CHAPTER 304

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 845

AS AMENDED BY

HOUSE AMENDMENT NOS. 4 AND 5

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 1, TITLE 14, DELAWARE CODE, BY PROVIDING FOR A STATEWIDE EDUCATIONAL TESTING PROGRAM IN THE PUBLIC ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS AND MAKING A SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS THEREFOR.

WHEREAS, the State Legislature presently provides approximately sixty-eight (68) percent of the educational costs for public elementary and secondary schools; and

WHEREAS, the State Legislature has need of objective data on which to base decisions concerning the financing of public education; and

WHEREAS, legislators, parents and taxpayers should annually be kept informed of the educational status of our public schools; and

WHEREAS, the Governor's Commission on the Future of Education in Delaware in the report of January, 1978, has recommended that a statewide testing program be conducted for all grades; and

WHEREAS, the State Board of Education has initiated planning for establishing a performance-based educational program; and

WHEREAS, the current (1977-78) statewide testing program of the State Board of Education is limited to three grade levels; and

WHEREAS, local school district teachers and administrators require testing information to assist them in providing relevant and effective educational programs for Delaware pupils.

NOW, THEREFORE:

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Delaware Code, Title 14, §122(b), by adding a new paragraph (17) as follows:

"(17) To establish and maintain, with consultation from representatives of local districts, an annual statewide educational testing program to assess progress toward meeting the Educational Goals and Objectives of Delaware public elementary and secondary schools. Such testing shall include,

but need not be limited to, annually administered, nationally normed, standardized achievement tests for all regular pupils in Grades 1 through 8, and grade 11, in such basic skill competency areas as reading, language arts and mathematics. The educational testing program shall begin in the Fall of 1978 and be conducted annually on a statewide basis for a period of at least ten years. Tests are to be selected, administered, and analyzed with results presented in such a way as to insure that comparisons can be made from year to year without use of procedures for handicapping, weighting, or adjusting.

Composite results of the statewide testing program administered under Che provisions of this section shall be presented to the Delaware General Assembly by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction on or before December 31 each year. Reports will include, but need not be limited to, test results categorized by school, district and statewide levels; results will also be presented by grade level tested, together with applicable interpretive information as determined essential by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The State Superintendent's report shall also contain a narrative report from each school district regarding the analysis of local district scores and district plans to remedy weaknesses identified.

A reporting system shall be provided so that the parents of each child will receive written indication of the child's achievement scores in the tests administered."

Section 2. Beginning with the State budget for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1980, the State Board of Education shall annually include in its budget an amount appropriate for the support of the contracted services, materials and the supervisor and specialist necessary to carry out the testing program herein described.

Section 3. The provisions of this Act shall become effective on July 1, 1978.

Approved June 5, 1978.