S 280

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 280

To provide for flexibility and improvements in elementary and secondary education, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

February 3, 2011

Ms. COLLINS (for herself and Ms. SNOWE) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions


A BILL

To provide for flexibility and improvements in elementary and secondary education, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `No Child Left Behind Flexibility and Improvements Act'.

SEC. 2. DISCRETION TO MODIFY ADEQUATE YEARLY PROGRESS TIMELINE.

    Section 1111(b)(2)(F) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311(b)(2)(F)) is amended--

      (1) by striking `(F) TIMELINE- Each State' and inserting the following:

        `(F) TIMELINE-

          `(i) IN GENERAL- Each State'; and

      (2) by adding at the end the following:

          `(ii) DISCRETION OF SECRETARY TO MODIFY THE TIMELINE- Every 3 years, the Secretary--

            `(I) shall review the requirements of the timeline established in clause (i); and

            `(II) may issue guidance or regulations modifying such requirements if the Secretary determines, at the Secretary's discretion and after a review of the progress of the States towards making adequate yearly progress for the 2013-2014 school year, that modifications to the timeline are in the interests of improving student achievement and are in keeping with the purposes of this title.'.

SEC. 3. ALTERNATIVE ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEMS.

    Section 1111(b)(2) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311(b)(2)) is further amended--

      (1) by striking subparagraph (I) and inserting the following:

        `(I) ANNUAL IMPROVEMENT FOR SCHOOLS-

          `(i) IN GENERAL- Each year, for a school to make adequate yearly progress under this paragraph--

            `(I) each group of students described in subparagraph (C)(v) must meet or exceed the objectives set by the State under subparagraph (G), except that if any group described in subparagraph (C)(v) does not meet those objectives in any particular year, the school shall be considered to have made adequate yearly progress if--

`(aa) the percentage of students in that group who did not meet or exceed the proficient level of academic achievement on the State assessment under paragraph (3) decreased by 5 percent over the past year, or an aggregate of 10 percent over 2 years, and that group has made progress on 1 or more of the academic indicators described in clause (vi) or (vii) of subparagraph (C); or

`(bb) the students in that group demonstrate that the students are making progress towards proficiency through an additional model or system for measuring student progress described in subparagraph (J) and that group has made progress on 1 or more of the academic indicators described in clause (vi) or (vii) of subparagraph (C); and

            `(II) not less than 95 percent of each group of students described in subparagraph (C)(v) who are enrolled in the school are required to take the assessments, consistent with paragraph (3)(C)(xi) and with accommodations, guidelines, and alternative assessment provided in the same manner as those provided under section 612(a)(16)(A) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and paragraph (3), on which adequate yearly progress is based (except that the 95 percent requirement described in this clause shall not apply 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).

          `(ii) CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES- In the case of a child with a disability (as defined in section 602(3) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), a State may deem the child to have met the State's proficient level of academic achievement on the State assessments for purposes of calculating adequate yearly progress under this section if--

            `(I) the student's individualized education program team (as defined in section 614(d)(1)(B) of such Act) designates an alternate assessment based on alternate or modified student academic achievement standards as a more appropriate measure of the student's academic progress and achievement for purposes of the assessment requirements under this part; and

            `(II) the student achieves a proficient score on such alternate assessment.

          `(iii) STATE EDUCATIONAL AGENCY REPORT- For any year that a State educational agency makes use of the flexibility provided by this section to allow alternate assessments for more than 3 percent of the total student population statewide, the State educational agency shall make available to the public a report that includes the percentage of all special education students in the State who were assessed according to clause (ii).';

      (2) by redesignating subparagraphs (J) and (K) as subparagraphs (L) and (M), respectively; and

      (3) by inserting after subparagraph (I) (as amended by paragraph (1)) the following:

        `(J) ADDITIONAL MODELS AND SYSTEMS FOR MEASURING STUDENT PROGRESS- In developing a single, statewide State accountability system pursuant to subparagraph (A), a State may establish models and systems for measuring student progress for purposes of determining whether an agency or school has made adequate yearly progress that are in addition to the models and systems otherwise described in this paragraph if the models and systems are in keeping with the purposes of this title. Additional models and systems that measure student progress under this paragraph may include--

          `(i) cohort growth models that--

            `(I) demonstrate progress based on longitudinal student assessment results indicating improvement in the academic performance of the same cohort of students over time; and

            `(II) may in some instances specify different starting points, different intermediate goals, and different annual measurable objectives for different cohorts;

          `(ii) indexing systems that demonstrate progress based on improvement in assessment scores for students below the proficient level, such as improvements from the below basic to basic level, or from basic to another intermediate level below the proficient level, if the system does not include improvement in students' scores for students who scored at the proficient level and higher; or

          `(iii) a system that demonstrates progress based on improvements in closing the achievement gap or making progress toward another State-established high-achievement target, such as a system that demonstrates progress towards having all subgroups meet or exceed the current percentage of proficient students at the State's top-performing schools (such as the top 20 percent of schools), if the system requires continued improvement towards subsequently higher targets until all students have reached the proficient level.

