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Senate Counsel & Research
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State of Minnesota




S.F. No. 639 - (First Engrossment) Education Repeal of Profile of Learning and Replacement
Author: Senator Steve Kelley
Prepared by: Ann Marie Butler, Senate Counsel (651/296-5301)

Dan Mueller, Senate Research (651/296-7680)

Date: April 11, 2003


Article 1

Repeal of Profile of Learning; Statewide Accountability

Section 1 [Repealing Profile of Learning Statutes and Rules.] prohibits the Commissioner from implementing the profile of learning portion of the state graduation rule.

Effective Date: Makes this section effective immediately.

Section 2 [Standards and Time Line Established.] (a) requires the Commissioner to adopt rules establishing a set of educational standards. Prohibits the Commissioner from amending, repealing, or adopting similar rules without specific legislative authority. Requires the standards to be implemented beginning in the 2003-2004 school year.

Effective Date: Makes this section effective immediately.

Section 3 [Required and Optional Standards.] establishes that Minnesota's high educational standards encompass the required learning areas in section 2. Requires the Commissioner to establish grade level benchmarks in the reading, mathematics, and science learning areas. Allows a district to adopt its own standards in foreign language, career and technical education, and physical education. Requires the standards to be supplemented by grade level benchmarks, curriculum frameworks, and test specification documents useful to state and local decision makers.

Effective Date: Makes this section effective immediately.

Section 4 [Statewide and Local Assessments; Results.] (a) requires the Commissioner to develop assessments for all of the required learning areas that are aligned with the standards, monitor student growth toward and achievement of the standards, and satisfy applicable federal law. Requires annual reading and math assessments in grades 3 through 8 and in one high school grade beginning in the 2005-2006 school year; annual science assessments in one grade in the grades 3 through 5 span, the grades 6 through 9 span, and the grades 10 through 12 span beginning in the 2006-2007 school year; annual social sciences assessments in one grade in the grades 3 through 5 span, the grades 6 through 9 span, and the grades 10 through 12 span beginning in the 2007-2008 school year; and annual arts and literature assessments in one grade in the grades 3 through 5 span, the grades 6 through 9 span, and the grades 10 through 12 span beginning in the 2008-2009 school years.

(b) The assessments must:

Effective Date: Makes this section effective immediately.

Section 5 [Results-Oriented Graduation Rule; Basic Skills Requirements.] strikes references to the profile of learning. Establishes that the requirements for high school graduation in Minnesota include the basic skills requirements and coursework requirements established by a local school board. Requires school districts to certify whether a student has met a state standard using local assessments, including student portfolios, if a statewide assessment is not available.

Effective Date: Makes this section effective immediately.

Section 6 [Statewide Testing.] requires state-developed tests, in subjects other than writing, to include constructed response and multiple choice questions. Requires scores on statewide tests taken in grades 9 through 12 to be included on a student's transcript. Incorporates new statewide assessments in the current statewide testing reporting system.

Effective Date: Makes this section effective immediately and applies to the 2005-2006 school year and later.

Section 7 [School Accountability.]

Subdivision 1 [School Performance Measures.] (a) requires the Commissioner to adopt rules that establish school and district accountability measures.

(2) student attendance rates;

(3) high school graduation rates;

(4) the English proficiency of limited English proficiency students;

(5) an index of attainment for special education students taking an alternative assessment;

(6) teacher quality indicators; and

(7) school safety measures.

(c) Requires the Commissioner to use the above indicators and the definition of adequate yearly progress (AYP) to rank public schools.

Subdivision 2 [Low-Performing Schools and Districts.] establishes the definition of a "low-performing" school or district and describes what a school or district must do in order for the designation to be removed.

Subdivision 3 [Student Participation Requirements.] requires schools with 40 or more students to satisfy participation requirements of at least 95 percent participation on statewide assessments in mathematics, reading, and science.

Subdivision 4 [Adequate Yearly Progress Components for Elementary and Intermediate Schools.] requires elementary and intermediate schools with 20 or more enrolled students to use attendance rates and statewide assessment scores in mathematics, reading, and science to demonstrate AYP. Requires the commissioner to set measurable objectives consistent with federal law, incorporate safe harbor provisions in all AYP determinations based on test scores, and apply confidence intervals to prevent erroneous low-performing designations.

Subdivision 5 [Adequate Yearly Progress Components for High Schools.] requires high schools graduating 20 or more students or having 20 or more students dropping out during the previous four schools years to use graduation rates to demonstrate AYP. Requires high schools with 20 or more students tested to use statewide assessments in mathematics, reading, and science to demonstrate AYP. Requires the commissioner to set measurable objectives consistent with federal law, incorporate safe harbor provisions in all AYP determinations based on test scores, and apply confidence intervals to prevent erroneous low-performing designations.

