Florida Senate - 2016                                    SB 1124
       By Senator Montford
       3-00690A-16                                           20161124__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to education accountability; amending
    3         s. 1008.34, F.S.; redefining the terms “learning
    4         gains,” “annual learning gains,” and “student learning
    5         gains”; revising components upon which designation of
    6         school grades are based beginning with the 2015-2016
    7         school year; requiring each school district to receive
    8         a district grade of “I” or “Incomplete” for the 2014
    9         2015 school year; requiring specified components of
   10         the school grading calculation to be reported for the
   11         2014-2015 school year; providing that a school that
   12         receives an “I” or “Incomplete” as a 2014-2015 school
   13         grade or school improvement rating is not subject to
   14         turnaround options, sanctions, or penalties; requiring
   15         the Department of Education to conduct a comprehensive
   16         review of the school accountability system; providing
   17         requirements for the review; requiring a report to the
   18         Governor and the Legislature by a specified date;
   19         removing the scheduled repeal of transitional
   20         provisions; providing an effective date.
   22         WHEREAS, Florida’s accountability system has been a model
   23  for the nation, and
   24         WHEREAS, the transition to the new statewide Florida
   25  Standards Assessments, or FSA, has been fraught with
   26  difficulties, and
   27         WHEREAS, during the testing window, students were locked
   28  out of their computers, students were not able to finish their
   29  tests, entire testing results were lost, computer screens were
   30  blank, and computers were cyber-attacked, and
   31         WHEREAS, days, if not weeks, of instruction were lost for
   32  those students who were not being tested, and access to
   33  computers and other instruction was disrupted, and
   34         WHEREAS, the recently released validity study underscored
   35  the difficulty of gauging the magnitude of the problem, as well
   36  as the lack of rigor and lack of standardization in the
   37  administration of the FSA, and
   38         WHEREAS, the results of the FSA will be a major, if not the
   39  only, determining factor in calculating school grades, and
   40         WHEREAS, school grades, if issued, will be incomplete
   41  because they will not include student learning gains or growth,
   42  which are essential components of school grades, and
   43         WHEREAS, the confidence in and credibility of Florida’s
   44  accountability system are at stake with students, parents,
   45  teachers, and the community, and
   46         WHEREAS, the issuance of school grades months after the
   47  administration of the FSA does nothing to measure performance,
   48  inform instruction, evaluate teachers, or fairly grade schools
   49  and will further weaken public support of the accountability
   50  system, and
   51         WHEREAS, changes must be made to develop a viable
   52  accountability system and regain the trust of students,
   53  teachers, parents, and communities, NOW, THEREFORE,
   55  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   57         Section 1. Paragraph (b) of subsection (1), paragraph (b)
   58  of subsection (3), and subsections (5) and (7) of section
   59  1008.34, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   60         1008.34 School grading system; school report cards;
   61  district grade.—
   62         (1) DEFINITIONS.—For purposes of the statewide,
   63  standardized assessment program and school grading system, the
   64  following terms are defined:
   65         (b) “Learning gains,” “annual learning gains,” or “student
   66  learning gains” means the degree of student learning growth
   67  occurring from one school year to the next as required by state
   68  board rule for purposes of calculating school grades under this
   69  section. For the purpose of school grades, maintaining
   70  achievement level 3, level 4, or level 5 or increasing such
   71  achievement level constitutes a learning gain.
   73         (b)1. Beginning with the 2015-2016 2014-2015 school year, a
   74  school’s grade shall be based on the following components, each
   75  worth 100 points:
   76         a. The percentage of eligible students passing statewide,
   77  standardized assessments in English Language Arts under s.
   78  1008.22(3).
   79         b. The percentage of eligible students passing statewide,
   80  standardized assessments in mathematics under s. 1008.22(3).
   81         c. The percentage of eligible students passing statewide,
   82  standardized assessments in science under s. 1008.22(3).
   83         d. The percentage of eligible students passing statewide,
   84  standardized assessments in social studies under s. 1008.22(3).
   85         e. The percentage of eligible students who make learning
   86  gains in English Language Arts as measured by statewide,
   87  standardized assessments administered under s. 1008.22(3).
   88         f. The percentage of eligible students who make learning
   89  gains in mathematics as measured by statewide, standardized
   90  assessments administered under s. 1008.22(3).
   91         g. The percentage of eligible students in the lowest 25
   92  percent in English Language Arts, as identified by prior year
   93  performance on statewide, standardized assessments, who make
   94  learning gains as measured by statewide, standardized English
   95  Language Arts assessments administered under s. 1008.22(3).
   96         h. The percentage of eligible students in the lowest 25
   97  percent in mathematics, as identified by prior year performance
   98  on statewide, standardized assessments, who make learning gains
   99  as measured by statewide, standardized mathematics assessments
  100  administered under s. 1008.22(3).
  101         i. For schools comprised of middle grades 6 through 8 or
  102  grades 7 and 8, the percentage of eligible students passing high
  103  school level statewide, standardized end-of-course assessments
  104  or attaining national industry certifications identified in the
  105  CAPE Industry Certification Funding List pursuant to rules
  106  adopted by the State Board of Education.
  108  In calculating learning gains for the components listed in sub
  109  subparagraphs e.-h., the State Board of Education shall require
  110  that learning growth toward achievement levels 3, 4, and 5 is
  111  demonstrated by students who scored below or remained at
  112  achievement level 3, level 4, or level 5 each of those levels in
  113  the prior year. In calculating the components in sub
  114  subparagraphs a.-d., the state board shall include the
  115  performance of English language learners only if they have been
  116  enrolled in a school in the United States for more than 2 years.
