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CHAPTER 120B. Curriculum and assessment

Table of Sections
SectionHeadnote
120B.01Definitions.
120B.019Repealing profile of learning statutes and rules.

ACADEMIC STANDARDS

120B.02Educational expectations for Minnesota's students.
120B.021Required academic standards.
120B.022Elective standards.
120B.023Benchmarks.
120B.024Graduation requirements; course credits.
120B.03Repealed, 2000 c 500 s 21
120B.031Repealed, 2003 c 129 art 1 s 12
120B.04Repealed, 2000 c 500 s 21
120B.05Repealed, 1999 c 241 art 1 s 69
120B.07Early graduation.

CURRICULUM

120B.10Findings; improving instruction and curriculum.
120B.11School district process.
120B.12Reading intervention.
120B.125Involuntary career tracking prohibited.
120B.13Advanced placement and international baccalaureate programs.
120B.14Advanced academic credit.
120B.16Secondary credit for students.
120B.18American sign language.
120B.20Parental curriculum review.
120B.22Violence prevention education.
120B.23Violence prevention education grants.
120B.24Endowed chair.

ASSESSMENT; ACCOUNTABILITY

120B.30Statewide testing and reporting system.
120B.31System accountability and statistical adjustments.
120B.35Student academic achievement and progress.
120B.36School accountability; appeals process.
120B.363Credential for education paraprofessionals.
120B.365Assessment Advisory Committee.
120B.38Repealed, 1998 c 398 art 6 s 38
120B.39Uniform forms for state examinations; commissioner.

120B.01 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the words defined in section 120A.05 have the same meaning.

HIST: 1998 c 397 art 3 s 1; art 11 s 3

120B.019 Repealing profile of learning statutes and rules.

Notwithstanding sections 120B.02, 120B.30, 120B.31, and 120B.35, or other law to the contrary, the commissioner of education must not implement the profile of learning portion of the state's results-oriented graduation rule.

HIST: 2003 c 129 art 1 s 1; 2003 c 130 s 12

ACADEMIC STANDARDS

120B.02 Educational expectations for Minnesota's students.

(a) The legislature is committed to establishing rigorous academic standards for Minnesota's public school students. To that end, the commissioner shall adopt in rule statewide academic standards. The commissioner shall not prescribe in rule or otherwise the delivery system, classroom assessments, or form of instruction that school sites must use. For purposes of this chapter, a school site is a separate facility, or a separate program within a facility that a local school board recognizes as a school site for funding purposes.

(b) All commissioner actions regarding the rule must be premised on the following:

(1) the rule is intended to raise academic expectations for students, teachers, and schools;

(2) any state action regarding the rule must evidence consideration of school district autonomy; and

(3) the Department of Education, with the assistance of school districts, must make available information about all state initiatives related to the rule to students and parents, teachers, and the general public in a timely format that is appropriate, comprehensive, and readily understandable.

(c) When fully implemented, the requirements for high school graduation in Minnesota must require students to pass the basic skills test requirements and satisfactorily complete, as determined by the school district, the course credit requirements under section 120B.024.

(d) The commissioner shall periodically review and report on the state's assessment process.

(e) School districts are not required to adopt specific provisions of the Goals 2000 and the federal School-to-Work programs.

HIST: Ex1959 c 71 art 2 s 11; 1965 c 718 s 1; 1969 c 9 s 23,24; 1969 c 288 s 1; 1973 c 492 s 14; 1975 c 162 s 6,7; 1976 c 271 s 21; 1977 c 347 s 19; 1977 c 447 art 7 s 4; 1982 c 424 s 130; 1982 c 548 art 4 s 4,23; 1983 c 258 s 22; 1984 c 640 s 32; 1985 c 248 s 70; 1987 c 178 s 5; 1987 c 398 art 7 s 5; 1989 c 329 art 7 s 2; art 8 s 1; art 9 s 4; 1990 c 375 s 3; 1991 c 265 art 9 s 13; 1993 c 224 art 12 s 2-6; art 14 s 4; 1994 c 647 art 7 s 1; art 8 s 1; 1Sp1995 c 3 art 7 s 1; art 16 s 13; 1996 c 412 art 7 s 1; 1997 c 1 s 1; 1997 c 162 art 2 s 11; 1998 c 397 art 4 s 1,51; art 11 s 3; 1998 c 398 art 5 s 6,7,55; 2000 c 500 s 2; 2003 c 129 art 1 s 2; 2003 c 130 s 12

120B.021 Required academic standards.

Subdivision 1. Required academic standards. The following subject areas are required for statewide accountability:

(1) language arts;

(2) mathematics;

(3) science;

(4) social studies, including history, geography, economics, and government and citizenship; and

(5) the arts, for which statewide or locally developed academic standards apply, as determined by the school district. Public elementary and middle schools must offer at least three and require at least two of the following four arts areas: dance; music; theater; and visual arts. Public high schools must offer at least three and require at least one of the following five arts areas: media arts; dance; music; theater; and visual arts.

