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ADOPTION OF STATEWIDE ASSESSMENT SYSTEM

I. Policy Statement

District employees, parents and other stakeholders in public education all have the obligation and duty to ensure that our students meet the expectations and proficiency standards as measured by current and future State and local assessments. Our students must and will be adequately prepared to compete and excel in secondary and higher education settings requiring college and career ready knowledge emphasizing content mastery as well as its application.

The Common Core standards represent rigorous statewide standards and associated cumulative progress indicators, which establish the basis for local curricula and instruction for all students, and a statewide assessment system. The standards require an alignment of curricula for all students, along with accompanying indicators which serve as the basis for State or local assessments deemed appropriate by the State Board of Education and the Department of Education.

The Rhode Island Department of Education has identified the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, (PARCC) as the statewide assessment program.

II. Legal Authority

Title 1 of the Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act requires that each school district receiving federal funding is required to use the state academic assessments to determine whether the school is making adequate yearly progress[1]. School districts are required to attain a minimum student participation rate of 95 percent in the statewide assessment program.

The Rhode Island General Assembly empowers and requires the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) to implement a state assessment program including performance standards and assessments of student performance[2]. Additionally the Rhode Island General Assembly has determined that such state assessments be based upon the Common Core[3] standards. RIDE has identified the PARCC assessment as the statewide assessment program.

The Rhode Island General Assembly mandates that school committees, including the Smithfield School Committee develop educational policies to meet the needs of the community, to provide for and assure the implementation of federal and state laws and regulation and to establish policies governing curriculum and courses of instruction.[4]

The Rhode Island General Assembly requires superintendents of schools to implement policies established by school committees and to comply with provisions of federal and state law. [5]

The Smithfield School District must implement and align curricula to such standards, and ensure that all students learn and are assessed as required by state and federal law[6], including Common Core aligned assessments.

III. District’s Adoption of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.

The Smithfield School Committee hereby adopts the PARCC assessment as the District’s state assessment and as a component of the overall comprehensive assessment program in the Smithfield Public Schools. [BM1] Students are hereby required to participate in such assessments.

IV. District Protocol

The Superintendent of Schools shall forthwith establish a District wide protocol facilitating the terms of this policy. Consistent with applicable state law, rule, and with guidance[BM2] from the Rhode Island Department of Education, the Superintendent shall provide for alignment of appropriate curricula to the state standards, and ensure that all students are assessed by the PARCC statewide assessment program.

V. Evaluation and Review

This policy shall be reviewed and updated on a regular basis, and shall be automatically amended to conform to amendments and changes in applicable state and federal laws, rules and regulations.

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[1] SEC. 1116. ACADEMIC ASSESSMENT AND LOCAL EDUCATIONAL AGENCY AND SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT.

(a) LOCAL REVIEW-

(1) IN GENERAL- Each local educational agency receiving funds under this part shall —

(A) use the State academic assessments and other indicators described in the State plan to review annually the progress of each school served under this part to determine whether the school is making adequate yearly progress as defined in section 1111(b)(2);

[2] 16-97-8. Assessment of student performance. –

(a) The commissioner of elementary and secondary education shall implement the state assessment program. The program shall include performance standards and an annual report that disaggregates performance by race, poverty, native language and gender.

(b) Prior to the graduating class of 2017, no state assessment conducted pursuant to this chapter, and no other standardized testing program or assessment, shall be used to determine a student's eligibility to graduate from high school. Any such assessments implemented prior to the graduating class of 2017, shall be used to promote school improvement and to target remediation programs to individual students and groups of students.

[3]16-97-1.1. Purposes of the board of education. --

The Rhode Island Board of Education shall be responsible for long-range planning and for coordinating and evaluating policies and programs for the public educational systems of the state. The general assembly finds and declares that the board of education shall have the following purposes:

(a) To develop and adopt educational, financial and operational goals for the education systems of the state that represent achievable benchmarks for a ten (10) year and (20) twenty (20) year time frame and that can be implemented by the council on elementary and secondary education, the council on postsecondary education, and the commissioners for elementary and secondary education and postsecondary education;

(b) To ensure that the education systems of the state are aligned with the projected opportunities in workforce development and economic development and that the education systems are preparing students to participate in the future workforce of Rhode Island;

(c) To coordinate programs and courses of study and promote collaboration between and among pre-kindergarten through higher education institutions and agencies, including, but not limited to:

(1) improving career and college readiness;

(2) reducing the need for remedial instruction;

(3) implementing and coordinating common core and other system wide standards;

(4) ensuring a quality system for adult education and certification programs in Secondary school and college.

(d) To present strategic budget and finance recommendations to the council on elementary and secondary education and council on postsecondary education that are aligned with the long-range goals adopted by the board.

[4] See R.I. Gen Laws 16-2-9 §§ (a) (2), (3) & (20).

[5] See R.I. Gen Laws 16-2-11§§ (a) (1) & (4).

[6] Title 1 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as set forth below provides:

SEC. 1111. STATE PLANS.* * *

(b) ACADEMIC STANDARDS, ACADEMIC ASSESSMENTS, AND ACCOUNTABILITY-* * *

(3) ACADEMIC ASSESSMENTS-

(A) IN GENERAL- Each State plan shall demonstrate that the State educational agency, in consultation with local educational agencies, has implemented a set of high-quality, yearly student academic assessments that include, at a minimum, academic assessments in mathematics, reading or language arts, and science that will be used as the primary means of determining the yearly performance of the State and of each local educational agency and school in the State in enabling all children to meet the State's challenging student academic achievement standards, except that no State shall be required to meet the requirements of this part relating to science assessments until the beginning of the 2007-2008 school year.

