Florida Senate - 2017 PROPOSED COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE Bill No. SB 360 Ì362598[Î362598 576-04122-17 Proposed Committee Substitute by the Committee on Appropriations (Appropriations Subcommittee on Pre-K - 12 Education) 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to a middle school study; requiring 3 the Department of Education to solicit for a contract 4 to conduct a comprehensive study of states with 5 nationally recognized high-performing middle schools 6 in reading and mathematics; specifying areas that must 7 be reviewed in conducting the study; requiring a 8 report to the Governor, the State Board of Education, 9 and the Legislature by a specified time; providing for 10 expiration; providing an effective date. 11 12 WHEREAS, since 1998, Florida has seen a continuing trend of 13 reading improvement in the elementary school grades, which has 14 led to an increase of 17 percentage points in reading at or 15 above proficiency for 4th grade students on the National 16 Assessment of Educational Progress, while Florida’s 8th grade 17 students achieved only an increase of 7 percentage points, and 18 WHEREAS, since 2003, Florida’s 4th grade students have 19 demonstrated an increase of 11 percentage points in mathematics 20 at or above proficiency on the national assessment, while 21 Florida’s 8th grade students have shown an increase of only 3 22 percentage points, and 23 WHEREAS, since 2013, Florida’s middle school students’ 24 proficiencies on the national assessment in both reading and 25 mathematics have remained flat or decreased, and 26 WHEREAS, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, 27 Connecticut, and New Jersey are the top performing states in the 28 percentage of 4th and 8th grade students scoring at or above 29 proficiency in reading on the national assessment, and 30 WHEREAS, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New 31 Jersey, and Washington are the top performing states in the 32 percentage of 4th and 8th grade students scoring at or above 33 proficiency in mathematics on the national assessment, and 34 WHEREAS, Florida’s academic expectations for students in 35 both reading and mathematics were raised in 2010 and 2014, and 36 WHEREAS, the performance of Florida’s middle school 37 students on the state assessments in reading has remained flat 38 since the state’s standards were raised, while their performance 39 in mathematics increased slightly between 2015 and 2016, and 40 WHEREAS, success in the middle school grades is a predictor 41 of academic success in high school and college and career 42 readiness, NOW, THEREFORE, 43 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 44 45 Section 1. Comprehensive study on middle school 46 performance.— 47 (1) The Department of Education shall issue a competitive 48 solicitation for a contract with private vendors to conduct a 49 comprehensive study of states with high-performing students in 50 grades 6 through 8 in reading and mathematics, based on the 51 states’ performance on the National Assessment of Educational 52 Progress. 53 (2) The study must include a review of at least all of the 54 following: 55 (a) Academic expectations and instructional strategies, 56 including: 57 1. Alignment of elementary and middle grades expectations 58 with high school graduation requirements; 59 2. Research-based instructional practices in reading and 60 mathematics, including those targeting low-performing and high 61 performing students; 62 3. The rigor of the curriculum and courses and the 63 availability of accelerated courses; 64 4. The availability of student support services; 65 5. The sequence of courses and the prerequisites required 66 for advanced courses; 67 6. The availability of before- and after-school programs, 68 and efforts to address the summer gap between school years, 69 including related funding; and 70 7. The availability of other academic and noncore classes, 71 and electives. 72 (b) Attendance policies and student mobility issues. 73 (c) Teacher quality, including: 74 1. Teacher certification and recertification requirements; 75 2. Teacher preparedness to teach rigorous courses; 76 3. Teacher preparation specific to teaching middle school 77 students; 78 4. Teacher recruitment and vacancy issues; 79 5. Staff development requirements and the availability of 80 effective training; 81 6. Teacher collaboration and planning at the school and 82 district levels; and 83 7. Student performance data collection and dissemination. 84 (d) Middle school administrator leadership and performance. 85 (e) Parental and community involvement. 86 (3) The department shall submit a report on the findings of 87 the comprehensive study and make recommendations to improve 88 middle school student performance to the Governor, the State 89 Board of Education, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker 90 of the House of Representatives by December 2017. 91 (4) This section expires upon submission of the final 92 report. 93 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.