120B.021 Required academic standards.
Subdivision 1. Required academic standards. The following subject areas are required for statewide accountability:
(1) language arts;
(4) social studies, including history, geography, economics, and government and citizenship;
(5) health and physical education, for which locally developed academic standards apply; and
(6) 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. 1a. Rigorous course of study; waiver. (a) Upon receiving a student's application signed by the student's parent or guardian, a school district, area learning center, or charter school must declare that a student meets or exceeds a specific academic standard required for graduation under this section if the local school board, the school board of the school district in which the area learning center is located, or the charter school board of directors determines that the student:
(1) is participating in a course of study, including an advanced placement or international baccalaureate course or program; a learning opportunity outside the curriculum of the district, area learning center, or charter school; or an approved preparatory program for employment or postsecondary education that is equally or more rigorous than the corresponding state or local academic standard required by the district, area learning center, or charter school;
(2) would be precluded from participating in the rigorous course of study, learning opportunity, or preparatory employment or postsecondary education program if the student were required to achieve the academic standard to be waived; and
(3) satisfactorily completes the requirements for the rigorous course of study, learning opportunity, or preparatory employment or postsecondary education program.
Consistent with the requirements of this section, the local school board, the school board of the school district in which the area learning center is located, or the charter school board of directors also may formally determine other circumstances in which to declare that a student meets or exceeds a specific academic standard that the site requires for graduation under this section.
(b) A student who satisfactorily completes a postsecondary enrollment options course or program under section 124D.09 is not required to complete other requirements of the academic standards corresponding to that specific rigorous course of study.
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. 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, science, social studies, and the arts. After the rules authorized under this subdivision are initially adopted, the commissioner may not amend or repeal these rules nor adopt new rules on the same topic without specific legislative authorization. The academic standards for language arts, mathematics, and the arts must be implemented for all students beginning in the 2003-2004 school year. The academic standards for science and social studies must be implemented for all students beginning in the 2005-2006 school year.
* NOTE: The amendments to subdivision 1 by Laws 2004, *chapter 294, article 2, section 2, are effective for the *2005-2006 school year and later. Laws 2004, chapter 294, *article 2, section 2, the effective date.