Subdivision 6 [Performances That Determine Adequate Yearly Progress.] for the purposes of the proficiency index of a school, AYP is based on students enrolled in the school or district for at least one year; the students who take an alternative assessment are included using a separate special education attainment index; and the students who take the Minnesota test of emerging academic English are included using a separate limited English proficiency attainment index.

Subdivision 7 [Proficiency Index Calculation.] establishes a calculation for a school or district proficiency index. Allows the index to reach 100 only if all students score at or above level II b by the 2013-2014 school year.

Effective Date: Makes the section effective immediately and applies to the 2005-2006 school year and later.

Section 8 [School and District Designation.]

Subdivision 1 [Under Review; Low-Performing.] defines a school or district as "under review" if it fails to meets its AYP target for one school year. Defines a school or district as "low-performing" if it fails to meet is AYP target for two consecutive school years.

Subdivision 2 [Meets Expectations.] defines a school or district as "meets expectations" if it does not qualify for a "superior" or "excellent" designation, met its AYP target for the last two school years, or met its AYP target one school year after being designated as "under review."

Subdivision 3 [Excellent Designation.] (a) defines a school or district as "excellent" if it meets its AYP target for two consecutive school years and satisfies the criteria in paragraphs (b) to (f).

(c) The school has at least a 95 percent average daily attendance rate or improved the rate in each of the last two consecutive years to that if the improvement continued the school would have at least a 95 percent attendance rate within five school years.

(d) A high school has at least a 90 percent graduation rate or improved the rate in each of the last two consecutive years so that it has a 90 percent rate within five school years.

(e) All teachers teaching English, math, science, social sciences, arts and literature, and foreign languages satisfy the definition of qualified teacher.

(f) The school is not designated as a persistently dangerous school.

(g) Recommends public recognition and onetime financial awards to a school or district designated as excellent.

Subdivision 4 [Superior Designation.] (a) defines a school or district as "superior" if it meets all of the qualifications for an "excellent" designation and evidences best practices in curriculum, instruction, assessment, professional development, parent and community involvement, leadership, governance, and use of resources useful to other schools or districts seeking to improve performance.

(b) Recommends public recognition and onetime financial awards to a school or district designated as superior.

Subdivision 5 [Appeal.] allows for an appeal in writing for a designation under this section to the accountability advisory council within 30 days.

Effective Date: Makes this section effective immediately and applies to the 2005-2006 school year and later.

Section 9 [Persistently Dangerous Schools.]

Subdivision 1 [Definition.] defines a school as persistently dangerous if, during two of the three previous school years:

(1) an enrolled student is disciplined for bringing a firearm to school; and

(2) the number of students disciplined under the Pupil Fair Dismissal Act for offenses committed on school grounds under subdivision 2 exceeds the number of total annual incidents under subdivision 3.

Subdivision 2 [Dangerous Offenses.] requires the following offenses to be counted for the purpose of defining a persistently dangerous school:

(1) possessing a dangerous weapon;

(2) possessing or using a controlled substance;

(3) selling or soliciting the sale of a controlled substance; and

(4) committing a third degree assault or criminal sexual conduct.

Subdivision 3 [Total Annual Incidents.] requires the total annual number of offenses under subdivision 2 to exceed three incidents in a school with fewer than 300 enrolled students or one incident for every 100 students or fraction of 100 students in a school with 300 or more enrolled students to be designated as persistently dangerous.

Subdivision 4 [Dangerous Incident.] requires the Commissioner to review data by January of each year from the three previous school years that are included in the dangerous weapons report. Requires the Commissioner to base the initial designation on these data, use the October 1 child count to determine enrollment levels, and provide preliminary notice of a designation to schools and districts in February of each year.

Subdivision 5 [Appeal.] allows a school district to submit an appeal to the accountability advisory council within 30 days of receiving the designation.

Effective Date: Makes this section effective immediately and applies to the 2005-2006 school year through the 2013-2014 school year.

Section 10 [Teacher Quality.]

Subdivision 1 [Classroom Teachers.] requires all teachers teaching reading, writing, math, science, social sciences, and arts and literature to meet the definition of qualified teacher under Minnesota Statutes, section 122A.16.

Subdivision 2 [Paraprofessionals.] (a) requires all paraprofessionals working in public schools, except those providing only parental involvement or translation services, to have at least a high school diploma or GED.

(b) Requires paraprofessionals providing instructional services to demonstrate their teaching qualifications by:

(1) passing a state assessment;

(2) completing at least two years of post-secondary study in their area of instruction; or

(3) obtaining at least an associate's degree related to their area of instruction.

