, or select, and implement a common battery of assessment tools that will be used in all juvenile justice programs in the state. These tools must accurately measure the core curricular content established in the Sunshine State Standards.
11. For students seeking a special diploma pursuant to s. 1003.438, the Department of Education must develop or select and implement an alternate assessment tool that accurately measures the core curricular content established in the Sunshine State Standards for students with disabilities under s. 1003.438
12. The Commissioner of Education shall establish schedules for the administration of statewide assessments and the reporting of student test results. The commissioner shall, by August 1 of each year, notify each school district in writing and publish on the department's Internet website the testing and reporting schedules for, at a minimum, the school year following the upcoming school year. The testing and reporting schedules shall require that:
a. There is the latest possible administration of statewide assessments and the earliest possible reporting to the school districts of student test results which is feasible within available technology and specific appropriations; however, test results must be made available no later than the final day of the regular school year for students.
b. Beginning with the 2010-2011 school year, a comprehensive statewide assessment of writing is not administered earlier than the week of March 1 and a comprehensive statewide assessment of any other subject is not administered earlier than the week of April 15.
c. A statewide standardized end-of-course assessment is administered within the last 2 weeks of the course.
The commissioner may, based on collaboration and input from school districts, design and implement student testing programs, for any grade level and subject area, necessary to effectively monitor educational achievement in the state, including the measurement of educational achievement of the Sunshine State Standards for students with disabilities. Development and refinement of assessments shall include universal design principles and accessibility standards that will prevent any unintended obstacles for students with disabilities while ensuring the validity and reliability of the test. These principles should be applicable to all technology platforms and assistive devices available for the assessments. The field testing process and psychometric analyses for the statewide assessment program must include an appropriate percentage of students with disabilities and an evaluation or determination of the effect of test items on such students.
(d) Conduct ongoing research to develop improved methods of assessing student performance, including, without limitation, the use of technology to administer tests, score, or report the results of, the use of electronic transfer of data, the development of work-product assessments, and the development of process assessments.
(e) Conduct ongoing research and analysis of student achievement data, including, without limitation, monitoring trends in student achievement by grade level and overall student achievement, identifying school programs that are successful, and analyzing correlates of school achievement.
(f) Provide technical assistance to school districts in the implementation of state and district testing programs and the use of the data produced pursuant to such programs.
(g) Study the cost and student achievement impact of secondary end-of-course assessments, including web-based and performance formats, and report to the Legislature prior to implementation.
(4) STATEWIDE ASSESSMENT PREPARATION; PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES.--Beginning with the 2008-2009 school year, a district school board shall prohibit each public school from suspending a regular program of curricula for purposes of administering practice tests or engaging in other test-preparation activities for a statewide assessment. However, a district school board may authorize a public school to engage in the following test-preparation activities for a statewide assessment:
(a) Distributing to students the sample test books and answer keys published by the Department of Education.
(b) Providing individualized instruction in test-taking strategies, without suspending the school's regular program of curricula, for a student who scores at Level 1 or Level 2 on a prior administration of the statewide assessment.
(c) Providing individualized instruction in the content knowledge and skills assessed, without suspending the school's regular program of curricula, for a student who scores at Level 1 or Level 2 on a prior administration of the statewide assessment or a student who, through a diagnostic assessment administered by the school district, is identified as having a deficiency in the content knowledge and skills assessed.
(d) Incorporating test-taking exercises and strategies into curricula for intensive reading and mathematics intervention courses.
(e) Administering a practice test or engaging in other test-preparation activities for the statewide assessment which are determined necessary to familiarize students with the organization of the assessment, the format of the test items, and the test directions, or which are otherwise necessary for the valid and reliable administration of the assessment, as set forth in rules adopted by the State Board of Education with specific reference to this paragraph.
(5) DISTRICT TESTING PROGRAMS.--Each district school board shall periodically assess student performance and achievement within each school of the district. The assessment programs must be based on the core curricular content established in the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards and any local goals and objectives that are compatible with the state plan for education and that supplement the core content knowledge and skills necessary for successful grade-to-grade progression and high school graduation. All school districts must participate in the statewide assessment program designed to measure annual student learning and school performance. All district school boards shall report assessment results as required by the state management information system.
(6) SCHOOL TESTING PROGRAMS.--Each public school shall participate in the statewide assessment program in accordance with the testing and reporting schedules published by the Commissioner of Education under subparagraph (3)(c)12. unless specifically exempted by state board rule based on serving a specialized population for which standardized testing is not appropriate. Student performance data shall be analyzed and reported to parents, the community, and the state. Student performance data shall be used in developing objectives of the school improvement plan, evaluation of instructional personnel, evaluation of administrative personnel, assignment of staff, allocation of resources, acquisition of instructional materials and technology, performance-based budgeting, and promotion and assignment of students into educational programs. The analysis of student performance data also must identify strengths and needs in the educational program and trends over time. The analysis must be used in conjunction with the budgetary planning processes developed pursuant to s. 1008.385 and the development of the programs of remediation.
