Consistent with the direction to adopt statewide academic standards 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 greater academic achievement, preparation for higher academic education, preparation for the world of work, citizenship under sections 120B.021, subdivision 1, clause (4), and 120B.024, paragraph (a), clause (4), and the arts.
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.
(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, and shall be funded through the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota. 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 high school graduation rule. The office shall determine and annually report to the legislature whether and how effectively:
(1) the statewide system of educational accountability uses 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;
(2) a value-added growth indicator of student achievement over time estimates the effects of the school and school district on student achievement and measures school performance, consistent with section 120B.35, subdivision 3, paragraph (b);
(3) data are available on students who do not pass one or more of the state's required GRAD tests and do not receive a diploma as a consequence, and these data are categorized according to gender, race, eligibility for free or reduced lunch, and English language proficiency; and
(4) the requirements under section 127A.095, subdivision 2, are met.
(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.
In developing policies and assessment processes to hold schools and districts accountable for high levels of academic standards under section 120B.021, the commissioner shall aggregate student data over time to report student performance and growth levels measured at the school, school district, and statewide level. When collecting and reporting the performance 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.