FIRST REGULAR SESSION

HOUSE BILL NO. 639

96TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY


 

 

INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES McNARY (Sponsor), DIECKHAUS, KOENIG, STREAM, NETH, SCHARNHORST, WETER, HIGDON, WRIGHT, DIEHL, McCAHERTY, LEARA, DAVIS, WHITE, ZERR, KELLEY (126), JONES (117), ELMER, BROWN (85), WALLINGFORD, LEACH, COOKSON, BERRY, BAHR, JONES (63), BLACK, NASHEED AND GRISAMORE (Co-sponsors).

1115L.01I                                                                                                                                                  D. ADAM CRUMBLISS, Chief Clerk


 

AN ACT

To repeal sections 167.640 and 167.645, RSMo, and to enact in lieu thereof one new section relating to student progression.




Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:


            Section A. Sections 167.640 and 167.645, RSMo, are repealed and one new section enacted in lieu thereof, to be known as section 167.650, to read as follows:

            167.650. 1. Each district school board shall establish a comprehensive program for student progression which shall include:

            (1) Standards for evaluating each student's performance, including how well he or she masters the performance standards approved by the state board of education;

            (2) Specific level of reading performance for each grade level, including the levels of performance on statewide assessments, below which a student shall receive remediation or be retained within an intensive program that is different from the previous year's program and that takes into account the student's learning style; and

            (3) Appropriate alternative placement for a student who has been retained two or more years.

            2. District school boards shall allocate remedial and supplemental instruction resources to students in the following priority:

            (1) Students who are not reading at grade level by the end of third grade;

            (2) Students who fail to meet performance levels required for promotion consistent with the district school board's plan for student progression required in subdivision (2) of subsection 3 of this section.

            3. (1) Each student shall participate in the statewide assessment tests required by section 160.518. Each student who does not meet specific levels of performance as determined by the district school board in reading for each grade level or who scores below proficient in reading shall be provided with additional diagnostic assessments to determine the nature of the student's difficulty and strategies for appropriate intervention and instruction as described in subdivision (2) of this subsection.

            (2) The school in which the student is enrolled shall, in consultation with the student's parents, develop and implement a progress monitoring plan. A progress monitoring plan shall provide flexibility for the school in meeting the academic needs of the student and reduce paperwork. A student who is not meeting the school district or state requirements for proficiency in reading shall be covered by one of the following plans to target instruction and identify ways to improve his or her academic achievement:

            (a) A federally required student plan such as an individual education plan;

            (b) A schoolwide system of progress monitoring for all students; or

            (c) An individualized progress monitoring plan.

 

The plan chosen shall be designed to assist the student's school in meeting state and district expectations for proficiency. If the student has been identified as having a deficiency in reading, the K-12 comprehensive literacy plan required by the school improvement standards shall include instructional and support services to be provided to meet the desired levels of performance. District school boards may require low-performing students to attend remediation programs held before or after regular school hours or during the summer if transportation is provided.

            (3) Upon subsequent evaluation, if the documented deficiency has not been remediated, the student may be retained. Every student who does not meet the minimum performance grade-level expectations for reading shall continue to be provided with remedial or supplemental instruction until the expectations are met or the student graduates from high school or is no longer subject to compulsory school attendance.

            4. (1) Any student who exhibits a substantial deficiency in reading, based upon locally determined or statewide assessments conducted in kindergarten or first grade, second grade, or third grade, or through teacher observations, shall be given intensive reading instruction immediately following the identification of the reading deficiency. The student's reading proficiency shall be reassessed by locally determined assessments or through teacher observations at the beginning of the grade following the intensive reading instruction. The student shall continue to be provided with intensive reading instruction until the reading deficiency is remedied.

            (2) Beginning with the 2013-2014 school year, if the student's reading deficiency, as identified in subdivision (1) of this subsection, is not remedied by the end of third grade, as demonstrated by scoring at proficient or higher on the statewide assessment test in reading for third grade, the student shall be retained.