The commissioner must submit proposed standards in science and social studies to the legislature by February 1, 2004.

For purposes of applicable federal law, the academic standards for language arts, mathematics, and science apply to all public school students, except the very few students with extreme cognitive or physical impairments for whom an individualized education plan team has determined that the required academic standards are inappropriate. An individualized education plan team that makes this determination must establish alternative standards.

A school district, no later than the 2007-2008 school year, must adopt graduation requirements that meet or exceed state graduation requirements established in law or rule. A school district that incorporates these state graduation requirements before the 2007-2008 school year must provide students who enter the 9th grade in or before the 2003-2004 school year the opportunity to earn a diploma based on existing locally established graduation requirements in effect when the students entered the 9th grade. District efforts to develop, implement, or improve instruction or curriculum as a result of the provisions of this section must be consistent with sections 120B.10, 120B.11, and 120B.20.

Subd. 2. Standards development. (a) The commissioner must consider advice from at least the following stakeholders in developing statewide rigorous core academic standards in language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, including history, geography, economics, government and citizenship, and the arts:

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

(2) teachers throughout the state currently licensed and providing instruction in language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, or the arts and licensed elementary and secondary school principals throughout the state currently administering a school site;

(3) currently serving members of local school boards and charter school boards throughout the state;

(4) faculty teaching core subjects at postsecondary institutions in Minnesota; and

(5) representatives of the Minnesota business community.

(b) Academic standards must:

(1) be clear, concise, objective, measurable, and grade-level appropriate;

(2) not require a specific teaching methodology or curriculum; and

(3) be consistent with the Constitutions of the United States and the state of Minnesota.

Subd. 3. Rulemaking. (a) The commissioner, consistent with the requirements of this section and section 120B.022, must adopt statewide rules under section 14.389 for implementing statewide rigorous core academic standards in language arts, mathematics, and the arts. After the rules authorized under this paragraph are initially adopted, the commissioner may not amend or repeal these rules nor adopt new rules on the same topic without specific legislative authorization. These academic standards must be implemented for all students beginning in the 2003-2004 school year.

(b) The rules authorized under this section are not subject to section 14.127.

HIST: 2003 c 129 art 1 s 3

120B.022 Elective standards.

Subdivision 1. Elective standards. A district must establish its own standards in the following subject areas:

(1) health and physical education;

(2) vocational and technical education; and

(3) world languages.

A school district must offer courses in all elective subject areas.

Subd. 2. Local assessments. A district must use a locally selected assessment to determine if a student has achieved an elective standard.

HIST: 2003 c 129 art 1 s 4

120B.023 Benchmarks.

(a) The commissioner must supplement required state academic standards with grade-level benchmarks. High school benchmarks may cover more than one grade. The benchmarks must implement statewide academic standards by specifying the academic knowledge and skills that schools must offer and students must achieve to satisfactorily complete a state standard. Benchmarks are published to inform and guide parents, teachers, school districts, and other interested persons and for use in developing tests consistent with the benchmarks.

(b) The commissioner shall publish benchmarks in the State Register and transmit the benchmarks in any other manner that makes them accessible to the general public. The commissioner may charge a reasonable fee for publications.

(c) Once established, the commissioner may change the benchmarks only with specific legislative authorization and after completing a review under paragraph (d).

(d) The commissioner must develop and implement a system for reviewing on a four-year cycle each of the required academic standards and related benchmarks and elective standards beginning in the 2006-2007 school year.

(e) The benchmarks are not subject to chapter 14 and section 14.386 does not apply.

HIST: 2003 c 129 art 1 s 5

120B.024 Graduation requirements; course credits.

Students beginning 9th grade in the 2004-2005 school year and later must successfully complete the following high school level course credits for graduation:

(1) four credits of language arts;

(2) three credits of mathematics, encompassing at least algebra, geometry, statistics, and probability sufficient to satisfy the academic standard;

(3) three credits of science, including at least one credit in biology;

(4) three and one-half credits of social studies, including at least one credit of United States history, one credit of geography, 0.5 credits of government and citizenship, 0.5 credits of world history, and 0.5 credits of economics; and

(5) a minimum of eight elective course credits, including at least one credit in the arts.

A course credit is equivalent to a student's successful completion of an academic year of study or a student's mastery of the applicable subject matter, as determined by the local school district.

HIST: 2003 c 129 art 1 s 6

120B.03 Repealed, 2000 c 500 s 21

120B.031 Repealed, 2003 c 129 art 1 s 12

120B.04 Repealed, 2000 c 500 s 21

120B.05 Repealed, 1999 c 241 art 1 s 69

120B.07 Early graduation.

Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, any secondary school student who has completed all required courses or standards may, with the approval of the student, the student's parent or guardian, and local school officials, graduate before the completion of the school year. General education revenue attributable to the student must be paid as though the student was in attendance for the entire year.

