Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Substitute Bill No. 1097

    January Session, 2013

 

*_____SB01097ED____040113____*

AN ACT CONCERNING REVISIONS TO THE EDUCATION REFORM ACT OF 2012.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 10-151b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) [The] For the school year commencing July 1, 2013, and each school year thereafter, the superintendent of each local or regional board of education shall annually evaluate or cause to be evaluated each teacher, in accordance with [guidelines established by the State Board of Education, pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, and such other guidelines as may be established by mutual agreement between the local or regional board of education and the teachers' representative chosen pursuant to section 10-153b] the teacher evaluation and support program adopted pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, and may conduct additional formative evaluations toward producing an annual summative evaluation. An evaluation pursuant to this subsection shall include, but need not be limited to, strengths, areas needing improvement, strategies for improvement and multiple indicators of student academic growth. Claims of failure to follow the established procedures of such teacher evaluation and support [programs] program shall be subject to the grievance procedure in collective bargaining agreements negotiated subsequent to July 1, 2004. In the event that a teacher does not receive a summative evaluation during the school year, such teacher shall receive a "not rated" designation for such school year. The superintendent shall report the status of teacher evaluations to the local or regional board of education on or before June first of each year. For purposes of this section, the term "teacher" shall include each professional employee of a board of education, below the rank of superintendent, who holds a certificate or permit issued by the State Board of Education.

(b) (1) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, not later than September 1, 2013, each local and regional board of education shall [develop] adopt and implement a teacher evaluation [programs] and support program. Such teacher evaluation and support program shall be developed through mutual agreement with the professional development and evaluation committee for the school district, described in subsection (b) of section 10-220a, as amended by this act, and be consistent with the guidelines adopted by the State Board of Education, pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, and consistent with the plan developed, [in accordance with the provisions of] pursuant to subsection (b) of section 10-220a, as amended by this act. If a local or regional board of education is unable to develop a teacher evaluation and support program through mutual agreement with the professional development and evaluation committee for the school district, then such local or regional board of education and such professional development and evaluation committee shall consider the model teacher evaluation and support program, developed pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, and such local or regional board of education may adopt, through mutual agreement with such professional development and evaluation committee, the model teacher evaluation and support program. If a local or regional board of education is unable to adopt the model teacher evaluation and support program through mutual agreement with the professional development and evaluation committee for the school district, then the local or regional board of education shall adopt and implement a teacher evaluation and support program developed by such local or regional board of education, provided such teacher evaluation and support program is consistent with the guidelines adopted by the State Board of Education, pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, and consistent with the plan developed, pursuant to subsection (b) of section 10-220a, as amended by this act.

(2) Not later than June thirtieth of each year, each superintendent shall report to the Commissioner of Education the status of the implementation of the teacher [evaluations] evaluation and support program, including the frequency of evaluations, aggregate evaluation ratings, the number of teachers who have not been evaluated and other requirements as determined by the Department of Education.

(c) (1) On or before July 1, 2012, the State Board of Education shall adopt, in consultation with the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council established pursuant to section 10-151d, as amended by this act, guidelines for a model teacher evaluation and support program. Such guidelines shall include, but not be limited to, [(1)] (A) the use of four performance evaluations designators: Exemplary, proficient, developing and below standard; [(2)] (B) the use of multiple indicators of student academic growth and development in teacher evaluations; [(3)] (C) methods for assessing student academic growth and development; [(4)] (D) a consideration of control factors tracked by the state-wide public school information system, pursuant to subsection (c) of section 10-10a, that may influence teacher performance ratings, including, but not limited to, student characteristics, student attendance and student mobility; [(5)] (E) minimum requirements for teacher evaluation instruments and procedures, including scoring systems to determine exemplary, proficient, developing and below standard ratings; [(6)] (F) the development and implementation of periodic training programs regarding the teacher evaluation and support program to be offered by the local or regional board of education or regional educational service center for the school district to teachers who are employed by such local or regional board of education and whose performance is being evaluated and to administrators who are employed by such local or regional board of education and who are conducting performance evaluations; [(7)] (G) the provision of professional development services based on the individual or group of individuals' needs that are identified through the evaluation process; [(8)] (H) the creation of individual teacher improvement and remediation plans for teachers whose performance is developing or below standard, designed in consultation with such teacher and his or her exclusive bargaining representative for certified teachers chosen pursuant to section 10-153b, and that [(A)] (i) identify resources, support and other strategies to be provided by the local or regional board of education to address documented deficiencies, [(B)] (ii) indicate a timeline for implementing such resources, support, and other strategies, in the course of the same school year as the plan is issued, and [(C)] (iii) include indicators of success including a summative rating of proficient or better immediately at the conclusion of the improvement and remediation plan; [(9)] (I) opportunities for career development and professional growth; and [(10)] (J) a validation procedure to audit evaluation ratings of exemplary or below standard by the department, or a third-party entity approved by the department, to validate such exemplary or below standard evaluation ratings. [The State Board of Education, following the completion of the teacher evaluation and support pilot program, pursuant to section 10-151f, and the submission of the study of such pilot program, pursuant to section 10-151g, shall validate the guidelines adopted under this subsection.]