            (3) The parent of any student who exhibits a substantial deficiency in reading, as described in subdivision (1) of this subsection, shall be notified in writing of the following:

            (a) That his or her child has been identified as having a substantial deficiency in reading;

            (b) A description of the current services that are provided to the child;

            (c) A description of the proposed supplemental instructional services and supports that will be provided to the child that are designed to remediate the identified area of reading deficiency;

            (d) That if the child's reading deficiency is not remediated by the end of third grade, the child shall be retained unless he or she is exempt from mandatory retention for good cause;

            (e) Strategies for parents to use in helping their child succeed in reading proficiency;

            (f) That the state assessment program is not the sole determiner of promotion and that additional evaluations, portfolio reviews, and assessments are available to the child to assist parents and the school district in knowing when a child is reading at or above grade level and ready for grade promotion; and

            (g) The district's specific criteria and policies for midyear promotion. Midyear promotion means promotion of a retained student at any time during the year of retention once the student has demonstrated ability to read at grade level.

            5. (1) No student may be assigned to a grade level based solely on age or other factors that constitute social promotion, which is defined for the purpose of this section as the progression from one grade to a higher grade without substantial evidence of a student’s ability to perform at grade level.

            (2) The district school board may only exempt students from mandatory retention, as provided in subdivision (2) of subsection 4 of this section, for good cause. Good cause exemptions shall be limited to the following:

            (a) Limited English proficient students who have had less than three years of instruction in a program of English for speakers of other languages;

            (b) Students with disabilities whose individual education plan indicates that participation in the statewide assessment program is not appropriate, consistent with the requirements of the state board of education;

            (c) Students who demonstrate an acceptable level of performance on the alternative reading assessment approved by the state board of education;

            (d) Students who demonstrate, through a student portfolio, that the student is reading on grade level as evidenced by demonstration of mastery of the state standards in reading equal to at least a proficient performance on the statewide assessment;

            (e) Students with disabilities who participate in the statewide assessment and who have an individual education plan or a Section 504 plan that reflects that the student has received intensive remediation in reading for more than two years but still demonstrates a deficiency in reading and was previously retained in kindergarten, first grade, second grade, or third grade;

            (f) Students who have received intensive remediation in reading for two or more years but still demonstrate a deficiency in reading and who were previously retained in kindergarten, first grade, second grade, or third grade for a total of two years. Intensive reading instruction for students so promoted shall include an altered instructional day that includes specialized diagnostic information and specific reading strategies for each student. The district school board shall assist schools and teachers to implement reading strategies that research has shown to be successful in improving reading among low-performing readers.

            (3) Requests for good cause exemptions for students from the mandatory retention requirement as described in paragraphs (c) and (d) of subdivision (2) of this subsection shall be made consistent with the following:

            (a) Documentation shall be submitted from the student's teacher to the school principal that indicates that the promotion of the student is appropriate and is based upon the student's academic record. In order to minimize paperwork requirements, such documentation shall consist only of the existing progress monitoring plan, individual educational plan, if applicable, or student portfolio;

            (b) The school principal shall review and discuss such recommendation with the teacher and make the determination as to whether the student should be promoted or retained. If the school principal determines that the student should be promoted, the school principal shall make such recommendation in writing to the district school superintendent, which recommendation shall include documentation of the school district's agreed-upon criteria upon which the recommendation was based. The district school superintendent shall accept or reject the school principal's recommendation in writing.

            6. (1) Students retained under the provisions of subdivision (2) of subsection 4 of this section shall be provided intensive interventions in reading to ameliorate the student's specific reading deficiency, as identified by a valid and reliable diagnostic assessment. This intensive intervention shall include effective instructional strategies, participation in a school district's summer reading program, and appropriate teaching methodologies necessary to assist those students in becoming successful readers, able to read at or above grade level, and ready for promotion to the next grade.