HIST: 1974 c 521 s 7; 1975 c 432 s 12; 1979 c 334 art 1 s 1; 1983 c 216 art 1 s 24; 1983 c 314 art 1 s 22; 1985 c 248 s 70; 1986 c 444; 1988 c 486 s 7; 1998 c 397 art 2 s 73,164; 1Sp2001 c 6 art 1 s 4

CURRICULUM

120B.10 Findings; improving instruction and curriculum.

The legislature finds that a process is needed to enable school boards and communities to decide matters related to planning, providing, and improving education instruction and curriculum in the context of the state's high school graduation standards. The process should help districts evaluate the impact of instruction and curriculum on students' abilities to meet graduation standards, use evaluation results to improve instruction and curriculum, and determine services that districts and other public education entities can provide collaboratively with institutions including families and private or public organizations and agencies. The legislature anticipates that a highly focused public education strategy will be an integral part of each district's review and improvement of instruction and curriculum.

HIST: 1996 c 412 art 7 s 3; 1998 c 397 art 6 s 124

120B.11 School district process.

Subdivision 1. Definitions. For the purposes of this section and section 120B.10, the following terms have the meanings given them.

(a) "Instruction" means methods of providing learning experiences that enables a student to meet graduation standards.

(b) "Curriculum" means written plans for providing students with learning experiences that lead to knowledge, skills, and positive attitudes.

Subd. 2. Adopting policies. (a) A school board shall adopt annually a written policy that includes the following:

(1) district goals for instruction and curriculum;

(2) a process for evaluating each student's progress toward meeting graduation standards and identifying the strengths and weaknesses of instruction and curriculum affecting students' progress;

(3) a system for periodically reviewing all instruction and curriculum;

(4) a plan for improving instruction and curriculum; and

(5) an instruction plan that includes education effectiveness processes developed under section 122A.625 and integrates instruction, curriculum, and technology.

Subd. 3. Instruction and Curriculum Advisory Committee. Each school board shall establish an Instruction and Curriculum Advisory Committee to ensure active community participation in all phases of planning and improving the instruction and curriculum affecting state graduation standards. A district advisory committee, to the extent possible, shall reflect the diversity of the district and its learning sites, and shall include teachers, parents, support staff, pupils, and other community residents. The district may establish building teams as subcommittees of the district advisory committee under subdivision 4. The district advisory committee shall recommend to the school board districtwide education standards, assessments, and program evaluations. Learning sites may expand upon district evaluations of instruction, curriculum, assessments, or programs. Whenever possible, parents and other community residents shall comprise at least two-thirds of advisory committee members.

Subd. 4. Building team. A school may establish a building team to develop and implement an education effectiveness plan to improve instruction and curriculum. The team shall advise the board and the advisory committee about developing an instruction and curriculum improvement plan that aligns curriculum, assessment of student progress in meeting state graduation standards, and instruction.

Subd. 5. Report. (a) By October 1 of each year, the school board shall use standard statewide reporting procedures the commissioner develops and adopt a report that includes the following:

(1) student performance goals for meeting state graduation standards adopted for that year;

(2) results of local assessment data, and any additional test data;

(3) the annual school district improvement plans;

(4) information about district and learning site progress in realizing previously adopted improvement plans; and

(5) the amount and type of revenue attributed to each education site as defined in section 123B.04.

(b) The school board shall publish the report in the local newspaper with the largest circulation in the district or by mail. The board shall make a copy of the report available to the public for inspection. The board shall send a copy of the report to the commissioner of education by October 15 of each year.

(c) The title of the report shall contain the name and number of the school district and read "Annual Report on Curriculum, Instruction, and Student Performance." The report must include at least the following information about advisory committee membership:

(1) the name of each committee member and the date when that member's term expires;

(2) the method and criteria the school board uses to select committee members; and

(3) the date by which a community resident must apply to next serve on the committee.

Subd. 6. Student evaluation. The school board annually shall provide high school graduates or GED recipients who receive a diploma or its equivalent from the school district with an opportunity to report to the board on the following:

(1) the quality of district instruction, curriculum, and services;

(2) the quality of district delivery of instruction, curriculum, and services;

(3) the utility of district facilities; and

(4) the effectiveness of district administration.

Subd. 7. Periodic report. Each school district shall periodically ask affected constituencies about their level of satisfaction with school. The district shall include the results of this evaluation in the report required under subdivision 5.

Subd. 8. Biennial evaluation; assessment program. At least once every two years, the district report shall include an evaluation of the district testing programs, according to the following:

(1) written objectives of the assessment program;

(2) names of tests and grade levels tested;

(3) use of test results; and

(4) implementation of an assurance of mastery program.

HIST: 1996 c 412 art 7 s 4; 1Sp1997 c 4 art 5 s 12; 1998 c 397 art 6 s 124; art 11 s 3; 2000 c 254 s 2; 2003 c 130 s 12

120B.12 Reading intervention.

Subdivision 1. Literacy goal. The legislature seeks to have Minnesota's children able to read no later than the end of second grade.

Subd. 2. Identification. For the 2002-2003 school year and later, each school district shall identify before the end of first grade students who are at risk of not learning to read before the end of second grade. The district must use a locally adopted assessment method.

