3rd Engrossment - 81st Legislature (1999 - 2000) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am
1.1 A bill for an act 1.2 relating to education; balancing statewide 1.3 accountability and district autonomy under the profile 1.4 of learning; amending grading criteria and 1.5 recordkeeping practices; amending Minnesota Statutes 1.6 1998, sections 120A.41; and 120B.03, by adding 1.7 subdivisions; Minnesota Statutes 1999 Supplement, 1.8 sections 120B.02; 120B.30, subdivision 1; and 120B.35; 1.9 repealing Minnesota Statutes 1998, sections 120B.03, 1.10 subdivisions 1, 2, and 3; and 120B.04; Minnesota 1.11 Rules, parts 3501.0330, subpart 2, item A; 3501.0330, 1.12 subpart 7, item B; 3501.0360; 3501.0370, subparts 1, 1.13 2, and 4; 3501.0420, subpart 1, item D, and subpart 4; 1.14 and 3501.0430. 1.15 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 1.16 Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 120A.41, is 1.17 amended to read: 1.18 120A.41 [LENGTH OF SCHOOL YEAR; DAYS OF INSTRUCTION.] 1.19 A school board's annual school calendar must include at 1.20 least three additional days of student instruction or staff 1.21 development training related to implementing section 120B.03, 1.22 subdivision 1a, paragraph (f), beyond the number of days of 1.23 student instruction the board formally adopted as its school 1.24 calendar at the beginning of the 1996-1997 school year. 1.25 Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 1999 Supplement, section 1.26 120B.02, is amended to read: 1.27 120B.02 [RESULTS-ORIENTED GRADUATION RULE; BASIC SKILLS 1.28 REQUIREMENTS; PROFILE OF LEARNING.] 1.29 (a) The legislature is committed to establishing a 1.30 rigorous, results-oriented graduation rule for Minnesota's 2.1 public school students. To that end, the commissioner shall use 2.2 its rulemaking authority under section 127A.05, subdivision 4, 2.3 to adopt a statewide, results-oriented graduation rule to be 2.4 implemented starting with students beginning ninth grade in the 2.5 1996-1997 school year. The commissioner shall not prescribe in 2.6 rule or otherwise the delivery system or form of instruction 2.7 that
localschool sites must use to meet the requirements 2.8 contained in this rule. For purposes of this chapter, a school 2.9 site is a separate facility, or a separate program within a 2.10 facility that a local school board recognizes as a school site. 2.11 (b) To successfully accomplish paragraph (a), the 2.12 commissioner shall set in rule high academic standards for all 2.13 students. The standards must contain the foundational skills in 2.14 the three core curricular areas of reading, writing, and 2.15 mathematics while meeting requirements for high school 2.16 graduation. The standards must also provide an opportunity for 2.17 students to excel by meeting higher academic standards through a 2.18 profile of learning that uses curricular requirements to allow 2.19 students to expand their knowledge and skills beyond the 2.20 foundational skills. All commissioner actions regarding the 2.21 rule must be premised on the following: 2.22 (1) the rule is intended to raise academic expectations for 2.23 students, teachers, and schools; 2.24 (2) any state action regarding the rule must evidence 2.25 consideration of school district autonomy; and 2.26 (3) the department of children, families, and learning, 2.27 with the assistance of school districts, must make available 2.28 information about all state initiatives related to the rule to 2.29 students and parents, teachers, and the general public in a 2.30 timely format that is appropriate, comprehensive, and readily 2.31 understandable. 2.32 (c) For purposes of adopting the rule, the commissioner, in 2.33 consultation with the department, recognized psychometric 2.34 experts in assessment, and other interested and knowledgeable 2.35 educators, using the most current version of professional 2.36 standards for educational testing, shall evaluate the 3.1 alternative approaches to assessment. 