Title 17. Education

Chapter 1. General School Law

Part I. Elementary and Secondary Education

Subpart B. Superintendent of Education

 

17:24.4    Louisiana Competency-Based Education Program; statewide standards for required subjects; Louisiana Educational Assessment Program; parish or city school board comprehensive pupil progression plans; waivers

 

A. As used in this Section, the following words, terms, and phrases shall have the meaning ascribed to them in this Subsection, except when the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

 

(1) “The Louisiana Competency-Based Education Program” means the coordination of all existing statutory provisions and State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education policies and guidelines to be implemented by the state Department of Education which affect pupil performance with the development and establishment of statewide content standards for required subjects for the public elementary and secondary schools of this state, the complete implementation of the Louisiana Educational Assessment Program, the involvement of all federal instructional programs, vocational programs, special education programs, and teacher education programs in this state, and the pupil progression plans for the public elementary and secondary school systems of this state.

 

(2) “The Louisiana Educational Assessment Program” means a process of measuring pupil performance in relation to grade appropriate skills, state content standards, and national educational indices.

 

(3) “Pupil progression plan” means the comprehensive plan developed and adopted by each parish or city school board which shall be based on student performance on the Louisiana Educational Assessment Program with goals and objectives which are compatible with the Louisiana Competency-Based Education Program and which supplements the minimum standards approved by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. A pupil progression plan shall require the student’s mastery of grade-appropriate skills before he or she can be recommended for promotion.

 

(4) “The statewide content standards for required subjects” are statements that define what a student should know or be able to accomplish at the end of a specific time period or grade level or at the completion of a course. Content standards shall represent the knowledge and skills needed for students to successfully transition to postsecondary education and the workplace, as determined by content experts, elementary and secondary educators and school leaders, postsecondary education leaders, and business and industry leaders.

 

B. The Department of Education, with the approval of the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Louisiana Legislature, shall begin the Louisiana Competency-Based Education Program, and the recommended effective date shall be January 1, 1980, and said program shall have as its purpose the coordination of all statutory provisions and State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education policies and guidelines to be implemented by the Department of Education which affect student performance.

 

C. The Louisiana Competency-Based Education Program shall specifically coordinate the following programs in order to emphasize instructional planning and development of the instructional programs and services provided for the students in the public school systems of this state:

 

(1) Repealed by Acts 1994, 3rd Ex.Sess., No. 1, § 3, eff. June 22, 1994.

 

(2) Repealed by Acts 1994, 3rd Ex.Sess., No. 1, § 3, eff. June 22, 1994.

 

(3) In-service training programs for all teachers in the public schools as provided by R.S. 17:24.1.

 

(4) The continuing education program for teachers as provided by R.S. 17:7.3.

 

(5) The teacher education programs in the colleges and universities in this state through the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education’s authority to approve teacher education programs and certification requirements.

 

D. The Louisiana Competency-Based Education Program shall also provide for the coordination and involvement of all federal instructional programs such as Chapter I programs, vocational programs, and special education programs; however, the provisions of this Section shall not be construed to supersede the provisions of Act 754 of the 1977 Regular Session1 with respect to the creation, operation, and administration of special education programs in the state.

 

E. (1) The State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education shall develop state content standards for required subjects to be taught in the public elementary and secondary schools of this state. State content standards for English language arts and mathematics shall be reviewed and developed as provided in Paragraph (3) of this Subsection.

 

(2) The state content standards for required subjects shall be implemented by the state Department of Education as approved by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, with recommendations prior to approval and advice from the educational personnel in the public schools and colleges and universities of this state.

 

(3) State content standards for English language arts and mathematics shall be reviewed and developed as follows:

 

(a) Not later than July 1, 2015, the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education shall begin reviewing and developing state content standards in English language arts and mathematics.

 

(b) The board shall hold at least one meeting for such purpose in each Louisiana congressional district.

 

(c) The board shall submit the minutes from each meeting held pursuant to this Paragraph to each member of the legislature not later than thirty days after the meeting.

