(1) The Commissioner of Education is responsible for implementing and maintaining a system of intensive school improvement and stringent education accountability, which shall include policies and programs to implement the following:
(a) A system of data collection and analysis that will improve information about the educational success of individual students and schools, including schools operating for the purpose of providing educational services to youth in Department of Juvenile Justice programs. The information and analyses must be capable of identifying educational programs or activities in need of improvement, and reports prepared pursuant to this paragraph shall be distributed to the appropriate district school boards prior to distribution to the general public. This provision shall not preclude access to public records as provided in chapter 119.
(b) A program of school improvement that will analyze information to identify schools, including schools operating for the purpose of providing educational services to youth in Department of Juvenile Justice programs, educational programs, or educational activities in need of improvement.
(c) A method of delivering services to assist school districts and schools to improve, including schools operating for the purpose of providing educational services to youth in Department of Juvenile Justice programs.
(d) A method of coordinating with the state educational goals and school improvement plans any other state program that creates incentives for school improvement.
(2) The commissioner shall be held responsible for the implementation and maintenance of the system of school improvement and education accountability outlined in this section. There shall be an annual determination of whether adequate progress is being made toward implementing and maintaining a system of school improvement and education accountability.
(3) The annual feedback report shall be developed by the Department of Education.
(4) The commissioner shall review each district school board’s feedback report and submit findings to the State Board of Education. If adequate progress is not being made toward implementing and maintaining a system of school improvement and education accountability, the State Board of Education shall direct the commissioner to prepare and implement a corrective action plan. The commissioner and State Board of Education shall monitor the development and implementation of the corrective action plan.
(5) The commissioner shall report to the Legislature and recommend changes in state policy necessary to foster school improvement and education accountability. The report shall include: (a) For each school district:
1. The percentage of students, by school and grade level, demonstrating learning growth in English Language Arts and mathematics.
2. The percentage of students, by school and grade level, in both the highest and lowest quartiles demonstrating learning growth in English Language Arts and mathematics.
(b) Intervention and support strategies used by school boards whose students in both the highest and lowest quartiles exceed the statewide average learning growth for students in those quartiles.
(c) Intervention and support strategies used by school boards whose schools provide educational services to youth in Department of Juvenile Justice programs that demonstrate learning growth in English Language Arts and mathematics that exceeds the statewide average learning growth for students in those subjects.
School reports shall be distributed pursuant to this subsection and s. 1001.42(18)(c) and according to rules adopted by the State Board of Education.
(6)(a) The Department of Education shall implement a training program to develop among state and district educators a cadre of facilitators of school improvement. These facilitators shall assist schools and districts to conduct needs assessments and develop and implement school improvement plans to meet state goals.
(b) Upon request, the department shall provide technical assistance and training to any school, including any school operating for the purpose of providing educational services to youth in Department of Juvenile Justice programs, school advisory council, district, or district school board for conducting needs assessments, developing and implementing school improvement plans, or implementing other components of school improvement and accountability. Priority for these services shall be given to schools designated with a grade of “D” or “F” and school districts in rural and sparsely populated areas of the state.
(c) Pursuant to s. 24.121(5)(d), the department shall not release funds from the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund to any district in which a school, including schools operating for the purpose of providing educational services to youth in Department of Juvenile Justice programs, does not have an approved school improvement plan, pursuant to s. 1001.42(18), after 1 full school year of planning and development, or does not comply with school advisory council membership composition requirements pursuant to s. 1001.452. The department shall send a technical assistance team to each school without an approved plan to develop such school improvement plan or to each school without appropriate school advisory council membership composition to develop a strategy for corrective action. The department shall release the funds upon approval of the plan or upon establishment of a plan of corrective action. Notice shall be given to the public of the department’s intervention and shall identify each school without a plan or without appropriate school advisory council membership composition. (d) The commissioner shall assign a community assessment team to each school district or governing board with a school that earned a grade of “F” or three consecutive grades of “D” pursuant to s. 1008.34 to review the school performance data and determine causes for the low performance, including the role of school, area, and district administrative personnel. The community assessment team shall review a high school’s graduation rate calculated without high school equivalency diploma recipients for the past 3 years, disaggregated by student ethnicity. The team shall make recommendations to the school board or the governing board and to the State Board of Education which address the causes of the school’s low performance and may be incorporated into the school improvement plan. The assessment team shall include, but not be limited to, a department representative, parents, business representatives, educators, representatives of local governments, and community activists, and shall represent the demographics of the community from which they are appointed. (7) As a part of the system of educational accountability, the Department of Education shall: (a) Develop minimum standards for various grades and subject areas, as required in ss. 1001.03, 1008.22, and 1008.34. (b) Administer the statewide assessment program created by s. 1008.22. (c) Review the school advisory councils of each district as required by s. 1001.452. (d) Conduct the program evaluations required by s. 1001.03.
(e) Maintain a listing of college-level communication and mathematics skills associated with successful student performance through the baccalaureate level and submit it to the State Board of Education and the Board of Governors for approval.
(f) Perform any other functions that may be involved in educational planning, research, and evaluation or that may be required by the commissioner, the State Board of Education, the Board of Governors, or law.