Section 16-6C-2

School grading system.

THIS SECTION WAS AMENDED BY ACT 2022-374 IN THE 2022 REGULAR SESSION, EFFECTIVE APRIL 14, 2022. THIS IS NOT IN THE CURRENT CODE SUPPLEMENT.

(a) In addition to any other labels or designations assigned to public schools and public school districts pursuant to a federal, state, school, district, or other assessment or accountability system, the State Superintendent of Education, consistent with this chapter, shall develop a school grading system reflective of school and district performance. The grading system shall utilize the traditional A, B, C, D, or F framework.

(1) Schools receiving a grade of "A" are making excellent progress.

(2) Schools receiving a grade of "B" are making above average progress.

(3) Schools receiving a grade of "C" are making satisfactory progress.

(4) Schools receiving a grade of "D" are making less than satisfactory progress.

(5) Schools receiving a grade of "F" are failing to make adequate progress.

(b) In developing this school grading system, the State Superintendent of Education shall seek input from parents, teachers, school administrators, existing State Department of Education advisory groups or task forces, and other education stakeholders on how the system can properly reflect not only the overall academic proficiency of each public school but also the academic improvements made by each public school, along with other key performance indicators that give a total profile of the school or the school system, or both.

(c) The State Superintendent of Education shall prescribe the design and content of the school grading system by not later than December 31, 2012. It is the intent of the Legislature that the system be in place by no later than the 2013-2014 school year. The system may not be utilized by the State Superintendent of Education or the State Department of Education until sufficient rules have been adopted by the State Board of Education pursuant to the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act.

(d) Using an easy to understand grading scale, the school grading system shall describe achievement in the state, each district, and each school. Additionally, the State Superintendent of Education shall not be precluded from also assigning grades to school feeder patterns or grades that reflect the fiscal health and fiscal efficiency of a school or school system.

(e) The State Superintendent of Education shall make these grades available to the general public, and shall post these grades on the website of the State Department of Education as soon as the grades are available. Additionally, appropriate grade information shall be delivered to the parent or guardian of each public school student at least once annually in the same manner that student report cards are currently delivered.

(f)(1) Using state-authorized assessments and other key performance indicators that give a total profile of the school or the school system, or both, a school's grade, at a minimum, shall be based on a combination of student achievement scores, achievement gap, college and career readiness, learning gains, and other indicators as determined by the State Superintendent of Education to impact student learning and success.

(2) Commencing with the 2021-2022 school year, the academic achievement of each student identified as an English language learner, who has not shown proficiency on ACCESS for EL, or other state approved English proficiency assessment, may not be considered in assigning an academic achievement grade to a school or school system for the first five years of enrollment of the student. The educational progress of each of these students shall continue to be measured in the academic growth category and the progress in English language proficiency category and, at the end of the five-year period for the student, his or her proficiency shall again be considered in assigning an academic achievement grade to a school or school system on the state A-F school grading system.

(3) The State Superintendent of Education may not amend the state Every Student Succeeds Act option for including test scores of English language learners enrolled in United States schools. The option provides as follows: For the first year of enrollment, the test scores shall be reported, but the results on both the reading/language arts and math tests shall be excluded from the federal accountability system; for the second year of enrollment, a measure of student growth on both tests shall be included in the federal accountability system; and for the third year of enrollment, proficiency on both tests shall be included in the federal accountability system. Additionally, the option requires English language learners who have successfully left the English language learner subgroup by attaining English proficiency to be included in that subgroup for accountability purposes for four years.

(g) The A-F school grading system shall be consistently applied so that grades of one school or system may be compared to the grades of any other school or system.

(Act 2012-402, p. 1098, §2; Act 2022-374, §1.)