(2) On or before July 1, 2013, the State Board of Education shall adopt, in consultation with the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council established pursuant to section 10-151d, as amended by this act, a model teacher evaluation and support program that is consistent with the guidelines adopted pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(d) The State Board of Education may waive the provisions of subdivision (1) of subsection (b) of this section for any local or regional board of education that has developed a teacher evaluation program prior to [the validation of the model teacher evaluation and support program guidelines described in subsection (c) of this section] July 1, 2013, and that the State Board of Education determines is in substantial compliance with such model teacher evaluation and support program guidelines.

(e) Not later than July 1, 2013, the State Board of Education shall adopt, in consultation with the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council, a teacher evaluation and support program implementation plan. Such plan shall permit school districts to phase-in full implementation of teacher evaluation and support programs, adopted pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, during the school years commencing July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014.

Sec. 2. Subsections (a) and (b) of section 10-220a of the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) Each local or regional board of education shall provide an in-service training program for its teachers, administrators and pupil personnel who hold the initial educator, provisional educator or professional educator certificate. Such program shall provide such teachers, administrators and pupil personnel with information on (1) the nature and the relationship of drugs, as defined in subdivision (17) of section 21a-240, and alcohol to health and personality development, and procedures for discouraging their abuse, (2) health and mental health risk reduction education which includes, but need not be limited to, the prevention of risk-taking behavior by children and the relationship of such behavior to substance abuse, pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV-infection and AIDS, as defined in section 19a-581, violence, teen dating violence, domestic violence, child abuse and youth suicide, (3) the growth and development of exceptional children, including handicapped and gifted and talented children and children who may require special education, including, but not limited to, children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or learning disabilities, and methods for identifying, planning for and working effectively with special needs children in a regular classroom, including, but not limited to, implementation of student individualized education programs, (4) school violence prevention, conflict resolution, the prevention of and response to youth suicide and the identification and prevention of and response to bullying, as defined in subsection (a) of section 10-222d, except that those boards of education that implement any evidence-based model approach that is approved by the Department of Education and is consistent with subsection (d) of section 10-145a, subsection (a) of section 10-220a, as amended by this act, sections 10-222d, 10-222g and 10-222h, subsection (g) of section 10-233c and sections 1 and 3 of public act 08-160, shall not be required to provide in-service training on the identification and prevention of and response to bullying, (5) cardiopulmonary resuscitation and other emergency life saving procedures, (6) computer and other information technology as applied to student learning and classroom instruction, communications and data management, (7) the teaching of the language arts, reading and reading readiness for teachers in grades kindergarten to three, inclusive, (8) second language acquisition in districts required to provide a program of bilingual education pursuant to section 10-17f, (9) the requirements and obligations of a mandated reporter. Each local and regional board of education may allow any paraprofessional or noncertified employee to participate, on a voluntary basis, in any in-service training program provided pursuant to this section, and (10) the teacher evaluation and support program [developed] adopted pursuant to subsection (b) of section 10-151b, as amended by this act. The State Board of Education, within available appropriations and utilizing available materials, shall assist and encourage local and regional boards of education to include: (A) Holocaust and genocide education and awareness; (B) the historical events surrounding the Great Famine in Ireland; (C) African-American history; (D) Puerto Rican history; (E) Native American history; (F) personal financial management; (G) domestic violence and teen dating violence; and (H) topics approved by the state board upon the request of local or regional boards of education as part of in-service training programs pursuant to this subsection.

(b) Not later than a date prescribed by the commissioner, each local and regional board of education shall establish a professional development and evaluation committee consisting of certified employees, and such other school personnel as the board deems appropriate, including representatives of the exclusive bargaining representative for such employees chosen pursuant to subsection (b) of section 10-153. The duties of such committees shall include, but not be limited to, participation in the development of a teacher evaluation and support program for the district, pursuant to section 10-151b, as amended by this act, and the development, evaluation and annual updating of a comprehensive local professional development plan for certified employees of the district. Such plan shall: (1) Be directly related to the educational goals prepared by the local or regional board of education pursuant to subsection (b) of section 10-220, (2) on and after July 1, 2011, be developed with full consideration of the priorities and needs related to student outcomes as determined by the State Board of Education, and (3) provide for the ongoing and systematic assessment and improvement of both teacher evaluation and professional development of the professional staff members of each such board, including personnel management and evaluation training or experience for administrators, shall be related to regular and special student needs and may include provisions concerning career incentives and parent involvement. The State Board of Education shall develop guidelines to assist local and regional boards of education in determining the objectives of the plans and in coordinating staff development activities with student needs and school programs.