3.2 (d) The content of the graduation rule must differentiate 3.3 between minimum competencies reflected in the basic requirements 3.4 assessment and rigorous profile of learning standards. When 3.5 fully implemented, the requirements for high school graduation 3.6 in Minnesota must include both basic requirements and the 3.7 required profile of learning. The profile of learning must 3.8 measure student performance using performance-based assessments 3.9 compiled over time that integrate higher academic standards, 3.10 higher order thinking skills, and application of knowledge from 3.11 a variety of content areas. The profile of learning shall 3.12 include a broad range of academic experience and accomplishment 3.13 necessary to achieve the goal of preparing students to function 3.14 effectively as purposeful thinkers, effective communicators, 3.15 self-directed learners, productive group participants, and 3.16 responsible citizens. The commissioner shall develop and3.17 disseminate to school districts a uniform method for reporting3.18 student performance on the profile of learning.3.19 (e) The profile of learning contains the following learning 3.20 areas: 3.21 (1) read, listen, and view; 3.22 (2) write and speak; 3.23 (3) arts and literature; 3.24 (4) mathematical concepts and applications; 3.25 (5) inquiry and research; 3.26 (6) scientific concepts and applications; 3.27 (7) social studies; 3.28 (8) physical education and lifetime fitness; 3.29 (9) economics and business; 3.30 (10) world languages; and 3.31 (11) technical and vocational education. 3.32 (f) The commissioner shall periodically review and report 3.33 on the assessment process and student achievement with the 3.34 expectation of raising the standards and expanding high school 3.35 graduation requirements. 3.36 (f) The commissioner shall report in writing to the4.1 legislature annually by January 15 on its progress in developing4.2 and implementing the graduation requirements according to the4.3 requirements of this subdivision and section 120B.10 until such4.4 time as all the graduation requirements are implemented.4.5 (g) Beginning August 31, 2000, the commissioner must 4.6 publish, including in electronic format for the Internet, a 4.7 report, by school site, area learning center, and charter 4.8 school, of: 4.9 (1) the required preparatory content standards; 4.10 (2) the high school content standards required for 4.11 graduation; and 4.12 (3) the number of student waivers the district, area 4.13 learning center, or charter school approves under section 4.14 120B.03, subdivisions 4, 5, and 6, based on information each 4.15 district, area learning center and charter school provides. 4.16 (h) School districts must integrate required and elective 4.17 content standards in the scope and sequence of the district 4.18 curriculum. 4.19 (i) School districts are not required to adopt specific 4.20 provisions of the Goals 2000 and the federal School-to-Work 4.21 programs. 4.22 Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 120B.03, is 4.23 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 4.24 Subd. 1a. [SCHOOL SITE DETERMINES REQUIRED CONTENT 4.25 STANDARDS.] (a) Notwithstanding any rule or law to the contrary, 4.26 by August 15 of each year, each school district, area learning 4.27 center, and charter school must notify the commissioner of the 4.28 preparatory and high school content standards required at each 4.29 site under paragraph (b). 4.30 (b)(1) Each public school site, by a majority vote of the 4.31 licensed teachers and administrators at the site voting jointly 4.32 and by a majority vote of the school board; 4.33 (2) each area learning center, by a majority vote of the 4.34 licensed teachers and administrators at the site voting jointly 4.35 and by a majority vote of the school board of the district in 4.36 which the center is located; and 5.1 (3) each charter school by a majority vote of the licensed 5.2 teachers and administrators at the charter school voting jointly 5.3 and with approval of the school's sponsor, must determine the 5.4 number of preparatory and high school content standards that the 5.5 school site requires students to complete, including the number 5.6 of high school content standards students must complete to 5.7 graduate. 5.8 (c) If a school site and the local school board, the area 5.9 learning center and the school board of the district in which 5.10 the center is located, or a charter school and its sponsor, are 5.11 unable to agree on the preparatory or high school content 5.12 standards required for students under paragraph (b), students at 5.13 the school site must complete the state-required content 5.14 standards. 5.15 (d) In addition to the reporting requirement under 5.16 paragraph (a), a district, area learning center, and charter 5.17 school shall report to the commissioner the schedule, by school 5.18 year, that each school site will use to implement all the state 5.19 required preparatory and high school content standards. 