Florida Senate - 2017 PROPOSED COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE Bill No. SB 360 Ì490892DÎ490892 602-03791-17 Proposed Committee Substitute by 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 13 WHEREAS, since 1998, Florida has seen a continuing trend of 14 reading improvement in the elementary school grades, which has 15 led to an increase of 17 percentage points in reading at or 16 above proficiency for 4th grade students on the National 17 Assessment of Educational Progress, while Florida’s 8th grade 18 students achieved only an increase of 7 percentage points, and 19 WHEREAS, since 2003, Florida’s 4th grade students have 20 demonstrated an increase of 11 percentage points in mathematics 21 at or above proficiency on the national assessment, while 22 Florida’s 8th grade students have shown an increase of only 3 23 percentage points, and 24 WHEREAS, since 2013, Florida’s middle school students’ 25 proficiencies on the national assessment in both reading and 26 mathematics have remained flat or decreased, and 27 WHEREAS, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, 28 Connecticut, and New Jersey are the top performing states in the 29 percentage of 4th and 8th grade students scoring at or above 30 proficiency in reading on the national assessment, and 31 WHEREAS, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New 32 Jersey, and Washington are the top performing states in the 33 percentage of 4th and 8th grade students scoring at or above 34 proficiency in mathematics on the national assessment, and 35 WHEREAS, Florida’s academic expectations for students in 36 both reading and mathematics were raised in 2010 and 2014, and 37 WHEREAS, the performance of Florida’s middle school 38 students on the state assessments in reading has remained flat 39 since the state’s standards were raised, while their performance 40 in mathematics increased slightly between 2015 and 2016, and 41 WHEREAS, success in the middle school grades is a predictor 42 of academic success in high school and college and career 43 readiness, NOW, THEREFORE, 44 45 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 46 47 Section 1. Comprehensive study on middle school 48 performance.— 49 (1) The Department of Education shall issue a competitive 50 solicitation for a contract with private vendors to conduct a 51 comprehensive study of states with high-performing students in 52 grades 6 through 8 in reading and mathematics, based on the 53 states’ performance on the National Assessment of Educational 54 Progress. 55 (2) The study must include a review of at least all of the 56 following: 57 (a) Academic expectations and instructional strategies, 58 including: 59 1. Alignment of elementary and middle grades expectations 60 with high school graduation requirements; 61 2. Research-based instructional practices in reading and 62 mathematics, including those targeting low-performing and high 63 performing students; 64 3. The rigor of the curriculum and courses and the 65 availability of accelerated courses; 66 4. The availability of student support services; 67 5. The sequence of courses and the prerequisites required 68 for advanced courses; 69 6. The availability of before- and after-school programs, 70 and efforts to address the summer gap between school years, 71 including related funding; and 72 7. The availability of other academic and noncore classes, 73 and electives. 74 (b) Attendance policies and student mobility issues. 75 (c) Teacher quality, including: 76 1. Teacher certification and recertification requirements; 77 2. Teacher preparedness to teach rigorous courses; 78 3. Teacher preparation specific to teaching middle school 79 students; 80 4. Teacher recruitment and vacancy issues; 81 5. Staff development requirements and the availability of 82 effective training; 83 6. Teacher collaboration and planning at the school and 84 district levels; and 85 7. Student performance data collection and dissemination. 86 (d) Middle school administrator leadership and performance. 87 (e) Parental and community involvement. 88 (3) The department shall submit a report on the findings of 89 the comprehensive study and make recommendations to improve 90 middle school student performance to the Governor, the State 91 Board of Education, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker 92 of the House of Representatives by December 2017. 93 (4) This section expires upon submission of the final 94 report. 95 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.