Subd. 3. Intervention. For each student identified under subdivision 2, the district shall provide a reading intervention method or program to assist the student in reaching the goal of learning to read no later than the end of second grade. District intervention methods shall encourage parental involvement and, where possible, collaboration with appropriate school and community programs. Intervention methods may include, but are not limited to, requiring attendance in summer school and intensified reading instruction that may require that the student be removed from the regular classroom for part of the school day.

Subd. 4. Staff development. Each district shall identify the staff development needs to ensure that:

(1) elementary teachers are able to implement comprehensive, scientifically based, and balanced reading instruction programs that have resulted in improved student performance;

(2) elementary teachers who are instructing students identified under subdivision 2 are prepared to teach using the intervention methods or programs selected by the district for the identified students; and

(3) all licensed teachers employed by the district have regular opportunities to improve reading instruction.

Subd. 5. Commissioner. The commissioner shall recommend to districts multiple assessment tools that will assist districts and teachers with identifying students under subdivision 2. The commissioner shall also make available to districts examples of nationally recognized and research-based instructional methods or programs that districts may use to provide reading intervention according to this section.

HIST: 1Sp2001 c 13 s 12

120B.125 Involuntary career tracking prohibited.

A school district may develop grade-level curricula or provide instruction that introduces students to various careers, but must not require any curriculum, instruction, or employment-related activity that obligates an elementary or secondary student to involuntarily select a career, career interest, employment goals, or related job training.

HIST: 1Sp2001 c 6 art 2 s 3

120B.13 Advanced placement and international baccalaureate programs.

Subdivision 1. Program structure; training programs for teachers. (a) The advanced placement and international baccalaureate programs are well-established academic programs for mature, academically directed high school students. These programs, in addition to providing academic rigor, offer sound curricular design, accountability, comprehensive external assessment, feedback to students and teachers, and the opportunity for high school students to compete academically on a global level. Advanced placement and international baccalaureate programs allow students to leave high school with the academic skills and self-confidence to succeed in college and beyond. The advanced placement and international baccalaureate programs help provide Minnesota students with world-class educational opportunity.

(b) Critical to schools' educational success is ongoing advanced placement/international baccalaureate-approved teacher training. A secondary teacher assigned by a district to teach an advanced placement or international baccalaureate course or other interested educator may participate in a training program offered by the college board or International Baccalaureate North America, Inc. The state may pay a portion of the tuition, room, and board costs a teacher or other interested educator incurs in participating in a training program. The commissioner shall determine application procedures and deadlines, and select teachers and other interested educators to participate in the training program. The procedures determined by the commissioner shall, to the extent possible, ensure that advanced placement and international baccalaureate courses become available in all parts of the state and that a variety of course offerings are available in school districts. This subdivision does not prevent teacher or other interested educator participation in training programs offered by the college board or International Baccalaureate North America, Inc., when tuition is paid by a source other than the state.

Subd. 2. Support programs. The commissioner shall provide support programs during the school year for teachers who attended the training programs and teachers experienced in teaching advanced placement or international baccalaureate courses. The support programs shall provide teachers with opportunities to share instructional ideas with other teachers. The state may pay the costs of participating in the support programs, including substitute teachers, if necessary, and program affiliation costs.

Subd. 3. Subsidy for examination fees. The state may pay all or part of the fee for advanced placement or international baccalaureate examinations for pupils of low-income families in public and nonpublic schools. The commissioner shall adopt a schedule for fee subsidies that may allow payment of the entire fee for low-income families, as defined by the commissioner. The commissioner shall determine procedures for state payments of fees.

Subd. 4. Information. The commissioner shall submit the following information to the education committees of the legislature each year by February 1:

(1) the number of pupils enrolled in advanced placement and international baccalaureate courses in each school district;

(2) the number of teachers in each district attending training programs offered by the college board or International Baccalaureate North America, Inc.;

(3) the number of teachers in each district participating in support programs;

(4) recent trends in the field of advanced placement and international baccalaureate programs;

(5) expenditures for each category in this section; and

(6) other recommendations for the state program.

HIST: 1992 c 499 art 7 s 10; 1993 c 224 art 13 s 46; 1994 c 647 art 7 s 9; 1Sp1995 c 3 art 16 s 13; 1998 c 397 art 2 s 129,164; 2000 c 489 art 6 s 1; 1Sp2001 c 6 art 2 s 2; 2002 c 220 art 3 s 1

120B.14 Advanced academic credit.

A district must grant academic credit to a pupil attending an accelerated or advanced academic course offered by a higher education institution or a nonprofit public agency other than the district, if the pupil successfully completes the course attended and passes an examination approved by the district. If no comparable course is offered by the district, the commissioner shall determine the number of credits which shall be granted to a pupil who successfully completes and passes the course. If a comparable course is offered by the district, the board must grant a comparable number of credits to the pupil. If there is a dispute between the district and the pupil regarding the number of credits granted for a particular course, the pupil may appeal the school board's decision to the commissioner. The commissioner's decision regarding the number of credits shall be final.

