CHAPTER 25

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 3

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE STATE HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA REQUIREMENTS .

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

WHEREAS, the Governor, the General Assembly, the State Department of Education, parents, teachers, students, and many other interested parties are continuing an ongoing review of the requirements for graduating from a public high school in the State; and

WHEREAS, several proposals have been made to alter or eliminate the State’s three tiered diploma system; and

WHEREAS, it has become clear that additional and constructive discussions must be had in order to craft appropriate and effective standards for high school graduation, and a system for implementing them; and

WHEREAS, a number of interested parties have expressed interest in participating in the legislative initiative that will eliminate the three tiered diploma system as it is presently designed and establish a new system in Delaware;

NOW THEREFORE:

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

Section 1. Amend Chapter 1, Title 14 of the Delaware Code, by striking § 152 thereof in its entirety and by substituting in lieu thereof the follows:

Ҥ 152. State high school diploma requirements; certificate of performance.

(a) The Department of Education shall award a ‘State of Delaware High School Diploma’ to a student graduating from a Delaware public high school.

(b) The Department shall award diplomas to students who:

(1) Successfully complete the prescribed course requirements established by the State, or the district, if district credit requirements are higher than those of the State; and

(2) Achieve proficient levels of performance, relative to the State high school content standards, on the assessments administered pursuant to § 151(b) and (c) of this title in conjunction with other academic indicators as defined by Department regulations.

(c) A high school student who fails to achieve a proficient level of performance on the assessments pursuant to this section may retake the assessments each succeeding year they continue in high school. This subsection shall not apply to students taking the alternative assessment pursuant to § 151(g) of this title.

(d) The Department shall issue a Certificate of Performance to a student who has met the requirements of the student’s Individualized Education Program but has not completed the high school graduation course credit requirements established by the State, or the district, if district credit requirements are higher than those of the State.”.

Section 2. Amend § 151(f)(4), Title 14 of the Delaware Code, by striking the phrase “established level of performance required pursuant to § 152(a) and (b) of this title” as it appears therein and by substituting in lieu thereof the phrase “required level of performance pursuant to § 152(b) of this title”.

Section 3. The Department of Education, with the concurrence of the State Board of Education, shall establish by regulation the proficiency levels of performance relative to the State high school content standards on the assessments administered pursuant to 14 Del. C. § 151(b) and (c), as well as the use of other academic indicators and their corresponding proficiency levels for receiving a State of Delaware High School Diploma pursuant to this Act. For the purposes of this Act ‘other academic indicators’ shall include, but shall not be limited to, assessments such as the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT), the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), Advanced Placement test scores, American College Test (ACT), local district assessments and indicators used to determine student proficiency relative to the content standards, and other assessments approved at the State level in a content area.

Section 4. A student receiving a State of Delaware High School Diploma in 2004 or 2005 may request that his or her district or charter school re-evaluate the award based on any adjustment or addition of other academic indicators for the award of a Distinguished Achievement Diploma. If it is determined the student qualifies for a Distinguished Achievement Diploma under the standards in place at the time of his or her request, the Department shall retroactively award such diploma.

Section 5. Notwithstanding the provisions of this Act, 14 Del. C. § 152, or any other statute or regulation to the contrary, for students who graduate from any Delaware public high school during the 2006-2007 school year, the Department of Education shall award either a “State of Delaware High School Diploma” or a “State of Delaware Distinguished Achievement Diploma” utilizing the rules and regulations governing the issuance of diplomas for the 2005-2006 school year.

Section 6. It is the purpose and intent of the General Assembly of the State of Delaware in enacting this Act to continue and encourage the ongoing discussions relating to Delaware high school graduation requirements and to guide the progress of change to ensure the establishment of more effective and appropriate measures of student performance and standards for high school graduation. It is further the desire of the General Assembly to offer a forum for that continued discussion to interested parties who have or will come forward with their concerns and contributions.

Section 7. Sections 1, 2, and 3 of this Act shall become effective on January 1, 2008. Sections 4, 5, 6, and 7 of this Act shall become effective upon the enactment of this Act into law. Notwithstanding the effective date of this Act, the Department of Education, with the concurrence of the State Board of Education, shall promulgate rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this Act no later than August 31, 2007.

Approved May 17, 2005