160.257.  Pupil testing for competency in certain subjects — each school district to establish — department of elementary and secondary education, duties, limitations. — 1.  The commissioner of education shall direct the department of elementary and secondary education to insure that all school districts have a program of pupil testing which shall test competency in the subject areas of English, reading, language arts, science, mathematics, social studies and civics.

 2.  The department of elementary and secondary education shall identify key skills within the subject areas contained in subsection 1 of this section which shall provide the foundation for the local school district’s testing program.  The department of elementary and secondary education may not set maximal testing standards.

 3.  Each local school district shall have a testing program. District testing programs may include minimal promotion standards and shall give due consideration to the research on the influence of cultural diversity on testing performance.

 4.  The testing program of each local school district shall include, but shall not be limited to, criterion-referenced tests approved by the department of elementary and secondary education.  This testing program shall test all students at periodic grade levels.  The testing program may test students annually.  The tests shall monitor progress on key skills and shall identify areas for instructional improvement.  The department of elementary and secondary education may develop criterion-referenced tests and assist districts with their testing programs upon the district’s request.

 5.  The department of elementary and secondary education shall develop or select tests which measure student performance on minimum key skills, and shall annually administer such tests to a randomly selected, statewide sample of public school students.

 6.  Each local school district shall provide testing information upon request to the department of elementary and secondary education.

 7.  The department of elementary and secondary education shall annually report to the general assembly composite pupil testing information.