            (2) Beginning with the 2015-2016 school year, each school district shall:

            (a) Conduct a review of student progress monitoring plans for all students who did not score above the basic level on the reading portion of the state assessment or its equivalent and did not meet the criteria for one of the good cause exemptions in subdivision (2) of subsection 5 of this section. The review shall address additional supports and services, as described in this subsection, needed to remediate the identified areas of reading deficiency;

            (b) Provide students who are retained under the provisions of subdivision (2) of subsection 4 of this section with intensive instructional services and supports to remediate the identified areas of reading deficiency, including a minimum of ninety minutes of daily, scientifically research-based reading instruction as suggested by the department and other strategies prescribed by the school district, which may include but are not limited to:

            a. Small group instruction;

            b. Reduced teacher-student ratios;

            c. More frequent progress monitoring;

            d. Tutoring or mentoring;

            e. Transition classes containing third and fourth grade students;

            f. Extended school day, week, or year; and

            g. Summer reading camps.

            (c) Provide written notification to the parent of any student who is retained under the provisions of subdivision (2) of subsection 4 of this section that his or her child has not met the proficiency level required for promotion and the reasons the child is not eligible for a good cause exemption as provided in subdivision (2) of subsection 5 of this section. The notification shall include a description of proposed interventions and supports that will be provided to the child to remediate the identified areas of reading deficiency;

            (d) Implement a policy for the midyear promotion of any student retained under the provisions of subdivision (2) of subsection 4 of this section who can demonstrate that he or she is a successful and independent reader, reading at or above grade level, and ready to be promoted to fourth grade. Tools that school districts may use in reevaluating any student retained may include subsequent assessments, alternative assessments, and portfolio reviews, in accordance with rules of the state board of education. Students promoted during the school year after November first shall demonstrate proficiency above that required to score at the basic level of the third grade statewide assessment, as determined by the state board of education. The state board of education shall adopt standards that provide a reasonable expectation that the student's progress is sufficient to master appropriate fourth grade level reading skills;

            (e) Provide students who are retained under the provisions of subdivision (2) of subsection 4 of this section with a high-performing teacher as determined by student performance data and above-satisfactory performance appraisals;

            (f) In addition to required reading enhancement and acceleration strategies, provide parents of students to be retained with at least one of the following instructional options:

            a. Supplemental tutoring in scientifically research-based reading services in addition to the regular reading block, including tutoring before or after school;

            b. A "Read at Home" plan outlined in a parental contract, including participation in "Families Building Better Readers Workshops" and regular parent-guided home reading;

            c. A mentor or tutor with specialized reading training;

            (g) Establish a Reading Enhancement and Acceleration Development (READ) Initiative. The focus of the READ initiative shall be to prevent the retention of third grade students and to offer intensive accelerated reading instruction to third grade students who failed to meet standards for promotion to fourth grade and to each K-3 student who is assessed as exhibiting a reading deficiency. The READ initiative shall:

            a. Be provided to all K-3 students at risk of retention as identified by an assessment system approved by the department. The assessment shall measure phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension;

            b. Be provided during regular school hours in addition to the regular reading instruction;

            c. Provide a state-identified reading curriculum that has been reviewed by a reading research center housed at a public higher education institution within the state selected by the state board of education and meets, at a minimum, the following specifications:

            (i) Assists students assessed as exhibiting a reading deficiency in developing the ability to read at grade level;

            (ii) Provides skill development in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension;

            (iii) Provides scientifically based and reliable assessment;

            (iv) Provides initial and ongoing analysis of each student's reading progress;

            (v) Is implemented during regular school hours;

            (vi) Provides a curriculum in core academic subjects to assist the student in maintaining or meeting proficiency levels for the appropriate grade in all academic subjects;

            (h) Establish at each school, where applicable, an intensive acceleration class for retained third grade students who subsequently score at the below basic level on the reading portion of the statewide assessment. The focus of the intensive acceleration class shall be to increase a child's reading level at least two grade levels in one school year. The intensive acceleration class shall:

            a. Be provided to any student in third grade who scores at the below basic level on the reading portion of the statewide assessment and who was retained in third grade the prior year because of scoring at the below basic level on the reading portion of the statewide assessment;

            b. Have a reduced teacher-student ratio;

            c. Provide uninterrupted reading instruction for the majority of student contact time each day and incorporate opportunities to master the fourth grade level expectations in other core subject areas;

            d. Use a reading program that is scientifically research-based and has proven results in accelerating student reading achievement within the same school year;

            e. Provide intensive language and vocabulary instruction using a scientifically research-based program, including use of a speech-language therapist;

            f. Include weekly progress monitoring measures to ensure progress is being made; and

            g. Report to the department, in the manner described by the department, the progress of students in the class at the end of the first semester;