        `(K) REQUIREMENT FOR GUIDANCE FROM THE SECRETARY ON ADDITIONAL MODELS AND SYSTEMS FOR MEASURING STUDENT PROGRESS-

          `(i) IN GENERAL- Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of the No Child Left Behind Flexibility and Improvements Act, the Secretary shall establish specific models of additional models and systems for measuring student progress that meet the requirements of subparagraph (J), including models of cohort-growth systems, indexing systems, or high-achievement target systems described in such subparagraph.

          `(ii) MAXIMUM FLEXIBILITY OF MODELS- To the extent possible, the models described in clause (i) shall demonstrate the maximum amount of flexibility available under this part in the design of additional models and systems for measuring student progress.

          `(iii) TASK FORCE- The Secretary shall create a task force to provide guidance and other technical assistance to those States interested in incorporating additional models and systems for measuring student progress into their State accountability plan.'.

SEC. 4. STATE OPTION REGARDING STUDENTS WITH LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY.

    Section 1111(b)(2) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311(b)(2)) (as amended by section 3) is further amended by adding at the end the following:

        `(N) STATE OPTION REGARDING STUDENTS WITH LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY-

          `(i) IN GENERAL- In determining whether a school, local educational agency, or State has made adequate yearly progress under this subsection, a State shall have the option to include in the students with limited English proficiency subgroup a student who was formerly included in the subgroup and subsequently acquired proficiency in English.

          `(ii) DURATION OF INCLUSION IN THE SUBGROUP- A State may include a student described in clause (i) in the students with limited English proficiency subgroup until the student completes secondary school.

          `(iii) RULES OF CONSTRUCTION- Nothing in this subparagraph shall be construed--

            `(I) to count a student described in clause (i) as a student with limited English proficiency for purposes of--

`(aa) determining a State-defined minimum subgroup size; and

`(bb) allocating funds under title III; or

            `(II) to require a student described in clause (i)--

`(aa) to continue to take a limited English proficiency assessment under paragraph (7); and

`(bb) to receive language services provided to students with limited English proficiency.'.

SEC. 5. LOCAL ACADEMIC ASSESSMENTS.

    Section 1111(b)(3)(A) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311(b)(3)(A)) is amended--

      (1) by striking `(A) IN GENERAL- Each State plan' and inserting the following:

        `(A) IMPLEMENTATION OF ASSESSMENTS-

          `(i) IN GENERAL- Each State plan'; and

      (2) by adding at the end the following:

          `(ii) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION REGARDING USE OF LOCAL ASSESSMENTS- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to prohibit a State from using a local assessment system or a mixed system of State and local assessments in carrying out clause (i), if the assessment system--

            `(I) is aligned with the State's content and achievement standards and provides coherent information about student attainment of those standards;

            `(II) is valid and reliable, and consistent with relevant professional and technical standards;

            `(III) provides individual student reports and itemized score analysis; and

            `(IV) allows the State to aggregate, with confidence, data from disparate local assessments.

          `(iii) REQUIRED TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE- Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of the No Child Left Behind Flexibility and Improvements Act, the Secretary shall provide models of local assessment systems or mixed systems of State and local assessments meeting the requirements described in clause (ii), and shall provide guidance and technical assistance to States on ways that these systems may be used to satisfy the assessment requirements of this part.'.

SEC. 6. DEFERRAL OF ACADEMIC ASSESSMENTS.

    Section 1111(b)(3)(D) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311(b)(3)(D)) is amended by striking clauses (i) through (iv) and inserting the following:

          `(i) $640,000,000 for fiscal year 2011; and

          `(ii) $670,000,000 for fiscal year 2012.'.

SEC. 7. ADEQUATE YEARLY PROGRESS BY GROUP AND SUBJECT.

    Section 1116(b) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6316(b)) is amended--

      (1) in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1), by inserting `with respect to the performance of a particular group of students described in section 1111(b)(2)(C)(v) in the same academic subject,' after `that fails, for 2 consecutive years,';

      (2) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A) of paragraph (5), by inserting `with respect to the performance of a particular group of students described in section 1111(b)(2)(C)(v) in the same academic subject,' after `that fails to make adequate yearly progress,';

      (3) in the matter preceding clause (i) of paragraph (7)(C), by inserting `with respect to the performance of a particular group of students described in section 1111(b)(2)(C)(v) in the same academic subject,' after `that fails to make adequate yearly progress,'; and

      (4) in the matter preceding clause (i) of paragraph (8)(A), by inserting `with respect to the performance of a particular group of students described in section 1111(b)(2)(C)(v) in the same academic subject,' after `continues to fail to make adequate yearly progress,'.