The credits granted to a pupil shall be counted toward the graduation requirements and subject area requirements of the district. Evidence of successful completion of each class and credits granted shall be included in the pupil's secondary school record.

HIST: 1984 c 463 art 7 s 8; 1993 c 224 art 13 s 21; 1998 c 397 art 2 s 74,164

120B.16 Secondary credit for students.

A student who satisfactorily completes a high school course shall receive secondary course credit and the credit shall count toward the student's graduation requirements.

HIST: 1993 c 224 art 9 s 35; 1996 c 412 art 7 s 12; 1998 c 397 art 9 s 26

120B.18 American sign language.

Satisfactory completion of courses in American sign language in a public elementary or secondary school shall be accorded equal standing with satisfactory completion of courses in any world language.

HIST: 1Sp1997 c 4 art 2 s 37; 1998 c 397 art 9 s 26

120B.20 Parental curriculum review.

Each school district shall have a procedure for a parent, guardian, or an adult student, 18 years of age or older, to review the content of the instructional materials to be provided to a minor child or to an adult student and, if the parent, guardian, or adult student objects to the content, to make reasonable arrangements with school personnel for alternative instruction. Alternative instruction may be provided by the parent, guardian, or adult student if the alternative instruction, if any, offered by the school board does not meet the concerns of the parent, guardian, or adult student. The school board is not required to pay for the costs of alternative instruction provided by a parent, guardian, or adult student. School personnel may not impose an academic or other penalty upon a student merely for arranging alternative instruction under this section. School personnel may evaluate and assess the quality of the student's work.

HIST: 1993 c 224 art 12 s 29; 1998 c 397 art 6 s 124

120B.22 Violence prevention education.

Subdivision 1. Violence prevention curriculum. (a) The commissioner of education, in consultation with the commissioners of health and human services, state minority councils, battered women's and domestic abuse programs, battered women's shelters, sexual assault centers, representatives of religious communities, and the assistant commissioner of the Office of Drug Policy and Violence Prevention, shall assist districts on request in developing or implementing a violence prevention program for students in kindergarten to grade 12 that can be integrated into existing curriculum. The purpose of the program is to help students learn how to resolve conflicts within their families and communities in nonviolent, effective ways.

(b) Each district is encouraged to integrate into its existing curriculum a program for violence prevention that includes at least:

(1) a comprehensive, accurate, and age appropriate curriculum on violence prevention, nonviolent conflict resolution, sexual, racial, and cultural harassment, and student hazing that promotes equality, respect, understanding, effective communication, individual responsibility, thoughtful decision making, positive conflict resolution, useful coping skills, critical thinking, listening and watching skills, and personal safety;

(2) planning materials, guidelines, and other accurate information on preventing physical and emotional violence, identifying and reducing the incidence of sexual, racial, and cultural harassment, and reducing child abuse and neglect;

(3) a special parent education component of early childhood family education programs to prevent child abuse and neglect and to promote positive parenting skills, giving priority to services and outreach programs for at-risk families;

(4) involvement of parents and other community members, including the clergy, business representatives, civic leaders, local elected officials, law enforcement officials, and the county attorney;

(5) collaboration with local community services, agencies, and organizations that assist in violence intervention or prevention, including family-based services, crisis services, life management skills services, case coordination services, mental health services, and early intervention services;

(6) collaboration among districts and service cooperatives;

(7) targeting early adolescents for prevention efforts, especially early adolescents whose personal circumstances may lead to violent or harassing behavior;

(8) opportunities for teachers to receive in-service training or attend other programs on strategies or curriculum designed to assist students in intervening in or preventing violence in school and at home; and

(9) administrative policies that reflect, and a staff that models, nonviolent behaviors that do not display or condone sexual, racial, or cultural harassment or student hazing.

(c) The department may provide assistance at a neutral site to a nonpublic school participating in a district's program.

Subd. 2. In-service training. Each district is encouraged to provide training for district staff and school board members to help students identify violence in the family and the community so that students may learn to resolve conflicts in effective, nonviolent ways. The in-service training must be ongoing and involve experts familiar with domestic violence and personal safety issues.

Subd. 3. Funding sources. Districts may accept funds from public and private sources for violence prevention programs developed and implemented under this section.

HIST: 1992 c 571 art 10 s 6; 1994 c 647 art 4 s 34; 1Sp1995 c 3 art 16 s 13; 1996 c 305 art 1 s 138; 1Sp1997 c 4 art 7 s 9; 1998 c 397 art 3 s 92,103; 2000 c 445 art 2 s 6; 2003 c 130 s 12

120B.23 Violence prevention education grants.

Subdivision 1. Grant program established. The commissioner of education, after consulting with the assistant commissioner of the Office of Drug Policy and Violence Prevention, shall establish a violence prevention education grant program to enable a school district, an education district, or a group of districts that cooperate for a particular purpose to develop and implement or to continue a violence prevention program for students in kindergarten through grade 12 that can be integrated into existing curriculum. A district or group of districts that elects to develop and implement or to continue a violence prevention program under section 120B.22 is eligible to apply for a grant under this section.

