Florida Senate - 2022                                     SB 708
       By Senator Rodriguez
       39-00934-22                                            2022708__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to native language assessments in
    3         public schools; amending s. 1003.435, F.S.; requiring
    4         that a high school equivalency examination
    5         administered in any language other than English be
    6         given the same weight as a high school equivalency
    7         examination administered in English; amending s.
    8         1008.2125, F.S.; requiring written portions of the
    9         coordinated screening and progress monitoring program
   10         for students in the Voluntary Prekindergarten
   11         Education Program through grade 3 to be in specified
   12         native languages; requiring school districts to
   13         administer the screening and monitoring in a native
   14         language to certain students; providing for the
   15         determination of when it is appropriate to administer
   16         native language versions of the screening and
   17         monitoring; amending s. 1008.22, F.S.; revising
   18         requirements of the statewide, standardized assessment
   19         program to include native language versions of related
   20         assessments; requiring school districts to administer
   21         native language versions of such assessments to
   22         certain English language learners and other students
   23         for whom it is appropriate; providing for the
   24         determination of when it is appropriate to administer
   25         native language versions of such assessments;
   26         requiring the Department of Education to create a
   27         timetable and action plan for the development and
   28         adoption of native language versions of the
   29         assessments; requiring the state to accept results on
   30         the high school equivalency examination from any
   31         language version of the examination; providing for the
   32         administration of standardized assessments; requiring
   33         the department to develop or identify content
   34         assessments in target languages; providing for the
   35         administration of content assessments in target
   36         languages in certain education programs; requiring the
   37         department to create a timetable and an action plan
   38         for the development and adoption of native language
   39         examinations; requiring the Commissioner of Education
   40         to identify alternative assessments and passing scores
   41         for a specified purpose; requiring the State Board of
   42         Education to approve by rule passing scores on
   43         alternative assessments; providing an effective date.
   45         WHEREAS, the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
   46  includes the purpose of assisting all English learners,
   47  including immigrant children and youth, in achieving at high
   48  levels in academic subjects so that all English learners can
   49  meet the same challenging state academic standards that all
   50  students are expected to meet, and
   51         WHEREAS, the ESSA requires states to make every effort to
   52  develop annual academic assessments in languages other than
   53  English which are present to a significant extent in the
   54  participating student population, and
   55         WHEREAS, Florida’s diversity of English language learners
   56  surpasses most states in the country, and
   57         WHEREAS, Florida is ranked third nationally in English
   58  language learner population and, although Spanish is the native
   59  language of the majority of these students, English language
   60  learners in this state speak more than 200 different languages,
   61  and
   62         WHEREAS, all students within this state should be given an
   63  equitable opportunity to study and learn subjects required for
   64  grade-to-grade progression and high school graduation, and
   65         WHEREAS, the current system of testing students for
   66  accountability purposes in a language the students do not
   67  understand does not provide accurate information about how well
   68  English language learners are learning content area subjects,
   71  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   73         Section 1. Subsection (5) of section 1003.435, Florida