SEC. 8. MODIFICATION OF THE DEFINITION OF HIGHLY QUALIFIED TEACHER.

    (a) In General- Subpart 1 of part A of title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

`SEC. 1120C. MODIFICATION OF THE DEFINITION OF HIGHLY QUALIFIED TEACHER.

    `(a) Highly Qualified Teachers of Multiple Academic Subjects- Notwithstanding section 9101(23) or any other provision of law, a middle or secondary school teacher employed to teach multiple academic subjects shall be deemed to be highly qualified for purposes of this part, if--

      `(1) the teacher meets the requirements of section 9101(23)(A);

      `(2) the teacher has a bachelor's degree;

      `(3) the teacher has demonstrated a high level of competency in at least one subject taught by the teacher by--

        `(A) passing a test described in section 9101(23)(B)(ii)(I) that is applicable to such subject; or

        `(B) successful completion of a course of study, certification, or credential described in section 9101(23)(B)(ii) that is applicable to such subject; and

      `(4)(A) the State educational agency makes a determination, for a period of not more than 3 years at a time, that--

        `(i) the teacher should be considered highly qualified for purposes of this part based on a showing that the teacher is making progress toward becoming highly qualified as defined in section 9101(23); and

        `(ii) at the time the State educational agency makes such determination, the teacher teaches in a local educational agency of the State that has provided the State educational agency with evidence (that may include the fact that the local educational agency serves a small and rural school facing unique staffing or hiring challenges that require teachers to teach multiple academic subjects) that the local educational agency has made a reasonable effort to provide teachers who are highly qualified as defined in section 9101(23) to every student served by the local educational agency; or

      `(B) the teacher has an academic minor consisting of not less than 15 credit hours, or the equivalent of an academic minor as defined by the State educational agency in its State plan pursuant to section 1119(a)(2), in each academic subject that is taught by the teacher (other than a subject for which the teacher has demonstrated a high level of competency under paragraph (3)), and each such subject is related to a subject for which the teacher has demonstrated a high level of competency under paragraph (3).

    `(b) Report- For each year that a teacher in a State is deemed to be highly qualified under subsection (a), the State educational agency in the State shall make available to the public a report that includes--

      `(1) the number of teachers in the State that are deemed highly qualified under subsection (a); and

      `(2) the total amount of subgrant funds made available under subpart 2 of part A of title II that the State awards to local educational agencies under such subpart that are available to assist the teachers described in paragraph (1) with the process of becoming highly qualified as defined in section 9101(23).'.

    (b) Table of Contents- The table of contents of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 1120B the following:

      `Sec. 1120C. Modification of the definition of highly qualified teacher.'.

SEC. 9. REAUTHORIZATION OF READING FIRST AND EARLY READING FIRST PROGRAMS.

    (a) Authorization of Appropriations- Section 1002(b) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6302(b)) is amended--

      (1) in paragraph (1), by striking `2002' and inserting `2012'; and

      (2) in paragraph (2), by striking `2002' and inserting `2012'.

    (b) Use of Funds for Reading Activities-

      (1) FINDING- Congress finds that, based on the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Education's September 2006 report entitled `The Reading First Program's Grant Application Process', it is crucial to achieving the goals of the Reading First program under subpart 1 of part B of title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6361 et seq.) that greater flexibility is afforded to program participants, including allowing participants to choose from a variety of scientifically based reading programs.

      (2) USE OF FUNDS FOR READING ACTIVITIES- Section 1202(c)(7) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6362(c)(7)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

        `(C) READING ACTIVITIES FOR INDIVIDUAL STUDENTS- Notwithstanding any other provision of this subpart, an eligible local educational agency may use the funds provided under the subgrant for any activity described in subparagraph (A) that is provided to a student in a manner other than on a classwide instruction basis, including small group instruction and one-to-one instruction.'.

SEC. 10. DEFINITION OF HIGHLY QUALIFIED.

    Section 9101(23)(B)(ii)(II) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801(23)(B)(ii)(II)) is amended by striking `credentialing; and' and inserting the following: `credentialing,

          `except that the Secretary shall promulgate regulations permitting a teacher to demonstrate subject area competence in history, geography, economics, government, civics, or related subjects at middle or secondary schools in the State through a State social studies certificate that qualifies the teacher to teach such subjects; and'.

END