Sec. 3. Section 10-151d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) There is established a Performance Evaluation Advisory Council within the Department of Education. Membership of the council shall consist of: (1) The Commissioner of Education and the president of the Board of Regents for Higher Education, or their designees, (2) one representative from each of the following associations, designated by the association, the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, the Connecticut Federation of School Administrators, the Connecticut Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers-Connecticut, and (3) persons selected by the Commissioner of Education who shall include, but not be limited to, teachers, persons with expertise in performance evaluation processes and systems, and any other person the commissioner deems appropriate.

(b) The council shall be responsible for (1) assisting the State Board of Education in the development [and implementation of the] of (A) guidelines for a model teacher evaluation [guidelines] and support program, and (B) a model teacher evaluation and support program, pursuant to subsection (c) of section 10-151b, as amended by this act, [and] (2) the data collection and evaluation support system, pursuant to subsection (c) of section 10-10a, and (3) assisting the State Board of Education in the development of a teacher evaluation and support program implementation plan, pursuant to subsection (e) of section 10-151b, as amended by this act. The council shall meet at least quarterly.

Sec. 4. Subsection (d) of section 10-151 of the general statutes, as amended by section 57 of public act 12-116, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2014):

(d) The contract of employment of a teacher who has attained tenure shall be continued from school year to school year, except that it may be terminated at any time for one or more of the following reasons: (1) Inefficiency, incompetence or ineffectiveness, provided, if a teacher is notified on or after July 1, 2014, that termination is under consideration due to incompetence or ineffectiveness, the determination of incompetence or ineffectiveness is based on evaluation of the teacher using teacher evaluation guidelines established pursuant to section 10-151b, as amended by this act; (2) insubordination against reasonable rules of the board of education; (3) moral misconduct; (4) disability, as shown by competent medical evidence; (5) elimination of the position to which the teacher was appointed or loss of a position to another teacher, if no other position exists to which such teacher may be appointed if qualified, provided such teacher, if qualified, shall be appointed to a position held by a teacher who has not attained tenure, and provided further that determination of the individual contract or contracts of employment to be terminated shall be made in accordance with either (A) a provision for a layoff procedure agreed upon by the board of education and the exclusive employees' representative organization, or (B) in the absence of such agreement, a written policy of the board of education; or (6) other due and sufficient cause. Nothing in this section or in any other section of the general statutes or of any special act shall preclude a board of education from making an agreement with an exclusive bargaining representative which contains a recall provision. Prior to terminating a contract, the superintendent shall give the teacher concerned a written notice that termination of such teacher's contract is under consideration and give such teacher a statement of the reasons for such consideration of termination. Not later than ten calendar days after receipt of written notice by the superintendent that contract termination is under consideration, such teacher may file with the local or regional board of education a written request for a hearing. A board of education may designate a subcommittee of three or more board members to conduct hearings and submit written findings and recommendations to the board for final disposition in the case of teachers whose contracts are terminated. Such hearing shall commence not later than fifteen calendar days after receipt of such request, unless the parties mutually agree to an extension, not to exceed fifteen calendar days (A) before the board of education or a subcommittee of the board, or (B) if indicated in such request or if designated by the board before an impartial hearing officer chosen by the teacher and the superintendent. If the parties are unable to agree upon the choice of a hearing officer not later than five calendar days after the decision to use a hearing officer, the hearing officer shall be selected with the assistance of the American Arbitration Association using its expedited selection process and in accordance with its rules for selection of a neutral arbitrator in grievance arbitration. If the hearing officer is not selected with the assistance of such association after five days, the hearing shall be held before the board of education or a subcommittee of the board. When the reason for termination is incompetence or ineffectiveness, the hearing shall (i) address the question of whether the performance evaluation ratings of the teacher were determined in good faith in accordance with the program [developed] adopted by the local or regional board of education pursuant to section 10-151b, as amended by this act, and were reasonable in light of the evidence presented, and (ii) be limited to twelve total hours of evidence and testimony, with each side allowed not more than six hours to present evidence and testimony except the board, subcommittee of the board or impartial hearing officer may extend the time period for evidence and testimony at the hearing when good cause is shown. Not later than forty-five calendar days after receipt of the request for a hearing, the subcommittee of the board or hearing officer, unless the parties mutually agree to an extension not to exceed fifteen calendar days, shall submit written findings and a recommendation to the board of education as to the disposition of the charges against the teacher and shall send a copy of such findings and recommendation to the teacher. The board of education shall give the teacher concerned its written decision not later than fifteen calendar days of receipt of the written recommendation of the subcommittee or hearing officer. Each party shall share equally the fee of the hearing officer and all other costs incidental to the hearing. If the hearing is before the board of education, the board shall render its decision not later than fifteen calendar days after the close of such hearing and shall send a copy of its decision to the teacher. The hearing shall be public if the teacher so requests or the board, subcommittee or hearing officer so designates. The teacher concerned shall have the right to appear with counsel at the hearing, whether public or private. A copy of a transcript of the proceedings of the hearing shall be furnished by the board of education, upon written request by the teacher within fifteen days after the board's decision, provided the teacher shall assume the cost of any such copy. Nothing herein contained shall deprive a board of education or superintendent of the power to suspend a teacher from duty immediately when serious misconduct is charged without prejudice to the rights of the teacher as otherwise provided in this section.

