House of Representatives

HB 2731

high schools; graduation; board examinations

Sponsors: Representatives Crandall, Ash, Court, et al.

 

dPA

Committee on Education

DPA

Caucus and COW

X

As Transmitted to the Governor

HB 2731 creates the Grand Canyon Diploma and enables high school students to choose different pathways to education.

Provisions

Grand Canyon Diploma

          Establishes the Grand Canyon Diploma (GCD) as a high school diploma that is offered to any student who demonstrates readiness for college level mathematics and English according to standards prescribed by an interstate compact on board examination systems and who has passing grades on a set of required core courses as determined by the State Board of Education (SBE), including the arts, history and science, and who successfully completes a course in economics.

          States that the Legislature declares and finds that:

        It is in the interest of Arizona to greatly increase the proportion of students who enter high school and who subsequently leave those high schools with the skills needed to compete effectively in a global economy that provides world class wages only to workers with world class skills.

        It is the interest of students in Arizona, their families, and schools to provide a college and work readiness assessment to students.

        The purpose of this act is to greatly increase the proportion of students in Arizona who leave high school with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in college in a way that does not significantly increase the cost of high school.

          Allows school districts and charter schools in Arizona to choose to offer a GCD beginning in the 2012-2013 school year.

          Allows a high school student who is enrolled in a school district or charter school that offers a GCD to choose to pursue a GCD.

          States that the GCD may be awarded at the end of grade 10 or during or at the end of grade eleven or twelve to students who meet the criteria.

          Specifies that students who elect to pursue a GCD must participate in a board examination system that consists of internationally benchmarked instructional programs of study chosen by an interstate compact on board examination systems.

          Students who earn a GCD must have multiple pathways available to them and may:

 

Track 1

        Enroll the following fall semester in a community college under the jurisdiction of a community college district in Arizona.

        Requires community colleges to admit students who obtain a GCD and who otherwise meet the qualifications for admission without requiring those students to enroll in remedial courses.

        Requires the school district or charter school from which the student earned the GCD to include that student in the school district or charter schools student count and must continue to receive per pupil funding for a student who earns a GCD until that student would otherwise have graduated at the end of grade twelve, as long as that student is enrolled in approved postsecondary studies at that school district or charter school.

        Stipulates that the school district or charter school must reimburse the community college district for the amount of operating full-time student equivalency monies that the community college district would be entitled to receive if the student was enrolled as a full-time equivalent student in a community college district.

        Stipulates that, if the student attends community college on a community college campus, the school district or charter school must reimburse the community college district for the amount of operating and capital outlay full-time student equivalency monies that are equivalent to the average appropriation per full-time student equivalent as calculated pursuant to statute related to state aid eligibility for community colleges.

        Specifies that 50% of the remaining balance of the per pupil funding must be used for teacher and pupil incentives, including scholarship programs and 50% must be used for maintenance and operations, including capital.

        Specifies that the remaining balance of the per pupil funding for teacher and pupil incentives, including scholarship programs, must be used to offset the costs of board examinations and to provide customized programs of assistance for students who do not pass the board examinations.

        Allows a student who earns a GCD to enroll in community college courses offered on a community college campus, high school campus, or both.

        States that community college districts cannot classify a student who remains in high school after graduating with a GCD as a full-time equivalent student, notwithstanding any other law.

        Stipulates that students who take courses on high school campuses must be eligible to participate in extracurricular activities, including interscholastic sports, through the end of grade twelve.

        Stipulates that the expenditure by community college districts of payments from the school district or charter school to the community colleges pursuant to this section can not be included under the district expenditure limitation prescribed by the Arizona Constitution.

Track 2

        Remain in high school and enroll in additional advanced preparation board examination programs that are designed to prepare those students for admission to high quality postsecondary institutions that offer baccalaureate degree programs and requires these board examination programs to be selected from a list approved by an interstate compact for board examination systems.

        Stipulates that the school district or charter school from which the student earned the GCD must include that student in their student counts and will continue to receive per pupil funding for a student that has earned a GCD until that student would have otherwise graduated at the end of grade 12 as long as that student is enrolled in approved preparation board examination programs at that school or charter school.

        Stipulates that students who take courses on high school campuses must be eligible to participate in extracurricular activities, including interscholastic sports, through the end of grade 12.

Track 3

        Enroll in a full-time career and technical education program offered on a community college campus, a high school campus, a joint technical education district (JTED) campus, or any combination of these campuses.

        States that students who elect to remain in high school must be eligible to participate in extracurricular activities, including interscholastic sports, through the end of grade twelve.

        Stipulates that the school district or charter school from which the student earned the GCD must include that student in their student counts and will continue to receive per pupil funding for a student that has earned a GCD until that student would have otherwise graduated at the end of the grade 12 as long as that student is enrolled in an approved full-time career and technical education program.

        Stipulates that if the instruction provided under this track is provided by a JTED, the ADM for that pupil must be 1.25 notwithstanding any other law.

 

Track 4

        Return to a traditional academic program without completing the next level of board examination systems curriculum.

          Specifies that students who pursue but do not earn a GCD at the end of grade ten or eleven must receive a customized program of assistance during the next school year that addresses areas in which the student demonstrated deficiencies in the approved board examinations and allows these students to retake the board examinations at the next available examination administration or choose to return to a traditional academic program without completing the board examination system curriculum.

          Requires the State Board of Charter Schools to modify previously approved curriculum requirements for charter schools that wish to participate in the board examination system.

          Allows a school district governing board or the governing body of a charter school to contract with the private organization that is approved by the SBE to provide approved board examination systems for the school or charter school.

          States that if a charter school or school district decides not to participate in the board examination system, pupils enrolled at that charter school or school can earn a GCD by obtaining a passing score on the same board examinations.