            (i) Report to the state board of education, as requested, on the specific intensive reading interventions and supports implemented at the school district level. The commissioner of education shall annually prescribe the required components of requested reports; and

            (j) Provide a student who has been retained in third grade and has received intensive instructional services but is still not ready for promotion, as determined by the school district, the option of being placed in a transitional instructional setting. Such setting shall specifically be designed to produce learning gains sufficient to meet fourth grade level performance expectations while continuing to remediate the areas of reading deficiency.

            7. (1) In addition to the requirements in subdivision (2) of subsection 4 of this section, each district school board shall annually report to the parent of each student the progress of the student toward achieving state and district expectations for proficiency in reading. The district school board shall report to the parent the student's results on each assessment that was used in making the determination of proficiency, which shall be based upon the student's classroom work, observations, tests, district and state assessments, and other relevant information. Progress reporting shall be provided to the parent in writing in a format adopted by the district school board.

            (2) Each district school board shall annually publish and report in writing to the state board of education each year the following information on the prior school year under section 160.522:

            (a) The provisions of this section relating to public school student progression and the district school board's policies and procedures on student retention and promotion;

            (b) By grade, the number and percentage of all students retained in grades 1 through 8, to the extent permitted by federal law;

            (c) Information on the total number of students who were promoted for good cause, by each category of good cause as specified in subdivision (2) of subsection 5 of this section;

            (d) Any revisions to the district school board's policy on student retention and promotion from the prior year.

            8. (1) The state board of education shall have authority as provided in section 161.092 to enforce this section.

            (2) Any rule or portion of a rule, as that term is defined in section 536.010, that is created under the authority delegated in this section shall become effective only if it complies with and is subject to all of the provisions of chapter 536 and, if applicable, section 536.028. This section and chapter 536 are nonseverable and if any of the powers vested with the general assembly pursuant to chapter 536 to review, to delay the effective date, or to disapprove and annul a rule are subsequently held unconstitutional, then the grant of rulemaking authority and any rule proposed or adopted after August 28, 2011, shall be invalid and void.

            9. The department shall provide technical assistance as needed to aid district school boards in administering this section.

[167.640. 1. School districts may adopt a policy with regard to student promotion which may require remediation as a condition of promotion to the next grade level for any student identified by the district as failing to master skills and competencies established for that particular grade level by the district board of education. School districts may also require parents or guardians of such students to commit to conduct home-based tutorial activities with their children or, in the case of a student with disabilities eligible for services pursuant to sections 162.670 to 162.1000, RSMo, the individual education plan shall determine the nature of parental involvement consistent with the requirements for a free, appropriate public education.

2. Such remediation shall recognize that different students learn differently and shall employ methods designed to help these students achieve at high levels. Such remediation may include, but shall not necessarily be limited to, a mandatory summer school program focused on the areas of deficiency or other such activities conducted by the school district outside of the regular school day. Decisions concerning the instruction of a child who receives special educational services pursuant to sections 162.670 to 162.1000, RSMo, shall be made in accordance with the child's individualized education plan.

3. School districts providing remediation pursuant to this section outside of the traditional school day may count extra hours of instruction in the calculation of average daily attendance as defined in section 163.011, RSMo.]

 

[167.645. 1. For purposes of this section, the following terms mean:

(1) "Reading assessment", a recognized method of judging a student's reading ability, with results expressed as reading at a particular grade level. The term reading assessment shall include, but is not limited to, standard checklists designed for use as a student reads out loud, paper-and-pencil tests promulgated by nationally recognized organizations and other recognized methods of determining a student's reading accuracy, expression, fluency and comprehension in order to make a determination of the student's grade-level reading ability. Assessments which do not give a grade-level result may be used in combination with other assessments to reach a grade-level determination. Districts are encouraged but not required to select assessment methods identified pursuant to section 167.346. Districts are also encouraged to use multiple methods of assessment;

(2) "Summer school", for reading instruction purposes, a minimum of forty hours of reading instruction and practice. A school district may arrange the hours and days of instruction to coordinate with its regular program of summer school.