Subd. 2. Grant application. To be eligible to receive a grant, a school district, an education district, a service cooperative, or a group of districts that cooperate for a particular purpose must submit an application to the commissioner in the form and manner and according to the timeline established by the commissioner. The application must describe how the applicant will: (1) continue or integrate into its existing K-12 curriculum a program for violence prevention that contains the program components listed in section 120B.22; (2) collaborate with local organizations involved in violence prevention and intervention; and (3) structure the program to reflect the characteristics of the children, their families and the community involved in the program. The commissioner may require additional information from the applicant. When reviewing the applications, the commissioner shall determine whether the applicant has met the requirements of this subdivision.

Subd. 3. Grant awards. The commissioner may award grants for a violence prevention education program to eligible applicants as defined in subdivision 2. Grant amounts may not exceed $3 per resident pupil unit in the district or group of districts in the prior school year. Grant recipients should be geographically distributed throughout the state.

Subd. 4. Grant proceeds. A successful applicant must use the grant money to develop and implement or to continue a violence prevention program according to the terms of the grant application.

HIST: 1992 c 571 art 10 s 30; 1994 c 576 s 2; 1994 c 647 art 4 s 35; 1Sp1995 c 3 art 9 s 29; art 16 s 13; 1998 c 397 art 3 s 93,103; art 11 s 3; 2003 c 130 s 12

120B.24 Endowed chair.

Subdivision 1. Purpose. The purpose of the endowed chair program is to increase curriculum offerings and learning experiences available to students.

Subd. 2. Eligibility. A school site, represented by the school site council or, if no site council exists, the principal or lead teacher, and the party interested in endowing a chair may enter into an agreement for an endowed chair for no longer than one year in length. The party endowing the chair and the school site may, at their discretion, renew annually.

Subd. 3. Program. An endowed chair program may be for a semester, a summer session, or a full school year. Curriculum developed or provided under the endowed chair program must supplement the existing curriculum offerings available at the school in the particular subject chosen.

Subd. 4. Agreement. The agreement must make available funds sufficient for the salary and benefit costs of the instructor, and necessary supplies for the course. The participating site must provide the classroom space and administer the program. The parties, in consultation with the school district and the exclusive representative of the teachers, jointly select the instructor for the endowed chair.

HIST: 1996 c 412 art 8 s 9; 1998 c 397 art 6 s 124

ASSESSMENT; ACCOUNTABILITY

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, consistent with subdivision 1a, shall include in the comprehensive assessment system, for each grade level to be tested, state-constructed tests developed from and aligned with the state's required academic standards under section 120B.021 and administered annually to all students in grades 3 through 8 and at the high school level. A state-developed test in a subject other than writing, developed after the 2002-2003 school year, must include both multiple choice and constructed response questions. 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) The third through 8th grade and high school level 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 test results upon receiving those results.

(c) State tests must be constructed and aligned with state academic standards. The testing process and the order of administration shall be determined by the commissioner. The statewide results shall be aggregated at the site and district level, consistent with subdivision 1a.

(d) In addition to the testing and reporting requirements under this section, the commissioner shall include the following components in the statewide public reporting system:

(1) uniform statewide testing of all students in grades 3 through 8 and at the high school level 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 three years;

(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) state results from 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.

(e) Districts must report exemptions under paragraph (d), clause (1), to the commissioner consistent with a format provided by the commissioner.

Subd. 1a. Statewide and local assessments; results. (a) The commissioner must develop language arts, mathematics, and science assessments aligned with state academic standards that districts and sites must use to monitor student growth toward achieving those standards. The commissioner must not develop statewide assessments for academic standards in social studies and the arts. The commissioner must require:

(1) annual language arts and mathematics assessments in grades 3 through 8 and at the high school level for the 2005-2006 school year and later; and

(2) 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 for the 2007-2008 school year and later.

(b) The commissioner must ensure that all statewide tests administered to elementary and secondary students measure students' academic knowledge and skills and not students' values, attitudes, and beliefs.

(c) Reporting of assessment results must:

(1) provide timely, useful, and understandable information on the performance of individual students, schools, school districts, and the state;

(2) include, by the 2006-2007 school year, a value-added component to measure student achievement growth over time; and

(3) determine whether students have met the state's basic skills requirements.

(d) Consistent with applicable federal law and subdivision 1, paragraph (d), clause (1), the commissioner must include alternative assessments for the very few students with disabilities for whom statewide assessments are inappropriate and for students with limited English proficiency.

(e) A school, school district, and charter school must administer statewide assessments under this section, as the assessments become available, to evaluate student progress in achieving the academic standards. If a state assessment is not available, a school, school district, and charter school must determine locally if a student has met the required academic standards. A school, school district, or charter school may use a student's performance on a statewide assessment as one of multiple criteria to determine grade promotion or retention. A school, school district, or charter school may use a high school student's performance on a statewide assessment as a percentage of the student's final grade in a course, or place a student's assessment score on the student's transcript.