5.20 (e) Each district shall continue to implement the profile 5.21 of learning, provide learning opportunities for all students in 5.22 all preparatory content standards in learning areas one to nine, 5.23 and provide learning opportunities for students sufficient to 5.24 meet the state graduation requirements in the high school 5.25 content standards in all learning areas. A district shall offer 5.26 at least one foreign language in learning area ten. 5.27 (f) To implement preparatory and high school content 5.28 standards, school sites must work to improve the scope and 5.29 sequence of curriculum, research-based instructional skills of 5.30 teachers and other district staff who work with students, and 5.31 alternative assessments of student achievement. 5.32 Sec. 4. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 120B.03, is 5.33 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 5.34 Subd. 1b. [TRANSCRIPT DATA.] For the 1998-1999 school year 5.35 and later, a student's transcript shall record work completed in 5.36 each content standard implemented in the district, area learning 6.1 center, or charter school. For high school content standards 6.2 completed before the 2000-2001 school year, a student may 6.3 request that the transcript record a "complete" or "incomplete" 6.4 and not the numeric score recorded in an earlier school year. 6.5 Sec. 5. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 120B.03, is 6.6 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 6.7 Subd. 2a. [PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENTS.] Districts, area 6.8 learning centers, and charter schools are not required to use 6.9 state or locally developed performance packages to assess 6.10 student achievement of a content standard. A district, area 6.11 learning center, or charter school must select performance 6.12 assessments that have a grading system comparable to the 6.13 criteria established under the definition of rubric contained in 6.14 rule and consistent with section 120B.03, subdivision 9. 6.15 Districts, area learning centers, and charter schools may use 6.16 one or more assessment methods to measure student performance on 6.17 one or more content standards. The commissioner shall not 6.18 mandate in rule or otherwise the assessment methods that local 6.19 sites must use to meet the requirements under this section. 6.20 Sec. 6. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 120B.03, is 6.21 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 6.22 Subd. 4. [RIGOROUS COURSE OF STUDY; WAIVER.] (a) Upon 6.23 receiving a student's application approved by the student's 6.24 parent or guardian, and with the recommendation of the student's 6.25 teacher, a school district, area learning center, or charter 6.26 school must declare that a student has completed a content 6.27 standard if the local school board, the school board of the 6.28 school district in which the area learning center is located, or 6.29 charter school board of directors determines that: 6.30 (1) the student is participating in a course of study 6.31 including an advanced placement or international baccalaureate 6.32 course or a learning opportunity outside the curriculum of the 6.33 district, area learning center, or charter school that is 6.34 equally or more rigorous than the content standard required by 6.35 the district, area learning center, or charter school or the 6.36 state graduation rule; and 7.1 (2) achieving the content standard to be waived would 7.2 preclude the student from participating in the rigorous course 7.3 of study or learning opportunity. 7.4 (b) A student who satisfactorily completes a post-secondary 7.5 enrollment options course or program under section 124D.09, that 7.6 has been approved under paragraph (c), is not required to 7.7 complete other requirements of the content standards 7.8 corresponding to that specific rigorous course of study. 7.9 (c) By August 15, 2002, and each year thereafter, the board 7.10 of regents of the University of Minnesota, the board of trustees 7.11 of the Minnesota state colleges and universities, and the 7.12 governing boards of Minnesota private colleges shall determine 7.13 the courses offered at each post-secondary institution under the 7.14 post-secondary enrollment options program that meet the 7.15 requirements of paragraph (a) and shall notify the commissioner 7.16 of those courses offered that meet the requirements. The 7.17 commissioner shall make available a listing of the 7.18 post-secondary enrollment options courses offered at 7.19 post-secondary institutions meeting the requirements of this 7.20 section. 7.21 (d) Notwithstanding paragraph (a) or (b), a student who 7.22 entered ninth grade before the 2001-2002 school year and 7.23 satisfactorily completes an advanced placement or international 7.24 baccalaureate course, or a post-secondary enrollment options 7.25 course under section 124D.09, satisfies the requirements of the 7.26 content standards corresponding to that specific rigorous course 7.27 of study. 