   74  Statutes, is amended to read:
   75         1003.435 High school equivalency diploma program.—
   76         (5) Each district school board shall develop, in
   77  cooperation with the area Florida College System institution
   78  board of trustees, a plan for the provision of advanced
   79  instruction for those students who attain satisfactory
   80  performance on the high school equivalency examination or the
   81  subject area examinations or who demonstrate through other means
   82  a readiness to engage in postsecondary-level academic work. The
   83  plan shall include provisions for the equitable distribution of
   84  generated funds to cover personnel, maintenance, and other costs
   85  of offering the advanced instruction. Priority shall be given to
   86  programs of advanced instruction offered in high school
   87  facilities. A high school equivalency examination administered
   88  in a language other than English must be given the same weight
   89  as a high school equivalency examination administered in
   90  English.
   91         Section 2. Paragraph (h) is added to subsection (1) of
   92  section 1008.2125, Florida Statutes, to read:
   93         1008.2125 Coordinated screening and progress monitoring
   94  program for students in the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education
   95  Program through grade 3.—
   96         (1) The primary purpose of the coordinated screening and
   97  progress monitoring program for students in the Voluntary
   98  Prekindergarten Education Program through grade 3 is to provide
   99  information on students’ progress in mastering the appropriate
  100  grade-level standards and to provide information on their
  101  progress to parents, teachers, and school and program
  102  administrators. Data shall be used by Voluntary Prekindergarten
  103  Education Program providers and school districts to improve
  104  instruction, by parents and teachers to guide learning
  105  objectives and provide timely and appropriate supports and
  106  interventions to students not meeting grade-level expectations,
  107  and by the public to assess the cost benefit of the expenditure
  108  of taxpayer dollars. The coordinated screening and progress
  109  monitoring program must:
  110         (h)For any written portion of the screening and progress
  111  monitoring, include native language versions for the three most
  112  prevalent languages represented in the English language learner
  113  population within this state. For students who are English
  114  language learners enrolled in a dual language program and for
  115  whom it is appropriate, each school district shall administer,
  116  as appropriate, the native language screening or progress
  117  monitoring. A parent of a prekindergarten dual language learner
  118  or a kindergarten dual language learner must be given the
  119  opportunity to determine whether the administration of a native
  120  language screening or progress monitoring is appropriate for his
  121  or her student. If a parent does not exercise his or her right,
  122  the decision to determine the appropriateness of the
  123  administration of a native language screening or progress
  124  monitoring may be based on teacher judgment.
  125         Section 3. Present subsections (9) through (13) of section
  126  1008.22, Florida Statutes, are redesignated as subsections (10)
  127  through (14), respectively, paragraph (h) is added to subsection
  128  (3), a new subsection (9) is added to that section, and
  129  paragraphs (a) and (d) of subsection (3) are amended, to read:
  130         1008.22 Student assessment program for public schools.—
  132  Commissioner of Education shall design and implement a
  133  statewide, standardized assessment program aligned to the core
  134  curricular content established in the Next Generation Sunshine
  135  State Standards. The commissioner also must develop or select
  136  and implement a common battery of assessment tools that will be
  137  used in all juvenile justice education programs in this the
  138  state. These tools must accurately measure the core curricular
  139  content established in the Next Generation Sunshine State
  140  Standards. Participation in the assessment program is mandatory
  141  for all school districts and all students attending public
  142  schools, including adult students seeking a standard high school
  143  diploma under s. 1003.4282 and students in Department of
  144  Juvenile Justice education programs, except as otherwise
  145  provided by law. If a student does not participate in the
  146  assessment program, the school district must notify the
  147  student’s parent and provide the parent with information
  148  regarding the implications of such nonparticipation. The
  149  statewide, standardized assessment program shall be designed and
  150  implemented as follows:
  151         (a) Statewide, standardized comprehensive assessments.—The
  152  statewide, standardized English Language Arts (ELA) assessments
  153  shall be administered to students in grades 3 through 10. Retake
  154  opportunities for the grade 10 ELA assessment must be provided.
  155  Reading passages and writing prompts for ELA assessments shall
  156  incorporate grade-level core curricula content from social
  157  studies. The statewide, standardized Mathematics assessments
  158  shall be administered annually in grades 3 through 8. The
  159  statewide, standardized Science assessment shall be administered
  160  annually at least once at the elementary and middle grades
  161  levels. In order to earn a standard high school diploma, a
  162  student who has not earned a passing score on the grade 10 ELA
  163  assessment must earn a passing score on the assessment retake or
  164  earn a concordant score as authorized under subsection (10) (9).
  165  Statewide, standardized ELA and Mathematics assessments in
  166  grades 3 through 6 must be delivered in a paper-based format.
  167         (d) Students with disabilities; Florida Alternate
  168  Assessment; English language learners enrolled in dual language
  169  programs.—
  170         1. Each district school board must provide instruction to
  171  prepare students with disabilities in the core content knowledge
  172  and skills necessary for successful grade-to-grade progression
  173  and high school graduation.