2. For purposes of this section, methods of reading assessment shall be determined by each school district. Unless a student has been determined in the current school year to be reading at grade level or above, each school district shall administer a reading assessment or set of assessments to each student within forty-five days of the end of the third-grade year, except that the provisions of this subsection shall not apply to students receiving special education services under an individualized education plan pursuant to sections 162.670 to 162.999, RSMo, to students receiving services pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 whose services plan includes an element addressing reading or to students determined to have limited English proficiency or to students who have been determined, prior to the beginning of any school year, to have a cognitive ability insufficient to meet the reading requirement set out in this section, provided that districts shall provide reading improvement plans for students determined to have such insufficient cognitive ability. The assessment required by this subsection shall also be required for students who enter a school district in grades four, five or six unless such student has been determined in the current school year to be reading at grade level or above.

3. Beginning with school year 2002-03, for each student whose third-grade reading assessment determines that such student is reading below second-grade level, the school district shall design a reading improvement plan for the student's fourth-grade year. Such reading improvement plan shall include, at a minimum, thirty hours of additional reading instruction or practice outside the regular school day during the fourth-grade year. The school district shall determine the method of reading instruction necessary to enforce this subsection. The school district may also require the student to attend summer school for reading instruction as a condition of promotion to fourth grade. The department of elementary and secondary education may, from funds appropriated for the purpose, reimburse school districts for additional instructional personnel costs incurred in the implementation and execution of the thirty hours of additional reading instruction minus the revenue generated by the school district through the foundation formula for the additional reading instruction average daily attendance.

4. Each student for whom a reading improvement plan has been designed pursuant to subsection 3 of this section shall be given another reading assessment, to be administered within forty-five days of the end of such student's fourth-grade year. If such student is determined to be reading below third-grade level, the student shall be required to attend summer school to receive reading instruction. At the end of such summer school instruction, such student shall be given another reading assessment. If such student is determined to be reading below third-grade level, the district shall notify the student's parents or guardians, and the student shall not be promoted to fifth grade. No student shall be denied promotion more than once solely for inability to meet the reading standards set out in this section.

5. The process described in subsections 3 and 4 of this section shall be repeated as necessary through the end of the sixth grade, with the target grade level rising accordingly. Mandatory retention in grade shall not apply to grades subsequent to fourth grade.

6. The mandatory process of additional reading instruction pursuant to this section shall cease at the end of the sixth grade. The permanent record of students who are determined to be reading below the fifth-grade level at the end of sixth grade shall carry a notation advising that such student has not met minimal reading standards. The notation shall stay on the student's record until such time as the district determines that a student has met minimal reading standards.

7. Each school district shall be required to offer summer school reading instruction to any student with a reading improvement plan. Districts may fulfill the requirement of this section through cooperative arrangements with neighboring districts; provided that such districts shall timely make all payments provided pursuant to such cooperative agreements.

8. A school district may adopt a policy that requires retention in grade of any student who has been determined to require summer school instruction in reading and who does not fulfill the summer school attendance requirement.

9. Nothing in this section shall preclude a school district from retaining any student in grade when a determination is made in accordance with district policy that retention is in the best interests of the student.

10. The state board of education shall not incorporate information about the number of students receiving additional instruction pursuant to this section into any element of any standard of the Missouri school improvement program or its successor accreditation program; provided, however, each district shall make available, upon the request of any parent, patron, or media outlet within the district, the number and percentage of students receiving remediation pursuant to this section. The information shall be presented in a way that does not permit personal identification of any student or educational personnel.

11. Each school district shall make a systematic effort to inform parents of the methods and materials used to teach reading in kindergarten through fourth grade, in terms understandable to a layperson and shall similarly inform parents of students for whom a reading improvement plan is required pursuant to this section.]