7.28 Sec. 7. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 120B.03, is 7.29 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 7.30 Subd. 5. [STUDENTS HELD HARMLESS; WAIVER.] A local school 7.31 board, the school board of the school district in which the area 7.32 learning center is located, or a charter school board of 7.33 directors may waive any content standard for a student or group 7.34 of students who entered ninth grade before the 2000-2001 school 7.35 year if the governing board of the school site determines that 7.36 the students could not meet the site's content standard due to 8.1 circumstances related to implementing the profile of learning 8.2 that were beyond the students' control. 8.3 Sec. 8. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 120B.03, is 8.4 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 8.5 Subd. 6. [STUDENT TRANSFERS; OTHER WAIVERS.] A district, 8.6 area learning center and charter school must establish processes 8.7 by which to transfer as completed: 8.8 (1) those content standards that other school sites within 8.9 the district or other public schools verify on transcripts as 8.10 completed; 8.11 (2) the work that educational institutions outside the 8.12 state accept for completing the equivalent of content standards 8.13 and verify on transcripts as completed; and 8.14 (3) a student's opportunities to complete high school 8.15 content standards through learning the student acquires outside 8.16 the district's curriculum, if the local governing board 8.17 determines the work or learning the student completed differs 8.18 from the content standards at the school site in which the 8.19 student is enrolled and the student is unable to fulfill the 8.20 content standards at the enrolling site. 8.21 Sec. 9. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 120B.03, is 8.22 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 8.23 Subd. 7. [COMPLETION OF A CONTENT STANDARD.] Districts, 8.24 area learning centers, and charter schools may: 8.25 (1) establish more than one content standard in a single 8.26 course, consistent with section 120B.02, paragraph (f); 8.27 (2) develop a system allowing students to meet a content 8.28 standard through different subject areas; and 8.29 (3) determine at what grade levels a content standard may 8.30 be completed. 8.31 Sec. 10. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 120B.03, is 8.32 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 8.33 Subd. 8. [RECORDS.] A district, area learning center, and 8.34 charter school shall maintain records of the following at each 8.35 site to submit to the commissioner for audit at the 8.36 commissioner's request: 9.1 (1) examples of local assessments used to measure students' 9.2 completion of a content standard; 9.3 (2) aggregate data on students' completion of each high 9.4 school content standard; 9.5 (3) aggregate data on each year's high school graduates, 9.6 including the number of high school content standards completed, 9.7 and the level of achievement earned on each standard; 9.8 (4) anonymous examples of student work in each high school 9.9 content standard; and 9.10 (5) the number and identity of available content standards, 9.11 the number of required content standards, and the number of 9.12 content standards completed by students. 9.13 Sec. 11. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 120B.03, is 9.14 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 9.15 Subd. 9. [SCORING.] The grade level of a student shall not 9.16 prohibit a student from receiving the highest state exemplar 9.17 score upon completion of a content standard. Teachers may 9.18 assign a score of "0" to incomplete student work on a standard. 9.19 The assessment of the content standard must be included as part 9.20 of the student's grade for a subject or course. 9.21 Sec. 12. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 120B.03, is 9.22 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 9.23 Subd. 10. [HIGH STANDARDS TOOL LIBRARY.] (a) The 9.24 commissioner shall maintain a high standards tool library that 9.25 offers teachers in each of the content standards at all grade 9.26 levels examples of assessment tools to assess students' 9.27 achievement of standards, examples of lesson plans, best 9.28 practices methods, research on proven methods, and examples of 9.29 exemplar work aligned to the content standards. 