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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.

Subd. 5. Improving graduation rates for students with emotional or behavioral disorders. (a) A district must develop strategies in conjunction with parents of students with emotional or behavioral disorders and the county board responsible for implementing sections 245.487 to 245.4887 to keep students with emotional or behavioral disorders in school, when the district has a drop-out rate for students with an emotional or behavioral disorder in grades 9 through 12 exceeding 25 percent.

(b) A district must develop a plan in conjunction with parents of students with emotional or behavioral disorders and the local mental health authority to increase the graduation rates of students with emotional or behavioral disorders. A district with a drop-out rate for children with an emotional or behavioral disturbance in grades 9 through 12 that is in the top 25 percent of all districts shall submit a plan for review and oversight to the commissioner.

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; 2004 c 294 art 5 s 2