Sec. 5. Subsection (b) of section 10-148a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(b) Local and regional boards of education shall offer professional development activities to certified employees as part of the plan developed pursuant to subsection (b) of section 10-220a, as amended by this act, or for any individual certified employee. Such professional development activities may be made available by a board of education directly, through a regional educational service center or cooperative arrangement with another board of education or through arrangements with any professional development provider approved by the Commissioner of Education. Such professional development activities shall (1) improve the integration of reading instruction, literacy and numeracy enhancement, and cultural awareness into instructional practice, (2) include strategies to improve English language learner instruction into instructional practice, (3) be determined by each board of education with the advice and assistance of the teachers employed by such board, including representatives of the exclusive bargaining unit for such teachers pursuant to section 10-153b, and on and after July 1, 2012, in full consideration of priorities and needs related to student outcomes as determined by the State Board of Education, (4) use the results and findings of teacher and administrator performance evaluations, conducted pursuant to section 10-151b, as amended by this act, to improve teacher and administrator practice and provide professional growth, and (5) include training in the implementation of student individualized education programs and the communication of individualized education program procedures to parents or guardians of students who require special education and related services for certified employees with an endorsement in special education who hold a position requiring such an endorsement. Professional development completed by superintendents of schools and administrators, as defined in section 10-144e, shall include at least fifteen hours of training in the evaluation and support of teachers under the teacher and administrator evaluation and support program, adopted pursuant to [subdivision (2) of] subsection (b) of section 10-151b, as amended by this act, during each five-year period. The time and location for the provision of such activities shall be in accordance with either an agreement between the board of education and the exclusive bargaining unit pursuant to section 10-153b or, in the absence of such agreement or to the extent such agreement does not provide for the time and location of all such activities, in accordance with a determination by the board of education.

Sec. 6. Subsection (b) of section 10-151f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(b) The teacher evaluation and support pilot program described in subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of this section shall (1) assess and evaluate the implementation of a teacher evaluation and support program [developed] adopted by a local or regional board of education pursuant to subsection (b) of section 10-151b, as amended by this act, that is in compliance with the guidelines for a teacher evaluation and support program adopted pursuant to subsection (c) of section 10-151b, as amended by this act, (2) identify district needs for technical assistance and support in implementing such teacher evaluation and support program, (3) provide training to administrators in how to conduct performance evaluations under the teacher evaluation and support program, (4) provide orientation to teachers being evaluated under the teacher evaluation and support program, (5) include a validation process for performance evaluations to be conducted by the Department of Education, or the department's designee, and (6) provide funding for the administration of the teacher evaluation and support program developed by the local or regional board of education.

Sec. 7. Subsection (b) of section 10-151g of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(b) Upon completion of such study, but not later than January 1, 2014, the Neag School of Education at The University of Connecticut shall [(1)] submit such study to (1) the State Board of Education, [such study and any recommendation concerning validation of the teacher evaluation and support program guidelines adopted by the State Board of Education pursuant to subsection (c) of section 10-151b, and (2) submit such study to] and (2) the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a.

Sec. 8. Section 10-151h of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

[Prior to the implementation of] For the school year commencing July 1, 2013, prior to any evaluation conducted under the teacher evaluation and support program [developed] adopted pursuant to subsection (b) of section 10-151b, as amended by this act, [but not later than July 1, 2014,] each local and regional board of education shall conduct training programs for all evaluators and orientation for all teachers employed by such board relating to the provisions of such teacher evaluation and support program [developed] adopted by such board of education. Such training shall provide instruction to evaluators in how to conduct proper performance evaluations prior to conducting an evaluation under the teacher evaluation and support program. Such orientation shall be completed by each teacher before a teacher receives an evaluation under the teacher evaluation and support program. For purposes of this section, the term "teacher" shall include each professional employee of a board of education, below the rank of superintendent, who holds a certificate or permit issued by the State Board of Education.

Sec. 9. Section 10-151i of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

On July 1, 2014, and annually thereafter, the Commissioner of Education shall randomly select, within available appropriations, at least ten teacher evaluation and support programs [developed] adopted pursuant to section 10-151b, as amended by this act, to be subject to a comprehensive audit conducted by the Department of Education. The department shall submit the results of such audits to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a.