9.30 (b) By June 30, 2000, the commissioner shall have 9.31 established a variety of tools described in paragraph (a). The 9.32 tool library must be interactive and allow teachers to submit a 9.33 variety of tools. In addition to commissioner-approved tools, 9.34 the commissioner shall reserve a portion of the tool library for 9.35 tools submitted by teachers without the commissioner's review. 9.36 Sec. 13. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 120B.03, is 10.1 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 10.2 Subd. 11. [TECHNOLOGY AND RECORDKEEPING.] (a) The 10.3 commissioner shall designate to school districts, area learning 10.4 centers, and charter schools software packages for reporting 10.5 student performance on the content standards. The commissioner 10.6 shall ensure that the designated recordkeeping software is 10.7 capable of transferring student records between schools and 10.8 school districts and is available to school districts at a 10.9 minimal cost. The commissioner shall convene an advisory group 10.10 composed of qualified experts and interested stakeholders to 10.11 recommend to districts and charter schools recordkeeping 10.12 practices under the graduation rule. The commissioner must also 10.13 report on technology needs for efficient daily classroom 10.14 recordkeeping and accountability reporting. 10.15 (b) The commissioner shall notify the education committees 10.16 of the legislature that the requirements in paragraph (a) have 10.17 been met. 10.18 Sec. 14. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 120B.03, is 10.19 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 10.20 Subd. 12. [EXAMINATION AND EVALUATION PANEL.] The 10.21 commissioner shall establish an academic panel to examine, 10.22 evaluate, and sustain the rigor of the content standards 10.23 contained in the Minnesota graduation rule. The commissioner 10.24 shall consider regional representation when selecting members 10.25 for the panel. The panel shall be composed of: 10.26 (1) two teachers selected by education Minnesota, one of 10.27 which shall have been a teacher of the year, and one with 10.28 national board certification; 10.29 (2) deans of the colleges of education from the University 10.30 of Minnesota, a Minnesota state college, and a Minnesota private 10.31 college; 10.32 (3) a director of curriculum and instruction; 10.33 (4) an assessment practitioner; 10.34 (5) a school board member selected by the Minnesota school 10.35 boards association; and 10.36 (6) an elementary school principal, a middle school 11.1 principal, and a high school principal, each selected by the 11.2 state organization representing such principals. 11.3 In the process of examining, evaluating, and sustaining the 11.4 rigor of the state standards, the panel shall consult with 11.5 recognized national and international education experts on 11.6 academic standards and the independent office of educational 11.7 accountability under section 120B.31, subdivision 3. The panel 11.8 shall receive and analyze the report from the external review of 11.9 the profile of learning standards, procedures, and assessments 11.10 now underway through a contract with the department of children, 11.11 families, and learning. The external review must evaluate the 11.12 quality of the state's standards and assessments as an 11.13 integrated educational system. The panel may make 11.14 recommendations for refining the profile of learning based on 11.15 the external review and must compare and report the rigor of the 11.16 state standards and the north star standard by December 15, 11.17 2000, to the commissioner. The recommendations may include 11.18 changes effected through administrative changes and changes in 11.19 statutes or rule. Beginning July 1, 2001, and on every 11.20 even-numbered year thereafter, the panel shall submit its 11.21 evaluation of the rigor of the state standards and make 11.22 recommendations to the commissioner. 11.23 Sec. 15. Minnesota Statutes 1999 Supplement, section 11.24 120B.30, subdivision 1, is amended to read: 11.25 Subdivision 1. [STATEWIDE TESTING.] (a) The commissioner, 11.26 with advice from experts with appropriate technical 11.27 qualifications and experience and stakeholders, shall include in 11.28 the comprehensive assessment system, for each grade level to be 11.29 tested, a single statewide norm-referenced or11.30 criterion-referenced test, or a combination of a norm-referenced11.31 and a criterion-referencedtest, which shall be highly11.32 correlatedaligned with the state's graduation standards and 11.33 administered annually to all students in the third, fifth, and 11.34 eighth grades. The commissioner shall establish one or more 11.35 months during which schools shall administer the tests to 11.36 students each school year. Only Minnesota basic