          Requires the SBE to determine appropriate modifications to the criteria used to calculate achievement profiles for schools that participate in the board examination system.

          States that for the purposes of satisfying graduation requirements, a score as determined by the SBE on a board examination may be substituted for passing scores on the Arizonas Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) test if a pupil who is in grade twelve has previously taken the board examination and has not achieved the minimum scored required to earn a GCD.

          Exempts pupils who earn a GCD from the graduation requirements, including the requirement that a pupil obtain passing scores on the AIMS test in order to graduate from high school.

          Stipulates that pupils who earn a GCD are entitled to all the rights and privileges of persons who graduate with a high school diploma, including access to postsecondary scholarships and other forms of student financial aid and access to all forms of postsecondary education.

          Allows a pupil who earns a GCD to remain in high school through grade twelve.

          Specifies that a pupil who earns a GCD and who elects not to pursue one of the options prescribed in this act may only be readmitted to that high school or another high school in Arizona pursuant to policies adopted by the school district of readmission.

Private Organization to Operate and Administer the Board Examination System

          Requires the SBE to select and enter into a five-year agreement with a private organization to operate and administer the board examination system prescribed in this act.

          Requires the private organization selected by the SBE to do the following:

        Identify, select, and contract with a national organization that is devoted to issues concerning education and the economy and that is selected by the SBE to provide technical services to develop and maintain an interstate system of approved board examination systems.

        Provide data and other information to a national organization that is selected by the SBE to provide the technical services that the national organization deems necessary to set appropriate performance standards for the students in Arizona and requires ADE to provide data and other information to the private organization.

        Conduct technical studies required by the SBE to compare the scores on approved board examinations by the students in Arizona to scores on the AIMS test and other measures deemed necessary to ensure the efficacy of the approved board examinations and allows the private organization to contract with other entities that are selected by the SBE for the purpose of conducting technical studies.

        Solicit monies, in cooperation with the Superintendent and the SBE, from all lawful private and public sources, including federal monies, to offset the costs of instruction provided to students under this act.

        Exercise general supervision over the implementation of the approved board examination systems in Arizona for the duration of the five-year contract.

          Requires the board examination systems to meet the following criteria:

        Appear on a list of approved board examination systems selected by the interstate compact.

        Be periodically modified to reflect core standards selected by an interstate compact on board examination systems.

        Have common passing scores that are prescribed by an interstate compact on board examination systems and that are set to the level of literacy required to succeed in college-level courses offered by community colleges in Arizona that count toward a degree or certificate without taking remedial or developmental coursework.

        Designate, in consultation with the SBE and with representatives from school districts, charter schools, community colleges, and universities in Arizona, two individuals to represent Arizona in an interstate compact on board examination systems to prescribe the common passing scores.

        Prepare an annual report to the SBE, which must be forwarded to the Legislature and the Governor, on progress made toward the goals established in this act and provide copies to the Secretary of State, and requires schools and the ADE to provide data to the private organization as needed in ordered to complete the annual report.

        Identify, select, and represent Arizona on the national governing body of an interstate compact on board examination systems as approved by the SBE to enable states to collaborate in the following areas:

        The selection of board examination systems for use in those states.

        Providing technical assistance required to implement the board examination systems effectively in those states for the use of those examinations.

        Entering into contract with board examination system providers or with the national organization to develop new or improved board examination systems.

        Select Arizonas representatives in an interstate compact on board examination systems in accordance with policies prescribed by that interstate compact.

 

          Requires the private organization to develop the GCD as a high school diploma to be approved and adopted by the SBE.

          Requires the private organization to determine detailed requirements for students to earn the GCD, as approved and adopted by the SBE, to include at least the following:

        Demonstrated skills and knowledge in English and mathematical literacy to be successful in college level courses offered by the community colleges in Arizona that count toward a degree or certificate without taking remedial or developmental coursework as determined by an interstate compact on board examination systems.

      Satisfactory grades on approved board examinations in subjects determined to be necessary to prepare a student to enter community college without remedial or developmental coursework and that do not include coursework required exclusively for entry into an institution that awards baccalaureate degrees.

          Stipulates that a student who obtains a GCD is not eligible to participate in the Early Graduation Scholarship Program.

          Prohibits the ADE from transmitting any monies to the Commission for Postsecondary Education on behalf of any student who obtains a GCD.

          Requires the SBE to adopt rules to carry out the purposes of contracting for the board examination systems and requires the SBE to select college and career ready examinations that are available to pupils in grade eight, including those pupils who intend to participate in the board examinations system in high school, and stipulates the examinations must be selected to provide data to pupils, their families, and schools regarding the pupils level of preparation for entry into a college and career ready pathway in high school.

          Requires the ADE pursuant to rules adopted by the SBE to develop a system to track the academic progress of pupils who participate in the board examination system.

          Requires all action taken pursuant to the board examination system to comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended.

 

Definitions

          Defines the following:

        Approved board examination system as a board examination system that has been approved by an interstate compact on board examination systems.

        Board examination system as a complete instructional system that includes all of the following components:

          A coherent group of courses that collectively constitutes a core curriculum at the high school level.

          A comprehensive syllabus for each course.

          Appropriate instructional and teaching materials for each course.

          High quality examinations that are closely aligned with the course syllabus.

          Professional scoring of examinations.

          Teacher education that is designed to train teachers to properly teach those courses.

        Readiness for college level mathematics and English as a student that has the English and mathematics skills and knowledge needed to succeed in college level courses that count toward a degree or certificate without taking remedial or developmental coursework.

          Repeals the Task Force on Assessments to Measure College and Career Readiness.

          Makes technical and conforming changes.

 

 

 

 

 

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Forty-ninth Legislature

Second Regular Session 6 May 3, 2010

 

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