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 test, which shall be aligned with the state's graduation standards and administered annually to all students in the third, fifth, seventh, 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' basic skills testing requirements for a passing state notation. The passing scores of the state tests in reading and mathematics are the equivalent of:
(1) 70 percent correct for students entering grade 9 in 1996; and
(2) 75 percent correct for students entering grade 9 in 1997 and thereafter, as based on the first uniform test administration of February 1998.
(b) Third, fifth, and seventh grade test results shall be available to districts for diagnostic purposes affecting student learning and district instruction and curriculum, and for establishing educational accountability. The commissioner must disseminate to the public the third, fifth, and seventh grade test results upon receiving those results.
(c) In addition, at the high school 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, the testing process, and the order of administration shall be determined by the commissioner. The results shall be aggregated at the site and district level.
(d) The commissioner shall report school site and school district student academic achievement levels of the current and two immediately preceding school years. The report shall include students' unweighted mean test scores in each tested subject, the unweighted mean test scores of only those students enrolled in the school by October 1 of the current school year, and the unweighted test scores of all students except those students receiving limited English proficiency instruction. The report also shall record separately, in proximity to the reported performance levels, the percentage of students of each gender and the percentages of students who are eligible to receive a free or reduced price school meal, demonstrate limited English proficiency, are identified as migrant students, are a member of a major ethnic or racial population, or are eligible to receive special education services.
(e) In addition to the testing and reporting requirements under paragraphs (a), (b), (c), and (d), the commissioner shall include the following components in the statewide public reporting system:
(1) uniform statewide testing of all third, fifth, seventh, eighth, and post-eighth grade students that provides exemptions, only with parent or guardian approval, 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 for 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, including average daily attendance, high school graduation rates, and high school drop-out rates by age and grade level;
(3) students' scores on the American College Test; and
(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.
(f) Districts must report exemptions under paragraph (e), 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.