skills tests in 12.1 reading, mathematics, and writing shall fulfill students' basic 12.2 skills testing requirements for a passing state 12.3 notation. Notwithstanding Minnesota Rules, part 3501.0050, 12.4 subpart 2, at the written request of a parent or guardian, and 12.5 with the recommendation of the student's teacher, a district may 12.6 offer the test of basic requirements in reading, math, or 12.7 writing to an individual student beginning in grade 5. The 12.8 student must take the same test on the same date as administered 12.9 to students in eighth grade or higher. Third and fifth grade 12.10 test results shall be available to districts for diagnostic 12.11 purposes affecting student learning and district instruction and 12.12 curriculum, and for establishing educational accountability. 12.13 The commissioner must disseminate to the public the third and 12.14 fifth grade test results upon receiving those results. 12.15 (b) In addition, at the secondary level, districts shall 12.16 assess student performance in all required learning areas and 12.17 selected required standards within each area of the profile of 12.18 learning. The testing instruments and testing process shall be 12.19 determined by the commissioner. The results shall be aggregated 12.20 at the site and district level. The testing shall be 12.21 administered beginning in the 1999-2000 school year and 12.22 thereafter. 12.23 (c) The comprehensive assessment system shall include an12.24 evaluation ofcommissioner shall report school site and school 12.25 district performancestudent academic achievement levels during12.26 the 1997-1998 school year and thereafter using an established12.27 performance baseline developed from students' test scores under12.28 this section that records, at a minimum,of the current and two 12.29 immediately preceding school years. The report shall include 12.30 students' unweighted mean test scores in each tested subject, a12.31 second performance baseline that reports, at a minimum,the same12.32 unweighted mean test scores of only those students enrolled in 12.33 the school by January 1 of the previous school year, and a third12.34 performance baseline that reportsthe sameunweighted test 12.35 scores of all students except those students receiving limited 12.36 English proficiency instruction. The evaluationreport also 13.1 shall record separately, in proximity to the reported 13.2 performance baselineslevels, the percentages of students who 13.3 are eligible to receive a free or reduced price school meal, 13.4 demonstrate limited English proficiency, or are eligible to 13.5 receive special education services. 13.6 (d) In addition to the testing and reporting requirements 13.7 under paragraphs (a), (b), and (c), the commissioner shall 13.8 include the following components in the statewide educational13.9 accountability andpublic reporting system: 13.10 (1) uniform statewide testing of all third, fifth, eighth, 13.11 and post-eighth grade students withthat provides exemptions, 13.12 only with parent or guardian approval, from the testing13.13 requirement onlyfor those very few students for whom the 13.14 student's individual education plan team under sections 125A.05 13.15 and 125A.06, determines that the student is incapable of taking 13.16 a statewide test, or for a limited English proficiency student 13.17 under section 124D.59, subdivision 2, if the student has been in 13.18 the United States for fewer than 12 months and for whom special 13.19 language barriers exist, such as the student's native language 13.20 does not have a written form or the district does not have 13.21 access to appropriate interpreter services for the student's 13.22 native language; 13.23 (2) educational indicators that can be aggregated and 13.24 compared across school districts and across time on a statewide 13.25 basis, including average daily attendance, high school 13.26 graduation rates, and high school drop-out rates by age and 13.27 grade level; 13.28 (3) students' scores on the American College Test; and 13.29 (4) participation in the National Assessment of Educational 13.30 Progress so that the state can benchmark its performance against 13.31 the nation and other states, and, where possible, against other 13.32 countries, and contribute to the national effort to monitor 13.33 achievement ; and13.34 (5) basic skills and advanced competencies connecting13.35 teaching and learning to high academic standards, assessment,13.36 and transitions to citizenship and employment. 14.1 (e) Districts must report exemptions under paragraph (d), 14.2 clause (1), to the commissioner consistent with a format 14.3 provided by the commissioner. 