 

(d) All meetings held by the board for the review and development of the standards shall be subject to the Open Meetings Law.

 

(e) The board shall post the standards on its website not later than February 21, 2016, and shall adopt the standards not later than March 4, 2016.

 

(f) The board shall promulgate the standards in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act prior to implementation of the standards.

 

(4) The speaker of the House of Representatives and the president of the Senate each shall appoint one member from his respective house to serve as a liaison to attend the meetings held pursuant to Paragraph (3) of this Subsection. Each liaison shall report to the speaker or the president, as applicable, on the status of the review and development of the standards as provided in this Subsection.

 

(5) If, pursuant to R.S. 49:970, the governor suspends or vetoes the rules promulgated by the board for the standards as required in Subparagraph (3)(f) of this Subsection, the board shall undertake a review of the standards and make any necessary revisions and shall commence without delay the process for the promulgation of rules for the revised standards. The legislative liaisons appointed pursuant to Paragraph (4) of this Subsection shall report to the speaker or the president, as applicable, the specific time lines and actions taken by the board in commencing the process for the promulgation of rules for the revised standards.

 

(6) The governing authority of each public elementary and secondary school may develop and implement curriculum, content, and methodology for required subjects for the schools under its jurisdiction in lieu of the curriculum, content, and methodology recommended by the state Department of Education or the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

 

F. (1)(a) The Department of Education shall implement the Louisiana Educational Assessment Program with the approval of the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

 

(b) Developmental readiness student screening for placement and for planning instruction shall occur upon initial school entry into kindergarten.

 

(c) Standards-based assessments in English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies based on state content standards and rigorous student achievement standards set with reference to test scores of students of the same grade level nationally shall be implemented by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Such tests shall be administered, at a minimum, in grades three through eleven.

 

(d) Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, standards-based assessments implemented by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in English language arts and mathematics shall be based on nationally recognized content standards that represent the knowledge and skills needed for students to successfully transition to postsecondary education and the workplace. Rigorous student achievement standards shall be set with reference to test scores of the same grade levels nationally.

 

(e) The rigor of each standards-based assessment, at a minimum, shall be comparable to national achievement tests, including but not limited to the National Assessment of Education Progress.

 

(f) The State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, upon initial implementation of the tests provided for in this Subsection, shall establish by rule adopted in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act the adequate test score to determine successful performance of the student on each test provided for by this Subsection.

 

<The provisions of par. (F)(2) become null and void on July 1, 2016, pursuant to its own terms.>

 

(2) For assessments to be administered during the 2015 - 2016 school year:

 

(a) The department shall enter into a one-year contract, in accordance with the Louisiana Procurement Code, for the assessments to be used in grades three through eight in English language arts and mathematics.

 

(b) Not more than forty-nine and nine-tenths percent of the questions included in the selected assessments shall be based upon a blueprint or intellectual property developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers consortium, or any other federally funded consortium of states.

 

(c) No question included in the selected assessments shall be based upon a blueprint or intellectual property developed by a consortium of states predominantly funded by organizations primarily dedicated to political advocacy.

 

(d) The commissioner of administration shall ensure that any contractor is in full compliance with the provisions of this Paragraph.

 

(e) The commissioner of administration shall ensure that a copy of any subcontract entered into by the selected contractor shall be submitted to the division of administration within ten calendar days of finalization of the contract.

 

(f) The state chief procurement officer, in accordance with applicable state law, shall make a final determination regarding the department’s request for proposals to solicit a vendor for the 2015-2016 assessments, not later than July 15, 2015, provided all requirements of the Louisiana Procurement Code have been met.

 

(g) The state chief procurement officer, in accordance with applicable state law, shall make a final determination regarding the department’s contract for the 2015-2016 assessments, not later than October 15, 2015, provided all requirements of the Louisiana Procurement Code have been met.

 

(h) The questions included in the end-of-course assessments administered in grades nine through eleven shall be developed using the same methodology utilized for such assessments for the 2014-2015 school year.

