2015 Arkansas Code
Title 6 - Education
Subtitle 2 - Elementary And Secondary Education Generally
Chapter 15 - Educational Standards and Quality Generally
Subchapter 4 - Arkansas Comprehensive Testing, Assessment, and Accountability Program Act
§ 6-15-433 - Statewide assessment program.

AR Code § 6-15-433 (2015) What's This?

(a) Upon approval by the State Board of Education or as required by law, the Department of Education shall implement a statewide program of educational assessment that provides information for the improvement of the operation and management of the public schools and tests the requisite knowledge and skills of students.

(b) Pursuant to the statewide assessment program, the department shall:

(1) Determine and designate the appropriate offices within the department which shall report to the state board and shall be responsible for determining each school's improvement and performance levels;

(2) Develop and implement a uniform system of indicators to describe the performance of public school students and the characteristics of the public school districts and the public schools; and

(3) (A) Implement student achievement assessment as part of the statewide assessment program, to be administered annually to measure English language arts and mathematics, and includes:

(i) Developmentally appropriate measurements or assessments for kindergarten through grade two (K-2);

(ii) Either:

(a) Developmentally appropriate assessments in kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12), as determined by the state board and as required by law; or

(b) Other assessments that are based on researched best practices as determined by qualified experts that would be in compliance with federal and state law;

(iii) College and career readiness measurements in English language arts and mathematics as determined by state board rules;

(iv) End-of-course assessments administered for other content course subject areas as determined by state board rule; and

(v) Any other assessments required by the state board.

(B) Science, civics, and government shall be measured on a schedule as determined by the state board.

(c) The testing program shall be designed so that:

(1) (A) (i) The tests measure student skills and competencies adopted by the state board as specified in ยง 6-15-404(a).

(ii) The tests shall measure and report student achievement levels in reading, writing, and mathematics, including longitudinal tracking of the same students, as well as an analysis of value-added computations of student achievement gains against a national cohort.

(B) The department shall provide for the tests to be obtained or developed, as appropriate, through contracts and project agreements;

(2) (A) The testing program, as determined by the state board, shall consist of assessments as defined in subdivision (b)(3)(A)(ii)(b) of this section.

(B) Questions shall require the student to produce information and perform tasks in such a way that the skills and competencies he or she uses can be measured in a statistically reliable and valid manner;

(3) (A) (i) Each testing program, whether at the elementary beginning at grade three (3), middle school, or high school level, shall include to the fullest extent possible a test of writing in which students are required to produce writings that are then scored by appropriate analytic methods that ensure overall test validity and reliability, including inter-rater reliability.

(ii) Writing test results shall be scored and returned for school district and school use no later than July 1 of each year beginning in 2005-2006 and each year thereafter.

(B) For end-of-course exams, the department may extend the July 1 deadline under subdivision (c)(3)(A) of this section to August 1 if the department finds, based on the request for proposals, that:

(i) The cost of administration of the end-of-course exam will be substantially more because of the earlier deadline; or

(ii) The validity of the end-of-course exam results will be compromised because of the earlier deadline;

(4) For each subject area tested, a score shall be designated that will be the required level of proficiency below which score a student's performance is deemed inadequate;

(5) Beginning in the 2004-2005 school year, students in kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12) who do not demonstrate proficiency on the Arkansas Comprehensive Assessment Program examinations shall participate in an intense remediation program specific to identified deficiencies;

(6) The state board shall designate, based on valid and reliable statistical models, the proficiency levels for each part of the Arkansas Comprehensive Assessment Program examinations;

(7) (A) (i) Participation in the testing program is mandatory for all students attending public school except as otherwise prescribed by the state board.

(ii) If a student does not participate in the Arkansas Comprehensive Assessment Program examinations, the school district shall notify the student's parent or guardian and provide the parent or guardian with information regarding the reasons for and implications of such nonparticipation.

(B) The state board shall:

(i) Adopt rules in compliance with federal and state law, based upon recommendations of the department, for the provision of test accommodations and modifications of procedures as necessary for students in exceptional education programs and for limited-English proficient students; and

(ii) Not make accommodations that negate the validity of a statewide assessment or interpretations or implementations which result in less than ninety-five percent (95%) of all students attending public school participating in the testing program;

(8) The department shall implement student testing programs for any grade level and subject area necessary to effectively monitor educational achievement in the state and shall provide data access to any unit within the department or contracted firm or firms for the purpose of analyzing value-added computations and posting school, school district, and state student achievement, provided such disclosures are not in conflict with applicable federal and state law;

(9) (A) Each school district shall ensure that educators in that school district provide instruction to prepare students to demonstrate proficiency in the skills and competencies necessary for successful grade-to-grade progression and high school graduation.

(B) The department shall verify that the required skills and competencies are part of the school district instructional programs;

(10) Conduct ongoing research to develop improved statistically reliable and valid methods of assessing student performance, including without limitation the:

(A) Use of technology to administer, score, or report the results of tests; and

(B) Use of electronic transfer of data;

(11) Conduct or contract with a provider to conduct ongoing research and analysis of individual student, classroom, school, school district, and state achievement data, including without limitation monitoring value-added trends in individual student, school, school district, and state achievement, identifying school programs that are successful, and analyzing correlates of school achievement; and

(12) Provide technical assistance to school districts in the implementation of state and school district testing programs and the use of the data produced pursuant to such programs, including longitudinal tracking data.

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