14.4 Sec. 16. Minnesota Statutes 1999 Supplement, section 14.5 120B.35, is amended to read: 14.6 120B.35 [STUDENT ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT LEVELS.] 14.7 (a) Each school year, a school district must determine if 14.8 the student achievement levels at each school site meet 14.9 state and local expectations. If student achievement levels at 14.10 a school site do not meet state and local expectations for two 14.11 out of three consecutive school years, beginning with the 14.12 2000-2001 school year, the district must work with the school 14.13 site to adopt a plan to raise student achievement levels to meet 14.14 state and local expectations. The legislature will determine 14.15 state expectations after receiving a recommendation from the 14.16 commissioner of children, families, and learning. The14.17 commissioner must submit recommendations to the legislature by14.18 January 15, 2000.14.19 (b) The department, at a district's request, must assist 14.20 the district and the school site in developing a plan to improve 14.21 student achievement. The plan must include parental involvement 14.22 components. 14.23 Sec. 17. [BEST PRACTICES NETWORK.] 14.24 By June 30, 2000, the commissioner of children, families, 14.25 and learning shall establish a best practices network for 14.26 learning areas one through ten, and by June 30, 2001, in 14.27 learning area 11, under the profile of learning. 14.28 Sec. 18. [TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION.] 14.29 The commissioner of children, families, and learning shall 14.30 report to the education committees of the legislature by January 14.31 15, 2001, on recommendations regarding graduation standards 14.32 rules or realignment of standards for implementing a technical 14.33 and vocational education learning area. 14.34 Sec. 19. [CONTENT OF EXTERNAL REVIEW.] 14.35 The commissioner shall contract with an independent 14.36 organization to evaluate the quality of the state's standards as 15.1 an integrated educational system. The contractor's report must 15.2 include: 15.3 (1) an analysis of the content of the state standards; 15.4 (2) comparisons and specific recommendations for revision 15.5 by benchmarking the state's standards to other states' 15.6 standards; 15.7 (3) whether the standards are clear, specific, and 15.8 measurable, and whether they are understandable by teachers, 15.9 parents, and students, and whether the standards are set at an 15.10 appropriate level of difficulty for a particular grade level; 15.11 and 15.12 (4) what changes can strengthen the quality and alignment 15.13 of the state's standards. 15.14 Sec. 20. [GRADUATION RULE AMENDMENTS.] 15.15 Beginning no later than July 1, 2000, the commissioner 15.16 shall amend Minnesota Rules, chapter 3501, for state graduation 15.17 requirements according to this section using the expedited 15.18 process under Minnesota Statutes, section 14.389. In addition 15.19 to technical changes and corrections adopted according to 15.20 Minnesota Statutes, section 127A.05, subdivision 4, the 15.21 commissioner shall: 15.22 (1) amend Minnesota Rules, part 3501.0370, subpart 3, to 15.23 add to the grading criteria the option of "0" for student work 15.24 on an assessment or standard; 15.25 (2) delete all references in rule requiring school sites or 15.26 school districts to use state or locally developed performance 15.27 packages and make all use of all performance packages, including 15.28 for purposes of student assessment, optional at the discretion 15.29 of the school site or school district; 15.30 (3) amend the definition of "performance package" under 15.31 Minnesota Rules, part 3501.0320, subpart 2, item E, to make all 15.32 use of performance packages optional, consistent with clause 15.33 (2); and 15.34 (4) amend Minnesota Rules, part 3501.0320, subpart 2, item 15.35 F, to define "rubric" to mean the criteria the commissioner sets 15.36 and districts must use to measure student work that meets the 16.1 specifications of a content standard, consistent with clauses 16.2 (2) and (3). 16.3 Sec. 21. [REPEALER.] 16.4 (a) Minnesota Statutes 1998, sections 120B.03, subdivisions 16.5 1, 2, and 3; and 120B.04, are repealed. 16.6 (b) Minnesota Rules, parts 3501.0330, subpart 2, item A; 16.7 3501.0360; 3501.0370, subparts 1, 2, and 4; 3501.0420, subpart 16.8 1, item D, and subpart 4; and 3501.0430, are repealed. 16.9 (c) Minnesota Rules part 3501.0330, subpart 7, item B, is 16.10 repealed effective July 1, 2001. 16.11 Sec. 22. [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 16.12 Sections 1 to 21 are effective the day following final 16.13 enactment.