 

(i) The provisions of this Paragraph shall become null and void on July 1, 2016.

 

(3)(a) In lieu of the standards-based assessments prescribed in Subparagraphs (1)(c) and (d) of this Subsection, an alternate assessment shall be provided for and administered only to those students with disabilities who meet specific eligibility criteria developed by the state Department of Education and approved by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. A determination of whether any student meets the eligibility criteria established by the state Department of Education shall be made by the student’s Individual Education Plan committee and shall be so noted on that student’s Individual Education Plan. The alternate assessment developed pursuant to this Paragraph shall be administered on a schedule determined by the state Department of Education and approved by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. The alternate assessment shall be part of the Louisiana Education Assessment Program otherwise provided for in this Subsection and the alternate assessment shall be used for information, accountability, compliance, and planning purposes as provided by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

 

(b)(i) In addition to the alternate assessment accommodations adopted to meet the needs of students with significant cognitive disabilities, no later than September 1, 2005, the state Department of Education, with approval of the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, shall develop modified achievement standards and use alternative assessments to accommodate those students who are assessed with persistent academic disabilities but who are likely to make significant progress.

 

(ii) Students with persistent academic disabilities shall be allowed to take academic assessments that are sensitive to measuring progress in their learning and that recognize their individual needs. Academic assessments are to be geared specifically toward accommodating students to enable them to perform on standards-based assessments prescribed in Subparagraphs (1)(c) and (d) of this Subsection. Such accommodations shall include at a minimum verbalized test questions and shall provide for writing assistance of a scribe and any other accommodations deemed appropriate by the student’s Individual Education Plan committee. However, any such accommodations shall not breach test security or invalidate the meaning of the test score or the purpose of the test.

 

(iii) At each IEP meeting a written list of accommodations shall be discussed and provided to the parent of each student with a disability.

 

(4)(a) In addition to the other requirements of this Subsection, the state Department of Education shall establish, subject to the approval of the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, the level of achievement on certain of the tests or on certain portions of the tests given as required in this Subsection in fourth and eighth grades as definitive of the level of the student’s proficiency in mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies. Fourth and eighth grade students shall be required to demonstrate proficiency on such tests in order to advance to grades five and nine, pursuant to rules adopted by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. Such proficiency levels shall be set with reference to test scores of students of the same grade level nationally. The department shall establish, subject to the approval of the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, the nature and application of various intervention options in the case of a failure to demonstrate proficiency, which may include remediation, retention in grade, an alternative placement in succeeding grades, or any other option which will support a student’s achieving the required proficiency level.

 

(b) In meeting the requirements of this Paragraph, the department, subject to the approval of the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, shall:

 

(i) Establish a process for consistently seeking and considering input from teachers, administrators, city and parish school board members, legislators, parents, business leaders, and other persons in the community in developing and establishing the proficiency levels and the intervention options provided for in this Paragraph.

 

(ii) Develop a time line for: establishing the levels of achievement which shall be indicative and definitive of student proficiency, establishing the intervention options which proceed from failure of a student to achieve the level necessary to demonstrate proficiency, and piloting such levels and interventions no later than the 1998-1999 school year.

 

(iii) Implement the provisions of this Paragraph fully by the 1999-2000 school year.

 

G. (1) Each city and parish school board shall appoint a committee which shall be representative of the parents of the school district under the authority of such school board. Each committee shall participate and have input in the development of the pupil progression plans provided for in this Section. Each parish or city school board shall develop and submit to the state Department of Education for approval by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education a pupil progression plan which shall be in accordance with the requirements of this Section and be based upon student achievement, performance, and proficiency on tests required by this Section. Beginning with the 1998-1999 school year and thereafter, approval by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education shall not be required for a pupil progression plan.

 

(2) Each parish or city school board plan for pupil progression shall be based upon local goals and objectives which are compatible with the Louisiana Competency-Based Education Program numerated in R.S. 17:24.4(B), which comply with the provisions of R.S. 17:24.4(A)(3), and which supplement the performance standards approved by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

 

(3)(a) Each local school board shall establish a policy regarding student promotion or placement which shall comply with the provisions of this Section, including the requirements for pupil progression plans.

