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Introduced Version House Bill 4598 History

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hb4598 intr


H. B. 4598


(By Delegates Hall, L. Smith, Paxton and Martin)

[Introduced February 22, 2002; referred to the

Committee on Education.]





A BILL to amend and reenact section three, article twenty-eight, chapter eighteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to standardized testing requirements for church schools or schools of a religious order; providing an exemption from standardized testing and alternate methods for testing the proficiency of students of church schools and schools of a religious order which meet certain requirements.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section three, article twenty-eight, chapter eighteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 28. PRIVATE, PAROCHIAL OR CHURCH SCHOOLS, OR SCHOOLS OF A RELIGIOUS ORDER.

§18-28-3. Standardized testing requirements.
(a) Each private, parochial or church school or school of a religious order or other nonpublic school electing to operate under this statute in lieu of the approval requirements set forth as part of section one, article eight, chapter eighteen, exemption A shall administer on an annual basis during each school year to every child enrolled therein between the ages of seven and sixteen years either the comprehensive test of basic skills, the California achievement test, the Stanford achievement test or the Iowa tests of basic skills tests of achievement and proficiency, which test will be selected by the chief administrative officer of each school in the subjects of English, grammar, reading, social studies, science and mathematics; and shall be administered under standardized conditions as set forth by the published instructions of the selected test: Provided, That any private, parochial, church school, school of a religious order or other nonpublic school that exclusively teaches special education students or children with learning disabilities shall not be required to comply with this subsection or subsection (d) of this section, but shall academically assess every child enrolled therein between the ages of seven and sixteen years on an annual basis during each school year by one or more of the following methods: (1) A standardized group achievement test; (2) a standardized individual achievement test; (3) a written narrative of an evaluation of a portfolio of samples of a child's work; (4) an alternative academic assessment of the child's proficiency as mutually agreed by the county superintendent, parent(s) or legal guardian(s) and the school: Provided, however, That any church school or school of a religious order that exclusively teaches children whose custodial parent(s) or legal guardian(s) are a member of the church or religious order that operates the school and the religious beliefs of the church or religious order are in conflict with or are violated by compulsory school attendance beyond the eighth grade, as has been determined by the United States Supreme Court's holding in Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 20592 S. Ct. 1526 (1972), shall not be required to comply with this subsection or subsection (d) of this section, but shall academically assess every child enrolled therein from the age of seven years until the child completes the eighth grade, on an annual basis during each school year by one of the following methods: (1) A standardized group achievement test; (2) a standard individual achievement test; (3) a written narrative of an evaluation of a portfolio of samples of a child's work; or (4) an alternative academic assessment of the child's proficiency as mutually agreed by the county superintendent, parent(s) or legal guardian(s) and the school.
(b) Each child's testing results and the school composite test results shall be made available to such child's parents or legal guardians. Upon request of a duly authorized representative of the West Virginia department of education, the school composite test results shall be furnished by the school or by a parents organization composed of the parents or guardians of children enrolled in said school to the state superintendent of schools.
(c) Each school to which this article applies shall:
(1) Establish curriculum objectives, the attainment of which will enable students to develop the potential for becoming literate citizens.
(2) Provide an instructional program that will make possible the acquisition of competencies necessary to become a literate citizen.
(d) If such school composite test results for any single year for English, grammar, reading, social studies, science and mathematics fall below the fortieth percentile on the selected tests, the school as herein described shall initiate a remedial program to foster achievement above that level. If after two consecutive calendar years school composite test results are not above the fortieth percentile level, attendance at the school may no longer satisfy the compulsory school attendance requirement exemption of exemption K, section one, article eight, chapter eighteen, until such time as the percentile standards herein set forth are met.



Note: The purpose of this bill is to provide an exemption from the requirement of standardized testing for students of certain church schools and schools of a religious order, and provides for alternate methods of testing the proficiency of such students.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

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