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S. 957 (is) To provide certain safeguards with respect to the domestic steel industry. [Introduced in Senate] ...


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108th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                 S. 956

 To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to permit 
States and local educational agencies to decide the frequency of using 
   high quality assessments to measure and increase student academic 
achievement, to permit States and local educational agencies to obtain 
   a waiver of certain testing requirements, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             April 30, 2003

  Mr. Feingold (for himself, Mr. Jeffords, Mr. Dayton, and Mr. Leahy) 
introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the 
          Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to permit 
States and local educational agencies to decide the frequency of using 
   high quality assessments to measure and increase student academic 
achievement, to permit States and local educational agencies to obtain 
   a waiver of certain testing requirements, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Student Testing Flexibility Act of 
2003''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds that--
            (1) State and local governments bear the majority of the 
        cost and responsibility of educating public elementary school 
        and secondary school students;
            (2) State and local governments often struggle to find 
        adequate funding to provide basic educational services;
            (3) the Federal Government has not provided its full share 
        of funding for numerous federally mandated elementary and 
        secondary education programs;
            (4) underfunded Federal education mandates increase 
        existing financial pressures on States and local educational 
        agencies;
            (5) the cost to States and local educational agencies to 
        implement the annual student academic assessments required 
        under section 1111(b)(3)(C)(vii) of the Elementary and 
        Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311(b)(3)(C)(vii)) 
        remains uncertain;
            (6) public elementary school and secondary school students 
        take numerous tests each year, from classroom quizzes and exams 
        to standardized and other tests required by the Federal 
        Government, State educational agencies, or local educational 
        agencies;
            (7) multiple measures of student academic achievement 
        provide a more accurate picture of a student's strengths and 
        weaknesses than does a single score on a high-stakes test; and
            (8) the frequency of the use of high quality assessments as 
        a tool to measure and increase student achievement should be 
        decided by State educational agencies and local educational 
        agencies.

SEC. 3. WAIVER AUTHORITY.

    Section 1111(b)(3) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 
1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311(b)(3)) is amended by adding at the end the 
following:
                    ``(E) Waiver authority.--
                            ``(i) States.--Upon application by a State 
                        educational agency, the Secretary shall waive 
                        the requirements of subparagraph (C)(vii) for a 
                        State if the State educational agency 
                        demonstrates that the State--
                                    ``(I) significantly closed the 
                                achievement gap among the groups of 
                                students described in paragraph 
                                (2)(C)(v); or
                                    ``(II) exceeded the State's 
                                adequate yearly progress, consistent 
                                with paragraph (2), for 2 or more 
                                consecutive years.
                            ``(ii) Local educational agencies.--Upon 
                        application of a local educational agency 
                        located in a State that does not receive a 
                        waiver under clause (i), the Secretary shall 
                        waive the application of the requirements of 
                        subparagraph (C)(vii) for the local educational 
                        agency if the local educational agency 
                        demonstrates that the local educational 
                        agency--
                                    ``(I) significantly closed the 
                                achievement gap among the groups of 
                                students described in paragraph 
                                (2)(C)(v); or
                                    ``(II) exceeded the local 
                                educational agency's adequate yearly 
                                progress, consistent with paragraph 
                                (2), for 2 or more consecutive years.
                            ``(iii) Period of waiver.--A waiver under 
                        clause (i) or (ii) shall be for a period of 3 
                        years and may be renewed for subsequent 3-year 
                        periods.
                            ``(iv) Utilization of certain federal 
                        funds.--
                                    ``(I) Permissive uses.--Subject to 
                                subclause (II), a State or local 
                                educational agency granted a waiver 
                                under clause (i) or (ii) shall use 
                                funds, that are awarded to the State or 
                                local educational agency, respectively, 
                                under this Act for the development and 
                                implementation of annual assessments 
                                under subparagraph (C)(vii), to carry 
                                out educational activities that the 
                                State educational agency or local 
                                educational agency, respectively, 
                                determines will improve the academic 
                                achievement of students attending 
                                public elementary schools and secondary 
                                schools in the State or local 
                                educational agency, respectively, that 
                                fail to make adequate yearly progress 
                                (as defined in paragraph (2)(C)).
                                    ``(II) Nonpermissive use of 
                                funds.--A State or local educational 
                                agency granted a waiver under clause 
                                (i) or (ii) shall not use funds, that 
                                are awarded to the State or local 
                                educational agency, respectively, under 
                                this Act for the development and 
                                implementation of annual assessments 
                                under subparagraph (C)(vii), to pay a 
                                student's cost of tuition, room, board, 
                                or fees at a private school.''.
                                 <all>

Pages: 1

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