Florida Senate - 2017                                    SB 1280
       By Senator Rodriguez
       37-01352-17                                           20171280__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to mandatory retention; amending s.
    3         1008.25, F.S.; removing the requirement for mandatory
    4         retention of a third grade student based on his or her
    5         performance on the English Language Arts assessment;
    6         conforming provisions to changes made by the act;
    7         correcting a cross-reference; providing an effective
    8         date.
   10  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   12         Section 1. Paragraphs (b) and (c) of subsection (5),
   13  paragraphs (b) and (c) of subsection (6), subsection (7), and
   14  paragraph (a) of subsection (8) of section 1008.25, Florida
   15  Statutes, are amended to read:
   16         1008.25 Public school student progression; student support;
   17  reporting requirements.—
   19         (b) To be promoted to grade 4, a student must score a Level
   20  2 or higher on the statewide, standardized English Language Arts
   21  assessment required under s. 1008.22 for grade 3 or meet a good
   22  cause exemption pursuant to paragraph (6)(b). If a student’s
   23  reading deficiency is not remedied by the end of grade 3, as
   24  demonstrated by scoring Level 2 or higher on the statewide,
   25  standardized assessment required under s. 1008.22 for grade 3,
   26  the student must be retained.
   27         (c) The parent of any student who exhibits a substantial
   28  deficiency in reading, as described in paragraph (a), must be
   29  notified in writing of the following:
   30         1. That his or her child has been identified as having a
   31  substantial deficiency in reading.
   32         2. A description of the current services that are provided
   33  to the child.
   34         3. A description of the proposed supplemental instructional
   35  services and supports that will be provided to the child that
   36  are designed to remediate the identified area of reading
   37  deficiency.
   38         4.That if the child’s reading deficiency is not remediated
   39  by the end of grade 3, the child must be retained unless he or
   40  she is exempt from mandatory retention for good cause.
   41         4.5. Strategies for parents to use in helping their child
   42  succeed in reading proficiency.
   43         5.6. That the statewide, standardized English Language Arts
   44  assessment is not the sole determiner of promotion and that
   45  additional evaluations, portfolio reviews, and assessments are
   46  available to the child to assist parents and the school district
   47  in knowing when a child is reading at or above grade level and
   48  ready for grade promotion.
   49         6.7. The district’s specific criteria and policies for a
   50  portfolio as provided in subparagraph (6)(b)4. and the evidence
   51  required for a student to demonstrate mastery of Florida’s
   52  academic standards for English Language Arts. A parent of a
   53  student in grade 3 who is identified anytime during the year as
   54  being at risk of retention may request that the school
   55  immediately begin collecting evidence for a portfolio.
   56         7.8. The district’s specific criteria and policies for
   57  midyear promotion. Midyear promotion means promotion of a
   58  retained student at any time during the year of retention once
   59  the student has demonstrated ability to read at grade level.
   61         (b) The district school board may only exempt students from
   62  mandatory retention, as provided in paragraph (5)(b), for good
   63  cause. A student who is promoted to grade 4 with a good cause
   64  exemption shall be provided intensive reading instruction and
   65  intervention that include specialized diagnostic information and
   66  specific reading strategies to meet the needs of each student so
   67  promoted. The school district shall assist schools and teachers
   68  with the implementation of reading strategies for students
   69  promoted with a good cause exemption which research has shown to
   70  be successful in improving reading among students who have
   71  reading difficulties. Good cause exemptions are limited to the
   72  following:
   73         1. Limited English proficient students who have had less
   74  than 2 years of instruction in an English for Speakers of Other
   75  Languages program based on the initial date of entry into a
   76  school in the United States.
   77         2. Students with disabilities whose individual education
   78  plan indicates that participation in the statewide assessment
   79  program is not appropriate, consistent with the requirements of
   80  s. 1008.212.
   81         3. Students who demonstrate an acceptable level of
   82  performance on an alternative standardized reading or English
   83  Language Arts assessment approved by the State Board of
   84  Education.
   85         4. A student who demonstrates through a student portfolio
   86  that he or she is performing at least at Level 2 on the
   87  statewide, standardized English Language Arts assessment.
   88         5. Students with disabilities who take the statewide,
   89  standardized English Language Arts assessment and who have an
   90  individual education plan or a Section 504 plan that reflects
   91  that the student has received intensive instruction in reading
   92  or English Language Arts for more than 2 years but still
   93  demonstrates a deficiency and was previously retained in
   94  kindergarten, grade 1, grade 2, or grade 3.
   95         6. Students who have received intensive reading
   96  intervention for 2 or more years but still demonstrate a
   97  deficiency in reading and who were previously retained in
   98  kindergarten, grade 1, grade 2, or grade 3 for a total of 2
   99  years. A student may not be retained more than once in grade 3.
  100         7. Students who have received intensive remediation in
  101  reading or English Language Arts for 2 or more years but still
  102  demonstrate a deficiency and who were previously retained in
  103  kindergarten, grade 1, grade 2, or grade 3 for a total of 2
  104  years. Intensive instruction for students so promoted must
  105  include an altered instructional day that includes specialized
  106  diagnostic information and specific reading strategies for each
  107  student. The district school board shall assist schools and
  108  teachers to implement reading strategies that research has shown
  109  to be successful in improving reading among low-performing
  110  readers.