Sec. 10. Subsections (c) and (d) of section 10-66ee of the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2013):

(c) (1) For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, and each fiscal year thereafter, the State Board of Education may approve, within available appropriations, a per student grant to a local charter school described in subsection (b) of section 10-66nn in an amount not to exceed three thousand dollars for each student enrolled in such local charter school, provided the local or regional board of education for such local charter school and the representatives of the exclusive bargaining unit for certified employees, chosen pursuant to section 10-153b, mutually agree on staffing flexibility in such local charter school, and such agreement is approved by the State Board of Education. For the purposes of equalization aid grants pursuant to section 10-262h, the state shall make such payments, in accordance with this subsection, to the town in which a local charter school is located as follows: Twenty-five per cent of the amount not later than July fifteenth and September first based on estimated student enrollment on May first, and twenty-five per cent of the amount not later than January first and the remaining amount not later than April [fifteenth] first, each based on student enrollment on October first.

(2) The town shall pay to the fiscal authority for a local charter school the portion of the amount paid to the town pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection attributable for students enrolled in such local charter school. Such payments shall be made as follows: Twenty-five per cent of the amount not later than July twentieth and September fifteenth and twenty-five per cent of the amount not later than January fifteenth and the remaining amount not later than April fifteenth.

(d) (1) For the purposes of equalization aid grants pursuant to section 10-262h, the state shall pay in accordance with this subsection, to the town in which a state charter school is located for each student enrolled in such school, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, ten thousand two hundred dollars, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, eleven thousand dollars, and for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015, and each fiscal year thereafter, eleven thousand five hundred dollars. Such payments shall be made as follows: Twenty-five per cent of the amount not later than July fifteenth and September first based on estimated student enrollment on May first, and twenty-five per cent of the amount not later than January first and the remaining amount not later than April [fifteenth] first, each based on student enrollment on October first. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subdivision, the payment of the remaining amount made not later than April 15, 2013, shall be within available appropriations and may be adjusted for each student on a pro rata basis.

(2) The town shall pay to the fiscal authority for a state charter school the portion of the amount paid to the town pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection attributable for students enrolled in such state charter school. Such payments shall be made as follows: Twenty-five per cent of the amount not later than July twentieth and September fifteenth and twenty-five per cent of the amount not later than January fifteenth and the remaining amount not later than April fifteenth.

(3) In the case of a student identified as requiring special education, the school district in which the student resides shall: (A) Hold the planning and placement team meeting for such student and shall invite representatives from the charter school to participate in such meeting; and (B) pay the state charter school, on a quarterly basis, an amount equal to the difference between the reasonable cost of educating such student and the sum of the amount received by the state charter school for such student pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection and amounts received from other state, federal, local or private sources calculated on a per pupil basis. Such school district shall be eligible for reimbursement pursuant to section 10-76g. The charter school a student requiring special education attends shall be responsible for ensuring that such student receives the services mandated by the student's individualized education program whether such services are provided by the charter school or by the school district in which the student resides.

Sec. 11. Subsection (b) of section 10-76kk of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2013):

(b) The Department of Education shall study the plans and strategies used by a local or regional board of education that demonstrate improvement in the reduction of the misidentification of minority students requiring special education under this section. Such study shall examine the [correlation] association between improvements in teacher training in the science of reading and the reduction in misidentification of students requiring special education services.

Sec. 12. Subsection (a) of section 10-14t of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2013):

(a) On or before January 1, [2013] 2014, the Department of Education shall develop or approve reading assessments for use by local and regional boards of education for the school year commencing July 1, [2013] 2014, and each school year thereafter, to identify students in kindergarten to grade three, inclusive, who are below proficiency in reading, provided any reading assessments developed or approved by the department include frequent screening and progress monitoring of students. Such reading assessments shall (1) measure phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension, (2) provide opportunities for periodic formative assessment during the school year, (3) produce data that is useful for informing individual and classroom instruction, including the grouping of students based on such data and the selection of instructional activities based on data of individual student response patterns during such progress monitoring, and (4) be compatible with best practices in reading instruction and research.

Sec. 13. Section 10-14u of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2013):

(a) As used in this section:

(1) "Achievement gap" means the existence of a significant disparity in the academic performance of students among and between (A) racial groups, (B) ethnic groups, (C) socioeconomic groups, (D) genders, and (E) English language learners and students whose primary language is English.

(2) "Scientifically-based reading research and instruction" means (A) a comprehensive program or a collection of instructional practices that is based on reliable, valid evidence showing that when such programs or practices are used, students can be expected to achieve satisfactory reading progress, and (B) the integration of instructional strategies for continuously assessing, evaluating and communicating the student's reading progress and needs in order to design and implement ongoing interventions so that students of all ages and proficiency levels can read and comprehend text and apply higher level thinking skills. Such comprehensive program or collection of practices shall include, but not be limited to, instruction in five areas of reading: Phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension.