(B) USE OF ASSESSMENTS- Each State educational agency may incorporate the data from the assessments under this paragraph into a State-developed longitudinal data system that links student test scores, length of enrollment, and graduation records over time.

(C) REQUIREMENTS- Such assessments shall--

(i) be the same academic assessments used to measure the achievement of all children;

(ii) be aligned with the State's challenging academic content and student academic achievement standards, and provide coherent information about student attainment of such standards;

(iii) be used for purposes for which such assessments are valid and reliable, and be consistent with relevant, nationally recognized professional and technical standards;

(iv) be used only if the State educational agency provides to the Secretary evidence from the test publisher or other relevant sources that the assessments used are of adequate technical quality for each purpose required under this Act and are consistent with the requirements of this section, and such evidence is made public by the Secretary upon request;

(v)(I) except as otherwise provided for grades 3 through 8 under clause vii, measure the proficiency of students in, at a minimum, mathematics and reading or language arts, and be administered not less than once during--

(aa) grades 3 through 5;

(bb) grades 6 through 9; and

(cc) grades 10 through 12;

(II) beginning not later than school year 2007-2008, measure the proficiency of all students in science and be administered not less than one time during--

(aa) grades 3 through 5;

(bb) grades 6 through 9; and

(cc) grades 10 through 12;

(vi) involve multiple up-to-date measures of student academic achievement, including measures that assess higher-order thinking skills and understanding;

(vii) beginning not later than school year 2005-2006, measure the achievement of students against the challenging State academic content and student academic achievement standards in each of grades 3 through 8 in, at a minimum, mathematics, and reading or language arts, except that the Secretary may provide the State 1 additional year if the State demonstrates that exceptional or uncontrollable circumstances, such as a natural disaster or a precipitous and unforeseen decline in the financial resources of the State, prevented full implementation of the academic assessments by that deadline and that the State will complete implementation within the additional 1-year period;

(viii) at the discretion of the State, measure the proficiency of students in academic subjects not described in clauses (v), (vi), (vii) in which the State has adopted challenging academic content and academic achievement standards;

(ix) provide for—

(I) the participation in such assessments of all students;

(II) the reasonable adaptations and accommodations for students with disabilities (as defined under section 602(3) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) necessary to measure the academic achievement of such students relative to State academic content and State student academic achievement standards; and

(III) the inclusion of limited English proficient students, who shall be assessed in a valid and reliable manner and provided reasonable accommodations on assessments administered to such students under this paragraph, including, to the extent practicable, assessments in the language and form most likely to yield accurate data on what such students know and can do in academic content areas, until such students have achieved English language proficiency as determined under paragraph (7);

(x) notwithstanding subclause (III), the academic assessment (using tests written in English) of reading or language arts of any student who has attended school in the United States (not including Puerto Rico) for three or more consecutive school years, except that if the local educational agency determines, on a case-by-case individual basis, that academic assessments in another language or form would likely yield more accurate and reliable information on what such student knows and can do, the local educational agency may make a determination to assess such student in the appropriate language other than English for a period that does not exceed two additional consecutive years, provided that such student has not yet reached a level of English language proficiency sufficient to yield valid and reliable information on what such student knows and can do on tests (written in English) of reading or language arts;

(xi) include students who have attended schools in a local educational agency for a full academic year but have not attended a single school for a full academic year, except that the performance of students who have attended more than 1 school in the local educational agency in any academic year shall be used only in determining the progress of the local educational agency;

(xii) produce individual student interpretive, descriptive, and diagnostic reports, consistent with clause (iii) that allow parents, teachers, and principals to understand and address the specific academic needs of students, and include information regarding achievement on academic assessments aligned with State academic achievement standards, and that are provided to parents, teachers, and principals, as soon as is practicably possible after the assessment is given, in an understandable and uniform format, and to the extent practicable, in a language that parents can understand;

(xiii) enable results to be disaggregated within each State, local educational agency, and school by gender, by each major racial and ethnic group, by English proficiency status, by migrant status, by students with disabilities as compared to nondisabled students, and by economically disadvantaged students as compared to students who are not economically disadvantaged, except that, in the case of a local educational agency or a school, such disaggregation shall not be required in a case in which the number of students in a category is insufficient to yield statistically reliable information or the results would reveal personally identifiable information about an individual student;

(xiv) be consistent with widely accepted professional testing standards, objectively measure academic achievement, knowledge, and skills, and be tests that do not evaluate or assess personal or family beliefs and attitudes, or publicly disclose personally identifiable information; and

(xv) enable itemized score analyses to be produced and reported, consistent with clause (iii), to local educational agencies and schools, so that parents, teachers, principals, and administrators can interpret and address the specific academic needs of students as indicated by the students' achievement on assessment items.

SEC. 1116. ACADEMIC ASSESSMENT AND LOCAL EDUCATIONAL AGENCY AND SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT.

(a) LOCAL REVIEW-

(1) IN GENERAL- Each local educational agency receiving funds under this part shall —

(A) use the State academic assessments and other indicators described in the State plan to review annually the progress of each school served under this part to determine whether the school is making adequate yearly progress as defined in section 1111(b)(2);

[BM1]We may want to adjust this slightly. The PARCC is one component of our comprehensive assessment program. The assessment program includes several other assessments such as STAR, common assessments, and formative assessment.

[BM2]And with guidance from ….


ADOPTED: February 23, 2015