(7) REQUIRED ANALYSES.--The commissioner shall provide, at a minimum, for the following analyses of data produced by the student achievement testing program:
(a) The statistical system for the annual assessments shall use measures of student learning, such as the FCAT, to determine teacher, school, and school district statistical distributions, which shall be determined using available data from the FCAT, and other data collection as deemed appropriate by the Department of Education, to measure the differences in student prior year achievement compared to the current year achievement for the purposes of accountability and recognition.
(b) The statistical system shall provide the best estimates of teacher, school, and school district effects on student progress. The approach used by the department shall be approved by the commissioner before implementation.
(c) The annual testing program shall be administered to provide for valid statewide comparisons of learning gains to be made for purposes of accountability and recognition. District school boards shall not establish school calendars that jeopardize or limit the valid testing and comparison of student learning gains.
(8) LOCAL ASSESSMENTS.--Measurement of the learning gains of students in all subjects and grade levels other than subjects and grade levels required for the state student achievement testing program is the responsibility of the school districts.
(9) APPLICABILITY OF TESTING STANDARDS.--
(a) If the Commissioner of Education revises a statewide assessment and the revisions require the State Board of Education to modify the assessment's proficiency levels or modify the passing scores required for a standard high school diploma, until the state board adopts the modifications by rule, the commissioner shall use calculations for scoring the assessment which adjust student scores on the revised assessment for statistical equivalence to student scores on the former assessment.
(b) A student must attain the passing scores on the statewide assessment required for a standard high school diploma which are in effect at the time the student enters grade 9 if the student's enrollment is continuous.
(c) If the commissioner revises a statewide assessment and the revisions require the State Board of Education to modify the passing scores required for a standard high school diploma, the commissioner may, with approval of the state board, discontinue administration of the former assessment upon the graduation, based on normal student progression, of students participating in the final regular administration of the former assessment. The state board shall adopt by rule passing scores for the revised assessment which are statistically equivalent to passing scores on the discontinued assessment for a student required under paragraph (b) to attain passing scores on the discontinued assessment.
(10) CONCORDANT SCORES FOR THE FCAT.--
(a) The State Board of Education shall analyze the content and concordant data sets for widely used high school achievement tests, including, but not limited to, the PSAT, PLAN, SAT, ACT, and College Placement Test, to assess if concordant scores for FCAT scores can be determined for high school graduation, college placement, and scholarship awards. In cases where content alignment and concordant scores can be determined, the Commissioner of Education shall adopt those scores as meeting the graduation requirement in lieu of achieving the FCAT passing score and may adopt those scores as being sufficient to achieve additional purposes as determined by rule. Each time that test content or scoring procedures change for the FCAT or for a high school achievement test for which a concordant score is determined, new concordant scores must be determined.
(b) In order to use a concordant subject area score pursuant to this subsection to satisfy the assessment requirement for a standard high school diploma as provided in s. 1003.429(6)(a), s. 1003.43(5)(a), or s. 1003.428, a student must take each subject area of the grade 10 FCAT a total of three times without earning a passing score. The requirements of this paragraph shall not apply to a new student who enters the Florida public school system in grade 12, who may either achieve a passing score on the FCAT or use an approved subject area concordant score to fulfill the graduation requirement.
(c) The State Board of Education may define by rule the allowable uses, other than to satisfy the high school graduation requirement, for concordant scores as described in this subsection. Such uses may include, but need not be limited to, achieving appropriate standardized test scores required for the awarding of Florida Bright Futures Scholarships and college placement.
(11) REPORTS.--The Department of Education shall annually provide a report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on the following:
(a) Longitudinal performance of students in mathematics and reading.
(b) Longitudinal performance of students by grade level in mathematics and reading.
(c) Longitudinal performance regarding efforts to close the achievement gap.
(d) Other student performance data based on national norm-referenced and criterion-referenced tests, when available, and numbers of students who after 8th grade enroll in adult education rather than other secondary education.
History.--s. 368, ch. 2002-387; s. 7, ch. 2003-8; s. 2, ch. 2003-413; s. 49, ch. 2004-41; s. 3, ch. 2004-42; s. 5, ch. 2004-271; s. 40, ch. 2006-74; s. 174, ch. 2007-5; s. 7, ch. 2008-142; s. 18, ch. 2008-235; s. 99, ch. 2009-21.