  111         (c) Requests for good cause exemptions for students from
  112  the mandatory retention requirement as described in
  113  subparagraphs (b)3. and 4. shall be made consistent with the
  114  following:
  115         1. Documentation shall be submitted from the student’s
  116  teacher to the school principal that indicates that the
  117  promotion of the student is appropriate and is based upon the
  118  student’s academic record. In order to minimize paperwork
  119  requirements, such documentation shall consist only of the
  120  existing progress monitoring plan, individual educational plan,
  121  if applicable, report card, or student portfolio.
  122         2. The school principal shall review and discuss such
  123  recommendation with the teacher and make the determination as to
  124  whether the student should be promoted or retained. If the
  125  school principal determines that the student should be promoted,
  126  the school principal shall make such recommendation in writing
  127  to the district school superintendent. The district school
  128  superintendent shall accept or reject the school principal’s
  129  recommendation in writing.
  131  STUDENTS.—
  132         (a) A student Students retained for a reading deficiency
  133  under the provisions of paragraph (5)(b) must be provided
  134  intensive interventions in reading to ameliorate the student’s
  135  specific reading deficiency, as identified by a valid and
  136  reliable diagnostic assessment. This intensive intervention must
  137  include effective instructional strategies, participation in the
  138  school district’s summer reading camp, and appropriate teaching
  139  methodologies necessary to assist those students in becoming
  140  successful readers, able to read at or above grade level, and
  141  ready for promotion to the next grade.
  142         (b) Each school district shall:
  143         1. Provide third grade students who are retained for
  144  reading deficiencies under the provisions of paragraph (5)(b)
  145  with intensive instructional services and supports to remediate
  146  the identified areas of reading deficiency, including
  147  participation in the school district’s summer reading camp as
  148  required under paragraph (a) and a minimum of 90 minutes of
  149  daily, uninterrupted, scientifically research-based reading
  150  instruction which includes phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency,
  151  vocabulary, and comprehension and other strategies prescribed by
  152  the school district, which may include, but are not limited to:
  153         a. Integration of science and social studies content within
  154  the 90-minute block.
  155         b. Small group instruction.
  156         c. Reduced teacher-student ratios.
  157         d. More frequent progress monitoring.
  158         e. Tutoring or mentoring.
  159         f. Transition classes containing 3rd and 4th grade
  160  students.
  161         g. Extended school day, week, or year.
  162         2. Provide written notification to the parent of a student
  163  who is retained for a reading deficiency under the provisions of
  164  paragraph (5)(b) that his or her child has not met the
  165  proficiency level required for promotion and the reasons the
  166  child is not eligible for a good cause exemption as provided in
  167  paragraph (6)(b). The notification must comply with the
  168  provisions of s. 1002.20(15) and must include a description of
  169  proposed interventions and supports that will be provided to the
  170  child to remediate the identified areas of reading deficiency.
  171         3. Implement a policy for the midyear promotion of a
  172  student retained for a reading deficiency under the provisions
  173  of paragraph (5)(b) who can demonstrate that he or she is a
  174  successful and independent reader and performing at or above
  175  grade level in reading or, upon implementation of English
  176  Language Arts assessments, performing at or above grade level in
  177  English Language Arts. Tools that school districts may use in
  178  reevaluating a student retained may include subsequent
  179  assessments, alternative assessments, and portfolio reviews, in
  180  accordance with rules of the State Board of Education. Students
  181  promoted during the school year after November 1 must
  182  demonstrate proficiency levels in reading equivalent to the
  183  level necessary for the beginning of grade 4. The rules adopted
  184  by the State Board of Education must include standards that
  185  provide a reasonable expectation that the student’s progress is
  186  sufficient to master appropriate grade 4 level reading skills.
  187         4. Provide students who are retained for reading
  188  deficiencies under the provisions of paragraph (5)(b) with a
  189  highly effective teacher as determined by the teacher’s
  190  performance evaluation under s. 1012.34.
  191         5. Establish at each school, when applicable, an Intensive
  192  Acceleration Class for retained grade 3 students who
  193  subsequently score Level 1 on the required statewide,
  194  standardized assessment identified in s. 1008.22. The focus of
  195  the Intensive Acceleration Class shall be to increase a child’s
  196  reading and English Language Arts skill level at least two grade
  197  levels in 1 school year. The Intensive Acceleration Class shall:
  198         a. Be provided to a student in grade 3 who scores Level 1
  199  on the statewide, standardized English Language Arts assessment
  200  and who was retained in grade 3 the prior year because of
  201  scoring Level 1.
  202         b. Have a reduced teacher-student ratio.
  203         c. Provide uninterrupted reading instruction for the
  204  majority of student contact time each day and incorporate
  205  opportunities to master the grade 4 Next Generation Sunshine
  206  State Standards in other core subject areas.
  207         d. Use a reading program that is scientifically research
  208  based and has proven results in accelerating student reading
  209  achievement within the same school year.
  210         e. Provide intensive language and vocabulary instruction
  211  using a scientifically research-based program, including use of
  212  a speech-language therapist.
  213         (8) ANNUAL REPORT.—
  214         (a) In addition to the requirements in paragraph (5)(c)
  215  (5)(b), each district school board must annually report to the
  216  parent of each student the progress of the student toward
  217  achieving state and district expectations for proficiency in
  218  English Language Arts, science, social studies, and mathematics.
  219  The district school board must report to the parent the
  220  student’s results on each statewide, standardized assessment.
  221  The evaluation of each student’s progress must be based upon the
  222  student’s classroom work, observations, tests, district and
  223  state assessments, and other relevant information. Progress
  224  reporting must be provided to the parent in writing in a format
  225  adopted by the district school board.
  226         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.