(b) For the school year commencing July 1, [2012] 2014, and each school year thereafter, the Commissioner of Education shall create an intensive reading instruction program to improve student literacy in grades kindergarten to grade three, inclusive, and close the achievement gap. Such intensive reading instruction program shall include routine reading assessments for students in kindergarten to grade three, inclusive, scientifically-based reading research and instruction, an intensive reading intervention strategy, as described in subsection (c) of this section, supplemental reading instruction and reading remediation plans, as described in subsection (d) of this section, and an intensive summer school reading program, as described in subsection (e) of this section. For the school year commencing July 1, [2012] 2014, the commissioner shall select five elementary schools that are (1) located in an educational reform district, as defined in section 10-262u, (2) participating in the commissioner's network of schools, pursuant to section 10-223h, or (3) among the lowest five per cent of elementary schools in school subject performance indices for reading and mathematics, as defined in section 10-223e, to participate in the intensive reading instruction program and for the school year commencing July 1, [2013] 2015, and each school year thereafter, the commissioner may select up to five additional such elementary schools to participate in the intensive reading instruction program.

(c) On or before July 1, [2012] 2014, the Department of Education shall develop an intensive reading intervention strategy for use by schools selected by the Commissioner of Education to participate in the intensive reading instruction program to address the achievement gap at such schools and to ensure that all students are reading proficiently by grade three in such schools. Such intensive reading intervention strategy for schools shall (1) include, but not be limited to, (A) rigorous assessments in reading skills, (B) scientifically-based reading research and instruction, (C) one external literacy coach for each school, to be funded by the department, who will work with the reading data collected, support the principal of the school as needed, observe, and coach classes and supervise the reading interventions, (D) four reading interventionists for each school, to be funded by the department, who will develop a reading remediation plan for any student who is reading below proficiency, be responsible for all supplemental reading instruction, and conduct reading assessments as needed, and (E) training for teachers and administrators in scientifically-based reading research and instruction, including, training for school administrators on how to assess a classroom to ensure that all children are proficient in reading by grade three, and (2) outline, at a minimum, how (A) reading data will be collected, analyzed and used for purposes of instructional development, (B) professional and leadership development will be related to reading data analysis and used to support individual teacher and classroom needs, (C) the selected schools will communicate with parents and guardians of students on reading instruction strategies and student reading performance goals, and on opportunities for parents and guardians to partner with teachers and school administrators to improve reading at home and at school, (D) teachers and school leaders will be trained in the science of teaching reading, (E) periodic student progress reports will be issued, and (F) such selected school intensive reading intervention strategy will be monitored at the classroom level. The commissioner shall review and evaluate the school intensive reading intervention strategy for model components that may be used and replicated in other schools and school districts to ensure that all children are proficient in reading by grade three.

(d) (1) For the school year commencing July 1, [2012] 2014, and each school year thereafter, each school selected by the Commissioner of Education to participate in the intensive reading instruction program under this section shall provide supplemental reading instruction to students in kindergarten to grade three, inclusive, who are reading below proficiency, as identified by the reading assessment described in section 10-14t. Such supplemental reading instruction shall be provided by a reading interventionist during regular school hours.

(2) A reading remediation plan shall be developed by a reading interventionist for each student in kindergarten to grade three, inclusive, who has been identified as reading below proficiency to address and correct the reading deficiency of such student. Such remediation plan shall include instructional strategies that utilize research based reading instruction materials and teachers trained in reading instruction, parental involvement in the implementation of the remediation plan and regular progress reports on such student.

(3) The principal of a school selected by the Commissioner of Education to participate in the intensive reading instruction program under this section shall notify the parent or guardian of any student in kindergarten to grade three, inclusive, who has been identified as being below proficiency in reading. Such notice shall be in writing and include, (A) an explanation of why such student is below proficiency in reading, and (B) inform such parent or guardian that a remediation plan, as described in subdivision (2) of this subsection, will be developed for such student to provide supplemental reading instruction, including strategies for the parent or guardian to use at home with such student.

(e) (1) Any student enrolled in a school selected by the Commissioner of Education that is located in a priority school district, pursuant to section 10-266p, to participate in the intensive reading instruction program under this section and who is reading below proficiency at the end of the school year shall be enrolled in an intensive summer school reading instruction program. Such intensive summer school reading instruction program shall include, (A) a comprehensive reading intervention program, (B) scientifically-based reading research and instruction strategies and interventions, (C) diagnostic assessments administered to a student prior to or during an intensive summer school reading instruction program to determine such student's particularized need for instruction, (D) teachers who are trained in the teaching of reading and reading assessment and intervention, and (E) weekly progress monitoring to assess the reading progress of such student and tailor instruction for such student.

