(A) A five-year demonstration project is hereby established at the community schools known as the ISUS institutes. The project is a research and development initiative to collect and analyze data with which to improve dropout prevention and recovery programs, to evaluate various methodologies employed in those programs, to develop tools and criteria for evaluating community schools that operate dropout prevention and recovery programs, to institute stringent accountability measures for such community schools, and to direct curricular and programming decisions for such community schools. The program shall begin with the 2008-2009 school year and shall operate through the 2012-2013 school year.
(B) Under the demonstration project, the ISUS institutes shall select and pay the costs of an independent evaluator to create a study plan and collect and analyze data from the institutes. The ISUS institutes' selection of the independent evaluator is subject to the approval of the department of education. The data collected by the evaluator shall include, but need not be limited to, the following:
(1) Baseline measures of student status at enrollment, including academic level; history of court involvement, drug use, and other behavioral problems; and the circumstances of the students' parenting and living arrangements;
(2) Student academic progress, measured at multiple and regular intervals each school year;
(3) Value-added elements of the institutes' dropout prevention and recovery programs, including industry certifications, college coursework, community service and service learning, apprenticeships, and internships;
(4) Outcomes in addition to high school graduation, including students' contributions to community service and students' transitions to employment, post-secondary training, college, or the military.
(C) Not later than the thirtieth day of September following each school year in which the demonstration project is operating, the independent evaluator shall do both of the following:
(1) Submit to the ISUS institutes and the department all data collected and a report of its data analysis;
(2) Submit a report of its data analysis to the speaker and minority leader of the house of representatives, the president and minority leader of the senate, and the chairpersons and ranking minority members of the standing committees of the house of representatives and the senate that consider education legislation.
(D) For each school year in which the demonstration project is operating:
(1) The ISUS institutes shall continue to report data through the education management information system under section 3314.17 of the Revised Code.
(2) The department shall continue to issue annual report cards for the ISUS institutes under section 3314.012 of the Revised Code and shall continue to assign them performance ratings under section 3302.03 of the Revised Code.
(E) Nothing in this section prevents the application to the ISUS institutes, during the demonstration project, of any provision of the Revised Code or rule or policy of the department or the state board of education requiring closure, or otherwise restricting the operation, of a community school based on measures of academic performance for any school year before or during the demonstration project. Nothing in this section prevents a sponsor of an ISUS institute from terminating or not renewing its contract with the school, from suspending the operations of the school, or from placing the school on probationary status, in accordance with this chapter, during the demonstration project. Nothing in this section prevents the auditor of state from taking action against an ISUS institute under Chapter 117. of the Revised Code or other applicable law during the demonstration project.
(F) The department may conduct its own analysis of data submitted under the demonstration project.
(G) Not later than December 31, 2013, the independent evaluator shall issue a final report of its findings and analysis and its recommendations for appropriate academic accountability measures for community schools that operate dropout prevention and recovery programs. The independent evaluator shall submit the report to the department, the speaker and minority leader of the house of representatives, the president and minority leader of the senate, and the chairpersons and ranking minority members of the standing committees of the house of representatives and the senate that consider education legislation.
Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.184,HB 555, §1, eff. 3/22/2013.
Effective Date: 2008 HB562 09-22-2008