House Bill No. 7205
Public Act No. 17-101
AN ACT CONCERNING EARLY LITERACY.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:
Section 1. Section 10-145r of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2017):
For the school year commencing July 1, 2014, and biennially thereafter, the local or regional board of education 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 in a position requiring such an endorsement in kindergarten to grade three, inclusive, shall require each such certified individual to take a survey on reading instruction, developed by the Department of Education that is based on the reading instruction examination approved by the State Board of Education on April 1, 2009, or a comparable reading instruction examination with minimum standards that are equivalent to the examination approved by the State Board of Education on April 1, 2009. The department shall design such survey in a manner that identifies the strengths and weaknesses of such certified individuals in reading instruction practices and knowledge on an individual, school and district level. Such survey shall be administered at no financial cost to such certified individual. [and in a manner that protects the anonymity of such certified individual.] The results of such survey shall be confidential and shall not be included as part of any summative ratings for performance evaluations, conducted pursuant to section 10-151b, and not be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, as defined in section 1-200, [. Such results shall be] except such results shall be (1) distributed to such certified individual and the supervisor of such certified individual who is responsible for designing and facilitating the program of professional development conducted pursuant to section 10-148b for such certified individual, and (2) used for the purpose of improving reading instruction by developing student learning objectives and teacher practice goals that will be included in the professional development conducted pursuant to section 10-148b for such certified individuals.
Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2017) (a) The Department of Education shall, within available appropriations, establish a reading readiness program that provides tiered supports in early literacy to each school district designated as an alliance district, pursuant to section 10-262u of the general statutes, and each school participating in the commissioner's network of schools, pursuant to section 10-223h of the general statutes. The department shall conduct an assessment of the reading readiness of students enrolled in kindergarten to grade three, inclusive, for each such school and school district. Such reading readiness assessment shall consider any combination of the following: (1) Whether such school or school district has developed and is implementing a multiyear plan and allocated resources specifically for early literacy in kindergarten to grade three, inclusive, (2) whether teachers and administrators have received training regarding the science of teaching reading, and the extent to which teachers and administrators have completed the program of professional development in scientifically based reading research and instruction, pursuant to section 10-148b of the general statutes, (3) the level of access to external coaches in literacy, and (4) whether there is reading intervention staff embedded at such school or in the school district.
(b) The department shall identify the early literacy needs of each school and school district described in subsection (a) of this section based on the results of the reading readiness assessment conducted pursuant to said subsection (a), and provide tiered supports in early literacy as follows:
(1) Tier one universal supports shall be provided to each such school district that is an educational reform district, as defined in section 10-262u of the general statutes, and include online professional development modules aligned with the reading instruction survey, as described in section 10-145r of the general statutes, as amended by this act, and other literacy modules and programs available in the state;
(2) Tier two targeted supports shall include (A) a two-year program of literacy leadership training for certain teachers and administrators, (B) targeted professional development, in accordance with the provisions of section 10-148b of the general statutes, using the results of the reading instruction survey, as described in section 10-145r of the general statutes, as amended by this act, and (C) external coaching support using funding received pursuant to section 10-223h or 10-262u of the general statutes; and
(3) Tier three intensive supports shall include multiyear support from the department and a commitment from such school or school district, that includes, but need not be limited to, (A) the use of funding received pursuant to section 10-262u of the general statutes to support an early literacy program for students enrolled in kindergarten to grade three, inclusive, (B) technical support in the drafting and submission of alliance district reading plans, as described in section 10-262u of the general statutes, (C) identifying and embedding dedicated literacy coaches and reading interventionists, (D) targeted and intensive professional development, and (E) funds for assessment and instructional materials.
(c) Any tiered supports in early literacy provided under this section shall be aligned with any turnaround plan, developed pursuant to section 10-223h of the general statutes, or alliance district plan, developed pursuant to section 10-262u of the general statutes, as applicable.
Approved June 30, 2017