(2) The principal of a school selected by the Commissioner of Education to participate in the intensive reading instruction program under this section shall submit reports to the Department of Education, at such time and in such manner as prescribed by the department, on (A) student reading progress for each student reading below proficiency based on the data collected from the screening and progress monitoring of such student using the reading assessments described in section 10-14t, and (B) the specific reading interventions and supports implemented.

(f) Not later than October 1, [2013] 2015, and annually thereafter, the department shall report to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, on student reading levels in schools participating in the intensive reading instruction program. Such report shall include recommendations on model components of the school intensive reading intervention strategy that may be used and replicated in other schools and school districts.

Sec. 14. Section 10-145r of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2013):

For the school year commencing July 1, 2014, and each school year thereafter, [the] each local or regional board of education [for all certified employees who hold] that employs a certified individual who holds an initial, provisional or professional educator certificate with an early childhood nursery through grade three or an elementary endorsement [and are employed] in a position requiring such an endorsement in kindergarten to grade three, inclusive, shall require [all such certified employees to take the practice version of] each such employee to take a survey on reading instruction, developed by the Department of Education and based on the reading instruction examination approved by the State Board of Education on April 1, 2009. [Each local and regional board of education shall annually report the results of such practice examination to the Department of Education.] Such survey shall protect the anonymity of each such employee, except for the use in developing professional development plans for the individual employee and the school, and be administered at no financial cost to such employee. The results of such survey shall be aggregated at the grade, school and district level and used in the provision of professional development in scientifically-based reading research and instruction, pursuant to section 10-148b. Such results shall not be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, as defined in section 1-200.

Sec. 15. Section 10-14v of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2013):

On or before [July 1, 2013] January 1, 2014, the Department of Education shall develop a coordinated state-wide reading plan for students in kindergarten to grade three, inclusive, that contains strategies and frameworks that are research-driven to produce effective reading instruction and improvement in student performance. Such plan shall include: (1) The alignment of reading standards, instruction and assessments for students in kindergarten to grade three, inclusive; (2) teachers' use of data on the progress of all students to adjust and differentiate instructional practices to improve student reading success; (3) the collection of information concerning each student's reading background, level and progress so that teachers can use such information to assist in the transition of a student's promotion to the next grade level; (4) an intervention for each student who is not making adequate progress in reading to help such student read at the appropriate grade level; (5) enhanced reading instruction for students who are reading at or above their grade level; (6) the coordination of reading instruction activities between parents, students, teachers and administrators of the school district at home and in school; (7) school district reading plans; (8) parental involvement by providing parents and guardians of students with opportunities for partnering with teachers and school administrators to (A) create an optimal learning environment, and (B) receive updates on the reading progress of their student; (9) teacher training and reading performance tests aligned with teacher preparation courses and professional development activities; (10) incentives for schools that have demonstrated significant improvement in student reading; (11) research-based literacy training for early childhood care and education providers and instructors working with children birth to five years of age, inclusive, and transition plans relating to oral language and preliteracy proficiency for children between prekindergarten and kindergarten; and (12) the alignment of reading instruction with the common core state standards adopted by the State Board of Education.

Sec. 16. Subsection (f) of section 10-145d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(f) An endorsement issued prior to July 1, 2013, to teach elementary education grades one to six, inclusive, shall be valid for grades kindergarten to six, inclusive, and for such an endorsement issued on or after July 1, 2013, the endorsement shall be valid for grades one to six, inclusive, except such an endorsement issued between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2017, to any student who was admitted to a teacher preparation program, as defined in section 10-10a, in the certification endorsement area of elementary education on or before the start of the fall semester of 2012, and successfully completes such program, shall be valid for grades kindergarten to six, inclusive. An endorsement to teach comprehensive special education grades one to twelve, inclusive, shall be valid for grades kindergarten to twelve, inclusive, provided, on and after [July] September 1, 2013, any [certified employee with such] applicant for an initial educator certificate and a comprehensive special education endorsement [achieves] shall achieve a satisfactory score on the reading instruction examination approved by the State Board of Education on April 1, 2009.

Sec. 17. Subsection (i) of section 10-145d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(i) On and after [July] September 1, 2013, any [certified employee with] applicant for an initial educator certificate and a remedial reading, [and] remedial language arts or reading consultant endorsement shall achieve a satisfactory score on the reading instruction examination approved by the State Board of Education on April 1, 2009.