(c) Paraprofessionals hired after January 30, 2002, must satisfy the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b) immediately upon employment. Paraprofessionals hired before January 30, 2002, must satisfy those requirements by January 8, 2006.

Subdivision 3 [Board of Teaching Review of Praxis.] requires the Board of Teaching to compare Minnesota's current passing criteria and scores for the Praxis test against those of other states. If Minnesota's passing scores are below the scores of at least 25 other states, the board must submit a written report by January 3, 2004, to the Commissioner and the Legislature.

Effective Date: Makes this section effective immediately. Allows the Commissioner to waive, for up to six months, certain requirements for paraprofessionals hired after January 30, 2002.

Section 11 [Report Cards.]

Subdivision 1 [School Reports.] (a) requires all public schools to have an electronic or printed report available, upon request, to parents and the public. Requires the report to include the following information:

(1) a mean score and the percent of students by grade and subject scoring at or above the state's expected level of performance on statewide tests, and disaggregated by subgroups with ten or more students;

(2) the number and percent of students tested who scored with each of the proficiency levels in the school and within each of the subgroups with ten or more students;

(3) the percent of students tested in the school as whole and in each subgroup with ten or more students;

(4) two-year trend data in the mean and percent of students tested by grade and subject who meet or exceed the state's expectations for achievement;

(5) after two years of statewide testing in grades 3 through 8 and one grade in high school, the school's average value-added, grade-to-grade gains in student achievement, and the percent of students predicted to meet proficiency levels or higher education readiness standards or other standards the Commissioner designates;

(6) the number and percent of teachers teaching in core academic areas who are certified in their areas of instruction and the number and percent of teachers holding emergency credentials and are teaching in core academic areas;

(7) the average attendance rate by grade; and

(8) for high schools with ten or more students terminated by graduating or dropping out under the quasi-cohort formula, the average graduation rate.

(b) Requires school reports to show statewide and districtwide means and percents to permit comparison. Requires the report to include a designation of low-performing or unsafe, include sanctions imposed, and actions taken to improve school performance, if applicable. For schools designated as excellent or superior, the report must name the school, include the designation, and describe the achievements and exemplary practices.

(c) Directs the Commissioner to post the school information reported under this subdivision on the department Web site. Printed reports must be made available to public libraries located within the school district.

Subdivision 2 [District Reports.] (a) requires school districts to have an annual electronic or printed report available, upon request, to parents and the public. Requires the report to include the following:

(1) a mean score and the percent of students by grade and subject scoring at or above the state's expected level of performance on statewide tests, and disaggregated by subgroups with ten or more students;

(2) the number and percent of students tested who scored with each of the proficiency levels;

(3) the percent of students tested in the district as a whole and in each subgroup with ten or more students;

(4) two-year trend data in the mean and percent of students tested by grade and subject who meet or exceed the state's expectations for achievement;

(5) after two years of statewide testing in grades 3 through 8 and one grade in high school, the school average value-added, grade-to-grade gains in student achievement, and the percent of students predicted to meet proficiency levels or higher education readiness standards or other standards the Commissioner designates;

(6) the number and percent of teachers teaching in core academic areas who are certified in their areas of instruction and the number and percent of teachers holding emergency credentials and are teaching in core academic areas;

(7) the average attendance rate by grade; and

(8) for high schools with ten or more students terminated by graduating or dropping out under the quasi-cohort formula, the average graduation rate.

(b) Requires the report to show statewide means and percents alongside districtwide means and percents for comparison. Requires the report to include schools designated as low-performing or unsafe and include the sanctions imposed and actions taken to improve performance. Requires the report to include schools designated as excellent or superior and include describe the achievements and exemplary practices on which the designation is based.

(c) Directs the Commissioner to post the reports on the department Web site. Copies of printed reports must be made available at public libraries located within the district.

Subdivision 3 [Determining Where A Student is Enrolled For Accountability Purposes.] (a) defines a student as enrolled in the district or school that receives payments directly from the state for education costs. A school or district contracting with another entity to provide education services remains accountable for that student.

(b) Defines school under this section as any public school assigned a unique identification number under the UFARS system.

(c) Defines an area learning center as a public school type 41 to 49 under the UFARS system.

(d) Clarifies that a student participating in an alternative learning program within a larger school is enrolled in the larger school, excluding students participating in a program located in an area learning center.

(e) Clarifies that a student placed pursuant to a court order under Chapter 260B is enrolled in a district or charter school providing the educational services.

Effective Date: Makes this section effective immediately and applies to the 2005-2006 school year and later.

Section 12 [Accountability Advisory Council.]