Subd. 2. Department of Education assistance. The Department of Education 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.

HIST: 1997 c 138 s 1; 1998 c 386 art 2 s 38; 1998 c 397 art 4 s 2,51; art 11 s 3; 1998 c 398 art 5 s 8; 1999 c 241 art 9 s 3; 2000 c 489 art 6 s 2; 2000 c 500 s 15; 1Sp2001 c 6 art 2 s 4; 2003 c 129 art 1 s 7,8; 2003 c 130 s 12

120B.31 System accountability and statistical adjustments.

Subdivision 1. Educational accountability and public reporting. Consistent with the process to adopt a results-oriented graduation rule under section 120B.02, the department, in consultation with education and other system stakeholders, must establish a coordinated and comprehensive system of educational accountability and public reporting that promotes higher academic achievement.

Subd. 2. Statewide testing. Each school year, all school districts shall give a uniform statewide test to students at specified grades to provide information on the status, needs and performance of Minnesota students.

Subd. 3. Educational accountability. (a) The Independent Office of Educational Accountability, as authorized by Laws 1997, First Special Session chapter 4, article 5, section 28, subdivision 2, is established. The office shall advise the education committees of the legislature and the commissioner of education, at least on a biennial basis, on the degree to which the statewide educational accountability and reporting system includes a comprehensive assessment framework that measures school accountability for students achieving the goals described in the state's results-oriented graduation rule. The office shall consider whether the statewide system of educational accountability utilizes multiple indicators to provide valid and reliable comparative and contextual data on students, schools, districts, and the state, and if not, recommend ways to improve the accountability reporting system.

(b) When the office reviews the statewide educational accountability and reporting system, it shall also consider:

(1) the objectivity and neutrality of the state's educational accountability system; and

(2) the impact of a testing program on school curriculum and student learning.

Subd. 4. Statistical adjustments. In developing policies and assessment processes to hold schools and districts accountable for high levels of academic standards, including the profile of learning, the commissioner shall aggregate student data over time to report student performance levels measured at the school district, regional, or statewide level. When collecting and reporting the data, the commissioner shall: (1) acknowledge the impact of significant demographic factors such as residential instability, the number of single parent families, parents' level of education, and parents' income level on school outcomes; and (2) organize and report the data so that state and local policy makers can understand the educational implications of changes in districts' demographic profiles over time. Any report the commissioner disseminates containing summary data on student performance must integrate student performance and the demographic factors that strongly correlate with that performance.

HIST: 1996 c 412 art 7 s 2; 1997 c 1 s 2; 1998 c 397 art 4 s 3,4,51; art 11 s 3; 1998 c 398 art 5 s 10,55; 2003 c 130 s 12

120B.35 Student academic achievement and progress.

Subdivision 1. Adequate yearly progress of schools and students. The commissioner must develop and implement a system for measuring and reporting academic achievement and individual student progress, consistent with the statewide educational accountability and reporting system. The components of the system must measure the adequate yearly progress of schools and individual students: students' current achievement in schools under subdivision 2; and individual students' educational progress over time under subdivision 3. The system also must include statewide measures of student academic achievement that identify schools with high levels of achievement, and also schools with low levels of achievement that need improvement. When determining a school's effect, the data must include both statewide measures of student achievement and, to the extent annual tests are administered, indicators of achievement growth that take into account a student's prior achievement. Indicators of achievement and prior achievement must be based on highly reliable statewide or districtwide assessments. Indicators that take into account a student's prior achievement must not be used to disregard a school's low achievement or to exclude a school from a program to improve low achievement levels. The commissioner by January 15, 2002, must submit a plan for integrating these components to the chairs of the legislative committees having policy and budgetary responsibilities for elementary and secondary education.

Subd. 2. Student academic achievement. (a) Each school year, a school district must determine if the student achievement levels at each school site meet state and local expectations. If student achievement levels at a school site do not meet state and local expectations and the site has not made adequate yearly progress for two consecutive school years, beginning with the 2001-2002 school year, the district must work with the school site to adopt a plan to raise student achievement levels to meet state and local expectations. The commissioner of education shall establish student academic achievement levels.

(b) School sites identified as not meeting expectations must develop continuous improvement plans in order to meet state and local expectations for student academic achievement. The department, at a district's request, must assist the district and the school site in developing a plan to improve student achievement. The plan must include parental involvement components.

(c) The commissioner must:

(1) provide assistance to school sites and districts identified as not meeting expectations; and

(2) provide technical assistance to schools that integrate student progress measures under subdivision 3 in the school continuous improvement plan.

(d) The commissioner shall establish and maintain a continuous improvement Web site designed to make data on every school and district available to parents, teachers, administrators, community members, and the general public.

Subd. 3. Student progress assessment. (a) The educational assessment system component measuring individual students' educational progress must be based, to the extent annual tests are administered, on indicators of achievement growth that show an individual student's prior achievement. Indicators of achievement and prior achievement must be based on highly reliable statewide or districtwide assessments.

