120B.30 Statewide testing and reporting system.
Subdivision 1. Statewide testing. (a) The commissioner, with advice from experts with appropriate technical qualifications and experience and stakeholders, shall include in the comprehensive assessment system, for each grade level to be tested, a single statewide norm-referenced or criterion-referenced test, or a combination of a norm-referenced and a criterion-referenced test, which shall be highly correlated with the state's graduation standards and administered annually to all students in the third, fifth, and eighth grades. The commissioner shall establish one or more months during which schools shall administer the tests to students each school year. Only Minnesota basic skills tests in reading, mathematics, and writing shall fulfill students' testing requirements for a passing state notation.
(b) In addition, at the secondary level, districts shall assess student performance in all required learning areas and selected required standards within each area of the profile of learning. The testing instruments and testing process shall be determined by the commissioner. The results shall be aggregated at the site and district level. The testing shall be administered beginning in the 1999-2000 school year and thereafter.
(c) The comprehensive assessment system shall include an evaluation of school site and school district performance levels during the 1997-1998 school year and thereafter using an established performance baseline developed from students' test scores under this section that records, at a minimum, students' unweighted mean test scores in each tested subject, a second performance baseline that reports, at a minimum, the same unweighted mean test scores of only those students enrolled in the school by January 1 of the previous school year, and a third performance baseline that reports the same unweighted test scores of all students except those students receiving limited English proficiency instruction. The evaluation also shall record separately, in proximity to the performance baselines, the percentages of students who are eligible to receive a free or reduced price school meal, demonstrate limited English proficiency, or are eligible to receive special education services.
(d) In addition to the testing and reporting requirements under paragraphs (a), (b), and (c), the commissioner shall include the following components in the statewide educational accountability and public reporting system:
(1) uniform statewide testing of all third, fifth, eighth, and post-eighth grade students with exemptions, only with parent or guardian approval, from the testing requirement only for those very few students for whom the student's individual education plan team under sections 125A.05 and 125A.06, determines that the student is incapable of taking a statewide test, or a limited English proficiency student under section 124D.59, subdivision 2, if the student has been in the United States for fewer than 12 months and for whom special language barriers exist, such as the student's native language does not have a written form or the district does not have access to appropriate interpreter services for the student's native language;
(2) educational indicators that can be aggregated and compared across school districts and across time on a statewide basis;
(3) students' scores on the American College Test;
(4) participation in the National Assessment of Educational Progress so that the state can benchmark its performance against the nation and other states, and, where possible, against other countries, and contribute to the national effort to monitor achievement; and
(5) basic skills and advanced competencies connecting teaching and learning to high academic standards, assessment, and transitions to citizenship and employment.
(e) Districts must report exemptions under paragraph (d), clause (1), to the commissioner consistent with a format provided by the commissioner.
Subd. 2. Department of children, families, and learning assistance. The department of children, families, and learning shall contract for professional and technical services according to competitive bidding procedures under chapter 16C for purposes of this section.
Subd. 3. Reporting. The commissioner shall report test data publicly and to stakeholders, including the three performance baselines developed from students' unweighted mean test scores in each tested subject and a listing of demographic factors that strongly correlate with student performance. The commissioner shall also report data that compares performance results among school sites, school districts, Minnesota and other states, and Minnesota and other nations. The commissioner shall disseminate to schools and school districts a more comprehensive report containing testing information that meets local needs for evaluating instruction and curriculum.