Subdivision 1 [Establishment.] establishes an advisory council of nine members appointed by the Commissioner and must include educators, parents, members of the public, and the business community.

Subdivision 2 [Duties.] establishes the duties of the council as hearing appeals of school and district designations, identifying schools and districts eligible for an "excellent" or "superior" designation, and make recommendations to the Commissioner regarding these designations.

Subdivision 3 [Annual Report; Recommendations.] directs the council to submit a report to the education committees of the Legislature summarizing the grounds for appeals submitted to the council, the council's recommendations to the Commissioner, and the Commissioner's decision. Directs the council to include a list of schools designated as "excellent" and "superior" and the basis for the determination. Allows the council to use the report to recommend changes to the state's accountability system.

Subdivision 4 [Expiration.] sets the expiration date for the council on June 30, 2014.

Effective Date: Makes this section effective for the 2003-2004 school year and later.

Section 13 [Repealer.] repeals statutes and rules establishing and implementing the profile of learning.

Effective Date: Makes this section effective for the 2003-2004 school year and later.

Article 2

Commissioner's Duties

Section 1 [Minnesota's High Educational Standards.] states that the Commissioner shall adopt standards that are identical to the standards contained in articles 3 through 12 of this act.

Section 2 [Recommendations On High Educational Standards.] (a) Requires the Commissioner to consult with stakeholders, as described in paragraph (b), and make recommendations to the Legislature by February 1, 2004, on the following:

(1) a plan to have Minnesota teachers grade constructed response questions;

(2) cut-scores for high school reading and mathematics assessments that would indicate whether a student needed remedial instruction in the state's two-year higher education institutions;

(3) modifications or improvements to statewide assessments, standards, and benchmarks needed to reduce remedial instruction in the state's higher education institutions;

(4) the extent to which successful district programs developed under the profile of learning may be incorporated into new state standards;

(5) how best to integrate content with application, critical reasoning, and higher-order thinking into new state standards;

(6) how to assist teachers in formulating curriculum for classroom instruction;

(7) how to modify the state assessments and the scoring procedures so that the tests are returned to districts within four weeks if the test administration;

(8) how to incorporate economics content standards into the social sciences learning area; and

(9) a plan to develop statewide tests for the social sciences learning area in the subject areas of American history, geography, civics and economics, not including personal finance.

(b) Requires the Commissioner to consult with the following stakeholders when developing recommendations to the Legislature under paragraph (a):

(1) parents of school-aged children and other members of the public throughout the state;

(2) teachers throughout the state currently providing instruction in one of the six learning areas, and secondary school administrators throughout the state;

(3) currently serving members of local school boards;

(4) faculty from Minnesota's post-secondary institutions;

(5) representatives of Minnesota's business community; and

(6) national associations of teachers for the six required learning areas.

Section 3 [Legislative Approval of Proposed Rules Establishing Standards and Educational Accountability; Interim Standards.] requires the Commissioner to present to the Legislature all proposed rules and all proposed amendments to or repeals of existing rules that deal with standards and accountability. Also prohibits the Commissioner from adopting, amending, or repealing existing rules without specific Legislative authority.

Section 4 [8th Grade Tests.] requires the Commissioner to develop a methodology for using portions of the 8th grade statewide tests in reading and mathematics that meet the accountability requirements required by federal law and also assess the basic skills requirements required for high school graduation. Also requires the Commissioner to develop procedures for students who do not initially pass the basic skills portion of the 8th grade tests to take other forms of assessments the covers basic content.

Section 5 [Standards; Key Understandings.] states that the Commissioner may refer to the key understandings developed as part of a revision of the profile of learning by the Mid-Continent Regional Educational Laboratory in order to provide grade-level banding for the state standards adopted under this act.

Article 3

Required Learning Area: Reading, Viewing, and Listening

Contains the standards for this learning area.

Article 4

Required Learning Area; Writing and Speaking

Contains the standards for this learning area.

Article 5

Required Learning Area; Mathematical Concepts and Applications

Contains the standards for this learning area.

Article 6

Required Learning Area; Scientific Concepts and Applications

Contains the standards for this learning area.

Article 7

Required Learning Area; Social Sciences

Contains the standards for this learning area.

Article 8

Required Learning Area; Arts and Literature

Contains the standards for this learning area.

Article 9

Learning Area; Economics, Technology, and Systems Management

Contains the standards for this learning area.

Article 10

Optional Learning Area; Health, Physical Education, and Career Awareness

Contains the standards for this learning area.

Article 11

Learning Area; Inquiry and Research

Contains the standards for this learning area.

Article 12

Learning Area; World Languages

Contains the standards for this learning area.

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