(b) The commissioner must identify effective models for measuring individual student progress that enable a school district or school site to perform gains-based analysis, including evaluating the effects of the teacher, school, and school district on student achievement over time. At least one model must be a "value-added" assessment model that reliably estimates those effects for classroom settings where a single teacher teaches multiple subjects to the same group of students, for team teaching arrangements, and for other teaching circumstances.

(c) If a district has an accountability plan that includes gains-based analysis or "value-added" assessment, the commissioner shall, to the extent practicable, incorporate those measures in determining whether the district or school site meets expectations. The department must coordinate with the district in evaluating school sites and continuous improvement plans, consistent with best practices.

Subd. 4. Improving schools. Consistent with the requirements of this section, the commissioner of education must establish a second achievement benchmark to identify improving schools. The commissioner must recommend to the legislature by February 15, 2002, indicators in addition to the achievement benchmark for identifying improving schools, including an indicator requiring a school to demonstrate ongoing successful use of best teaching practices.

HIST: 1998 c 398 art 9 s 1; 1999 c 241 art 9 s 4; 2000 c 500 s 16; 1Sp2001 c 6 art 2 s 5; 2003 c 130 s 12

120B.36 School accountability; appeals process.

(a) The commissioner shall use objective criteria based on levels of student performance to identify four to six designations applicable to high and low performing public schools. The objective criteria shall include at least student academic performance, school safety, and staff characteristics, with a value-added growth component added by the 2006-2007 school year.

(b) The commissioner shall develop, annually update, and post on the department Web site school performance report cards. A school's designation must be clearly stated on each school performance report card.

(c) The commissioner must make available the first school designations and school performance report cards by November 2003, and during the beginning of each school year thereafter.

(d) A school or district may appeal in writing a designation under this section to the commissioner within 30 days of receiving the designation. The commissioner's decision to uphold or deny an appeal is final.

HIST: 2003 c 129 art 1 s 9

* NOTE: This section, as added by Laws 2003, chapter 129, *article 1, section 9, is effective May 22, 2003, and applies to *the 2005-2006 school year and later. Laws 2003, chapter 129, *article 1, section 9, the effective date.

120B.363 Credential for education paraprofessionals.

Subdivision 1. Rulemaking. The Board of Teaching must adopt rules to implement a statewide credential for education paraprofessionals who assist a licensed teacher in providing student instruction. Any paraprofessional holding this credential or working in a local school district after meeting a state-approved local assessment is considered to be highly qualified under federal law. Under this subdivision, the Board of Teaching, in consultation with the commissioner, must adopt qualitative criteria for approving local assessments that include an evaluation of a paraprofessional's knowledge of reading, writing, and math and the paraprofessional's ability to assist in the instruction of reading, writing, and math. The commissioner must approve or disapprove local assessments using these criteria. The commissioner must make the criteria available to the public.

Subd. 2. Training possibilities. In adopting rules under subdivision 1, the board must consider including provisions that provide training in: students' characteristics; teaching and learning environment; academic instruction skills; student behavior; and ethical practices.

Subd. 3. Initial training. Within the first 60 days of supervising or working with students, a district must provide each paraprofessional with initial training in emergency procedures, confidentiality, vulnerability, reporting obligations, discipline policies, roles and responsibilities, and a building orientation.

HIST: 2003 c 129 art 1 s 10

120B.365 Assessment Advisory Committee.

Subdivision 1. Establishment. An Assessment Advisory Committee of up to 11 members selected by the commissioner is established. The commissioner must select members as follows:

(1) two superintendents;

(2) two teachers;

(3) two higher education faculty; and

(4) up to five members of the public, consisting of parents and members of the business community.

The committee must review all statewide assessments. The committee must submit its recommendations to the commissioner and to the committees of the legislature having jurisdiction over kindergarten through grade 12 education policy and budget issues. The commissioner must consider the committees' recommendations before finalizing a statewide assessment.

Subd. 2. Expiration. Notwithstanding section 15.059, subdivision 5, the committee expires on June 30, 2014.

HIST: 2003 c 129 art 1 s 11

* NOTE: This section, as added by Laws 2003, chapter 129, *article 1, section 11, is effective immediately and applies to *the 2005-2006 school year and later. Laws 2003, chapter 129, *article 1, section 11, the effective date.

120B.38 Repealed, 1998 c 398 art 6 s 38

120B.39 Uniform forms for state examinations; commissioner.

Upon the request of any superintendent of any public or private school teaching high school courses in the state, the commissioner shall designate or prepare uniform forms for state examinations in each high school subject during the month of May of each year; the request shall be in writing and delivered to the commissioner before January 1 of that year.

HIST: Ex1959 c 71 art 2 s 16; 1969 c 1129 art 8 s 16; 1977 c 305 s 41; 1978 c 764 s 8; 1983 c 150 s 1; 1992 c 499 art 8 s 1; 1993 c 224 art 9 s 16,17; 1Sp1995 c 3 art 16 s 13; 1998 c 397 art 4 s 51; 1998 c 398 art 6 s 4-12