  174         2. A student with a disability, as defined in s. 1007.02,
  175  for whom the individual education plan (IEP) team determines
  176  that the statewide, standardized assessments under this section
  177  cannot accurately measure the student’s abilities, taking into
  178  consideration all allowable accommodations, shall have
  179  assessment results waived for the purpose of receiving a course
  180  grade and a standard high school diploma. Such waiver shall be
  181  designated on the student’s transcript and. The statement of
  182  waiver shall be limited to a statement that performance on an
  183  assessment was waived for the purpose of receiving a course
  184  grade or a standard high school diploma, as applicable.
  185         3. The State Board of Education shall adopt rules, based
  186  upon recommendations of the commissioner, for the provision of
  187  assessment accommodations for students with disabilities and for
  188  students who have limited English proficiency.
  189         a. Accommodations that negate the validity of a statewide,
  190  standardized assessment are not allowed during the
  191  administration of the assessment. However, instructional
  192  accommodations are allowed in the classroom if identified in a
  193  student’s IEP. Students using instructional accommodations in
  194  the classroom that are not allowed on a statewide, standardized
  195  assessment may have assessment results waived if the IEP team
  196  determines that the assessment cannot accurately measure the
  197  student’s abilities.
  198         b. If a student is provided with instructional
  199  accommodations in the classroom that are not allowed as
  200  accommodations for statewide, standardized assessments, the
  201  district must inform the parent in writing and provide the
  202  parent with information regarding the impact on the student’s
  203  ability to meet expected performance levels. A parent must
  204  provide signed consent for a student to receive classroom
  205  instructional accommodations that would not be available or
  206  permitted on a statewide, standardized assessment and
  207  acknowledge in writing that he or she understands the
  208  implications of such instructional accommodations.
  209         c. If a student’s IEP states that online administration of
  210  a statewide, standardized assessment will significantly impair
  211  the student’s ability to perform, the assessment shall be
  212  administered in hard copy.
  213         d.(I) Each school district shall administer, as
  214  appropriate, native language versions of statewide, standardized
  215  assessments and EOC assessments to English language learners
  216  enrolled in dual language programs in elementary or middle
  217  school and for whom it is appropriate.
  218         (A) A parent of an English language learner enrolled in a
  219  dual language program in prekindergarten through grade 5 and a
  220  parent of a student with disabilities of any grade level may
  221  determine whether the administration of a native language
  222  version of a statewide, standardized assessment and EOC
  223  assessment is appropriate.
  224         (B) An English language learner enrolled in a dual language
  225  program in grades 6 through 8 may determine whether the
  226  administration of a native language version of a statewide,
  227  standardized assessment and EOC assessment is appropriate. The
  228  parent of an English language learner enrolled in a dual
  229  language program in grades 6 through 8 is entitled to prohibit
  230  his or her student from being administered the native language
  231  versions of the assessments.
  232         (II) The Department of Education shall develop a timetable
  233  and action plan to phase in the development and adoption of the
  234  native language assessments, beginning with assessments for the
  235  three most prevalent languages represented in the English
  236  language learner population within this state and with
  237  assessments required for high school graduation. The state shall
  238  accept results on the high school equivalency examination from
  239  any language version of the examination.
  240         4. For students with significant cognitive disabilities,
  241  the Department of Education shall provide for implementation of
  242  the Florida Alternate Assessment to accurately measure the core
  243  curricular content established in the Next Generation Sunshine
  244  State Standards.
  245         (h) Content assessments in the target language of
  246  instruction.
  247         1. Statewide, standardized assessments in the target
  248  language identified or developed by the department must be
  249  administered annually for the target language to English
  250  language learners in dual language programs and bilingual
  251  education programs.
  252         2. The department shall develop a timetable and action plan
  253  to phase in the identification or development and adoption of
  254  native language examinations of achievement in the content areas
  255  taught through the target language, beginning with examinations
  256  in the most frequently taught content area in bilingual or dual
  257  language programs in public schools.
  259  Commissioner of Education shall identify alternative assessments
  260  and the respective passing scores to be offered in languages
  261  other than English which are appropriate for demonstrating the
  262  college readiness of English language learners. The passing
  263  scores on alternative assessments identified pursuant to this
  264  subsection must be approved by state board rule.
  265         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2022.