 

(b) Particular emphasis shall be placed upon the student’s proficiency in grade appropriate skills which may be considered in promotion and placement; however, each local school board shall establish a policy regarding student promotion or placement.

 

(4)(a) The governing body of each school with students required by law or a rule of the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to participate in the Louisiana Educational Assessment Program shall develop a policy with the participation and input of the committee provided for in this Subsection which shall, at a minimum, conform to any rule adopted by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education regarding pupil promotion. Following this policy, each teacher shall, on an individualized basis, determine promotion or placement of each student. Each such governing body may review promotion and placement decisions in order to ensure compliance with its established policy. Review may be initiated by the governing body, the superintendent, or a student’s parent or guardian. Those students who fail to meet required achievement levels on the state administered standards-based assessments of the Louisiana Educational Assessment Program shall be offered education programs designed to accelerate progress that comply with regulations adopted by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Such programs shall include, at a minimum, the offering of a summer school remediation program to all students who do not meet the minimum achievement level necessary to be fully promoted to the fifth or ninth grade as established by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education rule.

 

(b) Summer school remediation programs as required in this Section shall meet minimum requirements as established by rule of the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and shall be funded in part with a state appropriation specifically for such purpose and in part with other funds available to each governing body of schools required by this Paragraph to provide summer school remediation programs. The Department of Education may allocate and disburse the money appropriated for summer school remediation programs to such governing bodies at the time the number of students who failed to meet the minimum required achievement level is known, rather than on a cost reimbursement basis once the summer school program is complete.

 

(c) Local school boards may require students who fail to meet the required achievement level on a test necessary for promotion to the next grade to attend a remediation program, including requiring attending the summer remediation program, but shall exempt from such summer program any student whose parent or guardian signs a form which states, at a minimum, all of the following:

 

(i) That such parent or guardian understands that the student has failed to meet the required achievement level for promotion to the next grade.

 

(ii) That a summer school remediation program is being offered by the district to improve the skills of students who have failed to meet the required achievement level.

 

(iii) That the parent or guardian will take the responsibility of remediation to help the student improve his skills necessary for meeting the required achievement level on the test.

 

(iv) That the student will not be fully promoted to the next grade level unless a retest is taken and the student obtains the required achievement level.

 

H. (1) The State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education shall establish by rule adopted in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act a procedure whereby a student’s Individualized Education Program team shall determine promotion to the next grade level for any student with an exceptionality, as defined in R.S. 17:1942(B), except a student identified as gifted and talented and who has no other exceptionality, who fails to meet the required achievement level necessary for promotion to the next grade on a test administered to students pursuant to this Section or policies adopted by the state board provided that the student meets certain criteria established by the Individualized Education Program team relative to performance on the student’s Individualized Education Program goals and objectives. If an Individualized Education Program team determines that the student is not required to meet state or local established performance standards on any assessment for purposes of promotion, the team shall:

 

(a) Identify rigorous educational goals for the student.

 

(b) Include diagnostic information, appropriate monitoring and intervention, and other evaluation strategies.

 

(c) Include an intensive instructional program.

 

(d) Provide innovative methods to promote the student’s advancement including flexible scheduling, alternate learning environments, online instruction, and other interventions that are proven to accelerate the learning process and have been scientifically validated to improve learning and cognitive ability.

 

(e) Identify a course of study that promotes college or workforce readiness, or both, career placement and advancement, and transition from high school to postsecondary education or work placement.

 

(2)(a) An alternative pathway to promotion determination by a student’s Individualized Education Program team shall apply only if, in the school year immediately prior to each grade level in which the student would otherwise be required to demonstrate certain proficiency levels in order to advance to the next grade level, the student has not otherwise met the state and local requirements for promotion or has not otherwise met state-established benchmarks on the required state assessments.