  117         2. For a school comprised of grades 9, 10, 11, and 12, or
  118  grades 10, 11, and 12, the school’s grade shall also be based on
  119  the following components, each worth 100 points:
  120         a. The 4-year high school graduation rate of the school as
  121  defined by state board rule.
  122         b. The percentage of students who were eligible to earn
  123  college and career credit through College Board Advanced
  124  Placement examinations, International Baccalaureate
  125  examinations, dual enrollment courses, or Advanced International
  126  Certificate of Education examinations; or who, at any time
  127  during high school, earned national industry certification
  128  identified in the CAPE Industry Certification Funding List,
  129  pursuant to rules adopted by the state board.
  130         (5) DISTRICT GRADE.—Beginning with the 2015-2016 2014-2015
  131  school year, a school district’s grade shall include a district
  132  level calculation of the components under paragraph (3)(b). For
  133  the 2014-2015 school year, a school district shall receive a
  134  district grade of “I” or “Incomplete.” This calculation
  135  methodology captures each eligible student in the district who
  136  may have transferred among schools within the district or is
  137  enrolled in a school that does not receive a grade. The
  138  department shall develop a district report card that includes
  139  the district grade; the information required under s.
  140  1008.345(5); measures of the district’s progress in closing the
  141  achievement gap between higher-performing student subgroups and
  142  lower-performing student subgroups; measures of the district’s
  143  progress in demonstrating learning gains of its highest
  144  performing students; measures of the district’s success in
  145  improving student attendance; the district’s grade-level
  146  promotion of students scoring achievement levels 1 and 2 on
  147  statewide, standardized English Language Arts and mathematics
  148  assessments; and measures of the district’s performance in
  149  preparing students for the transition from elementary to middle
  150  school, middle to high school, and high school to postsecondary
  151  institutions and careers.
  152         (7) TRANSITION.—School grades pursuant to this section and
  153  school improvement ratings pursuant to s. 1008.341 for the 2013
  154  2014 school year shall be calculated based on statutes and rules
  155  in effect on June 30, 2014. To assist in the transition to the
  156  2014-2015 school grades and school improvement ratings,
  157  calculated based on new statewide, standardized assessments
  158  administered pursuant to s. 1008.22, for the 2014-2015 school
  159  year, each school shall receive an “I” or “Incomplete” as a
  160  school grade or school improvement rating. However, the
  161  components listed in sub-subparagraphs (3)(b)1.a.-d. and i. and
  162  subparagraph (3)(b)2., if applicable, shall be calculated and
  163  reported. The 2014-2015 school grades and school improvement
  164  ratings shall serve as an informational baseline for schools to
  165  work toward improved performance in future years. Accordingly,
  166  notwithstanding any other provision of law:
  167         (a) A school may not be required to select and implement a
  168  turnaround option pursuant to s. 1008.33 in the 2015-2016 school
  169  year based on the school’s 2014-2015 grade or school improvement
  170  rating of “I” or “Incomplete” under s. 1008.341, as applicable.
  171  The benefits of s. 1008.33(4)(c), relating to a school being
  172  released from implementation of the turnaround option, and s.
  173  1008.33(4)(d), relating to a school implementing strategies
  174  identified in its school improvement plan, apply to a school
  175  using turnaround options pursuant to s. 1008.33 which improves
  176  at least one letter grade during the 2014-2015 school year.
  177         (b)1. A school or approved provider under s. 1002.45 which
  178  receives an “I” or “Incomplete” the same or a lower school grade
  179  or school improvement rating for the 2014-2015 school year
  180  compared to the 2013-2014 school year is not subject to
  181  sanctions or penalties that would otherwise occur as a result of
  182  the 2014-2015 school grade or rating. A charter school system or
  183  a school district designated as high performing may not lose the
  184  designation based on the 2014-2015 school grades of “I” or
  185  “Incomplete” for any of the schools within the charter school
  186  system or school district, as applicable.
  187         2. The Florida School Recognition Program established under
  188  s. 1008.36 shall continue to be implemented as otherwise
  189  provided in the General Appropriations Act.
  190         (c) Until such time as an independent verification of the
  191  psychometric validity of the statewide, standardized assessments
  192  first implemented in 2014-2015 is provided, for purposes of
  193  grade 3 English Language Arts student performance and high
  194  school graduation requirements pursuant to s. 1003.4282, student
  195  performance on the 2014-2015 statewide, standardized assessments
  196  shall be linked to 2013-2014 student performance expectations.
  197  Students who score in the bottom quintile on the 2014-2015 grade
  198  3 English Language Arts assessment shall be identified as
  199  students at risk of retention. School districts must notify
  200  parents of such students, provide evidence as outlined in s.
  201  1008.25(6)(b), and provide the appropriate intervention and
  202  support services for student success in grade 4.
  203         (d) The Department of Education shall conduct a
  204  comprehensive review that includes stakeholders of the school
  205  accountability system, including, but not limited to:
  206         1. A description of the system, including alignment and
  207  consistency within all components of the accountability system.
  208         2. A determination of the capacity of districts and schools
  209  to administer the required statewide, standardized assessments
  210  without interruption in the ongoing delivery of instruction to
  211  students who are not being assessed.
  212         3. The development of a timeline for transition to school
  213  grades which includes all the components of school grades to be
  214  available before school grades are released.
  215         4. An analysis of a district’s pay for performance plan and
  216  its impact on teacher recruitment and retention.
  218  The department must submit a report containing the review and
  219  any corresponding recommendation to the Governor, the President
  220  of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives
  221  by December 1, 2016 This subsection is repealed July 1, 2017.
  222         Section 2. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.