Sec. 18. Subsection (a) of section 10-223h of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) The Commissioner of Education shall establish a commissioner's network of schools to improve student academic achievement in low-performing schools. On or before July 1, 2014, the commissioner may select not more than twenty-five schools that have been classified as a category four school or a category five school pursuant to section 10-223e to participate in the commissioner's network of schools. The commissioner shall issue guidelines regarding the development of turnaround plans, and such guidelines shall include, but not be limited to, annual deadlines for the submission or nonsubmission of a turnaround plan and annual deadlines for approval or rejection of turnaround plans. The commissioner shall give preference for selection in the commissioner's network of schools to such schools (1) that volunteer to participate in the commissioner's network of schools, provided the local or regional board of education for such school and the representatives of the exclusive bargaining unit for certified employees chosen pursuant to section 10-153b mutually agree to participate in the commissioner's network of schools, [or] (2) in which an existing collective bargaining agreement between the local or regional board of education for such school and the representatives of the exclusive bargaining unit for certified employees chosen pursuant to section 10-153b will have expired for the school year in which a turnaround plan will be implemented, or (3) that are located in school districts that (A) have experience in school turnaround reform, or (B) previously received a school improvement grant pursuant to Section 1003(g) of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, 20 USC 6301 et seq. The commissioner shall not select more than two schools from a single school district in a single school year and shall not select more than four schools in total from a single district. Each school so selected shall begin implementation of a turnaround plan, as described in subsection (d) of this section, not later than the school year commencing July 1, 2014. Each school so selected shall participate in the commissioner's network of schools for three school years, and may continue such participation for an additional year, not to exceed two additional years, upon approval from the State Board of Education in accordance with the provisions of subsection (h) of this section. The commissioner shall provide funding, technical assistance and operational support to schools participating in the commissioner's network of schools and may provide financial support to teachers and administrators working at a school that is participating in the commissioner's network of schools. All costs attributable to developing and implementing a turnaround plan in excess of the ordinary operating expenses for such school shall be paid by the State Board of Education.

Sec. 19. Subsection (d) of section 10-262u of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2013):

(d) The local or regional board of education for a town designated as an alliance district may apply to the Commissioner of Education, at such time and in such manner as the commissioner prescribes, to receive any increase in funds received over the amount the town received for the prior fiscal year pursuant to section 10-262h. Applications pursuant to this subsection shall include objectives and performance targets and a plan that may include, but not be limited to, the following: (1) A tiered system of interventions for the schools under the jurisdiction of such board based on the needs of such schools, (2) ways to strengthen the foundational programs in reading, through the intensive reading instruction program pursuant to section 10-14u, as amended by this act, to ensure reading mastery in kindergarten to grade three, inclusive, with a focus on standards and instruction, proper use of data, intervention strategies, current information for teachers, parental engagement, and teacher professional development, (3) additional learning time, including extended school day or school year programming administered by school personnel or external partners, (4) a talent strategy that includes, but is not limited to, teacher and school leader recruitment and assignment, career ladder policies that draw upon guidelines for a model teacher evaluation program adopted by the State Board of Education, pursuant to section 10-151b, and adopted by each local or regional board of education. Such talent strategy may include provisions that demonstrate increased ability to attract, retain, promote and bolster the performance of staff in accordance with performance evaluation findings and, in the case of new personnel, other indicators of effectiveness, (5) training for school leaders and other staff on new teacher evaluation models, (6) provisions for the cooperation and coordination with early childhood education providers to ensure alignment with district expectations for student entry into kindergarten, including funding for an existing local Head Start program, (7) provisions for the cooperation and coordination with other governmental and community programs to ensure that students receive adequate support and wraparound services, including community school models, and (8) any additional categories or goals as determined by the commissioner. Such plan shall demonstrate collaboration with key stakeholders, as identified by the commissioner, with the goal of achieving efficiencies and the alignment of intent and practice of current programs with conditional programs identified in this subsection. The commissioner may require changes in any plan submitted by a local or regional board of education before the commissioner approves an application under this subsection.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

from passage

10-151b

Sec. 2

from passage

10-220a(a) and (b)

Sec. 3

from passage

10-151d

Sec. 4

July 1, 2014

10-151(d)

Sec. 5

from passage

10-148a(b)

Sec. 6

from passage

10-151f(b)

Sec. 7

from passage

10-151g(b)

Sec. 8

from passage

10-151h

Sec. 9

from passage

10-151i

Sec. 10

July 1, 2013

10-66ee(c) and (d)

Sec. 11

July 1, 2013

10-76kk(b)

Sec. 12

July 1, 2013

10-14t(a)

Sec. 13

July 1, 2013

10-14u

Sec. 14

July 1, 2013

10-145r

Sec. 15

July 1, 2013

10-14v

Sec. 16

from passage

10-145d(f)

Sec. 17

from passage

10-145d(i)

Sec. 18

from passage

10-223h(a)

Sec. 19

July 1, 2013

10-262u(d)

Statement of Legislative Commissioners:

In section 1, revised language in section 10-151b(e) for clarity. In section 3, replaced "standards" with "plan" in section 10-151d(b)(3) for consistency and accuracy. In section 5, struck the closing bracket after "(b) of" and inserted a closing bracket after "(2) of" for consistency. In section 12, bracketed "2013" and after the closing bracket inserted "2014" in section 10-14t(a) for consistency.

ED

Joint Favorable Subst.