 

(b) The state Department of Education, to the extent possible, shall track the performance of students with exceptionalities across school systems and, in collaboration with the Special Education Advisory Panel, establish indicators to identify school systems with disproportionately high rates of students with exceptionalities performing below expected levels and declines in performance across subgroups of students with exceptionalities. The department, to the extent possible, shall develop and implement a monitoring and corrective action system to address school systems identified as having high rates of students with exceptionalities performing below expected levels.

 

I. The state superintendent of education shall appoint a twelve-member task force to study and identify the causes of low performance by students, including students who are members of any ethnic minority, on statewide proficiency examinations. The task force shall propose to the superintendent a plan to eliminate the causes of low performance and assist students in improving their overall educational skills.

 

J. (1) Notwithstanding any provision of this Section or any other law to the contrary, a public high school student with an exceptionality as defined in R.S. 17:1942(B), except a gifted or talented student, and who is not pursuing a high school diploma shall not be administered any examination pursuant to this Section or the Louisiana school and district accountability system, including the American College Test, unless one or both of the following apply:

 

(a) The student’s Individualized Education Plan indicates that the examination is an appropriate assessment instrument for the student.

 

(b) The student’s parent or legal guardian requests in writing that the student be administered the examination.

 

(2) A student who is not administered an examination pursuant to Paragraph (1) of this Subsection shall not be penalized for failure to take the examination. For purposes of this Paragraph, prohibited penalties include but are not limited to:

 

(a) Withholding of credits toward graduation or denying a student the ability to graduate.

 

(b) Denying a student the opportunity to participate in an extracurricular activity.

 

(c) Denying a student the ability to advance to the subsequent grade level.

 

(3) The absence of test results due to the implementation of Paragraph (1) of this Subsection shall not be factored into or negatively impact the performance score or letter grade assigned to a school or school system, nor shall a school or school system otherwise be penalized in any manner, provided that such absence does not violate any federal law or requirement including the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

 

K. (1) The content standards and assessments adopted by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and implemented by the state Department of Education pursuant to the provisions of this Section shall reflect direct application to subject matter proficiency of students and shall not include content or questions to measure noncognitive, emotional, physical, or psychological characteristics, attributes, or skills of students.

 

(2) The provisions of Paragraph (1) of this Subsection shall not apply to the following:

 

(a) Instruction and assessments conducted in physical education classes.

 

(b) Optional questions on college entrance exams, Advanced Placement exams, International Baccalaureate exams, and any state assessments administered to students in grades seven through twelve.

 

(3) Except as otherwise provided in Subparagraph (2)(b) of this Subsection, the provisions of this Subsection shall apply only to students in grades three through twelve.

 

Added by Acts 1979, No. 750, § 1, eff. July 20, 1979. Amended by Acts 1980, No. 499, § 1; Acts 1984, No. 886, § 1, eff. July 20, 1984; Acts 1986, No. 146, § 1, eff. July 2, 1986; Acts 1989, No. 408, § 1, eff. June 30, 1989; Acts 1989, No. 567, § 1; Acts 1993, No. 868, § 1; Acts 1996, 1st Ex.Sess., No. 40, § 1; Acts 1997, No. 1335, § 1, eff. July 15, 1997; Acts 1998, 1st Ex.Sess., No. 41, § 1, eff. April 24, 1998; Acts 1999, No. 407, § 1; Acts 1999, No. 643, § 1; Acts 2005, No. 303, § 1, eff. June 29, 2005; Acts 2008, No. 907, § 1, eff. July 11, 2008; Acts 2009, No. 276, § 1, eff. July 1, 2009; Acts 2010, No. 116, § 1; Acts 2012, No. 275, § 1; Acts 2013, No. 151, § 1; Acts 2014, No. 532, § 1; Acts 2014, No. 833, § 1; Acts 2015, No. 329, § 1; Acts 2015, No. 342, § 1; Acts 2015, No. 384, § 1.

Footnotes

1 In subsec. D, R.S. 17:1941 et seq.