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Ed Reform #10

SECTION 50.   The General Laws are hereby amended by adding the following new chapter:                             



          Section 1. It is declared that for the benefit of the people of the commonwealth, it is essential that this and future generations of citizens be given the fullest opportunity to have the best educated students, especially in math and science. It is declared further that the people of the commonwealth have a direct interest in remaining globally competitive and therefore its students consistently place in the top tier of all students worldwide. Accordingly, it is the purpose of this chapter and the policy of the commonwealth to provide a means to encourage academic excellence in both math and science in elementary and secondary public schools.

Section 2. As used in this chapter, the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:-

"Accelerated courses", courses designed to prepare a student to take Advanced Placement courses

"Board", the Board of Education

"Commissioner", the Commissioner of Education

"Commonwealth Teaching Corps certificate", "certificate" , a license to be an elementary math specialist and/or middle or high school math and/or science teacher issued to a person who has successfully met the requirements pursuant to this chapter.

"Math specialist", an elementary school teacher who spends at least 80 per cent of his or her weekly teaching time teaching math and has passed the elementary math MTEL.

MTEL", Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure

Section 3. (a) Beginning September 1, 2007, if a high school in the district has a student body of over 750 students the school shall offer in-class Advanced Placement level courses in calculus, physics, chemistry and biology. If a high school has less than 750 students, the high school will make available in-class Advanced Placement level courses or course materials taught online by a competent vendor in calculus, physics, chemistry and biology. Vocational - technical schools that have been established under chapter 74 shall be exempt from this requirement.
(b) At the end of each school year, Advanced Placement level course teachers in calculus, physics, chemistry and biology shall be awarded by the school district a premium payment of $2,500 for each Advanced Placement level course taught; provided that 50 per cent of the students enrolled in the class passed the Advanced Placement course with a grade of three or higher. A teacher may be awarded a maximum of $5,000 under this section.

(c) As of September 1, 2007, a school must offer accelerated math and science courses in grade seven and higher.

(d) As of September 1, 2009, all elementary school teachers who teach math shall have passed the elementary math MTEL; schools with elementary teachers that have not passed the elementary math MTEL shall fulfill this requirement with a math specialist.

Section 4. By September 2006, the commissioner shall initiate, approve and superintend the establishment, subject to appropriation, of at least one new school of excellence in mathematics and science in cities with a population of 90,000 or more. These schools shall be patterned after the collaborative between Worcester polytechnic institute and the Massachusetts academy for science and math. The new schools shall provide professional development activities to teachers in other schools in the district. Schools established under this section shall not be subject to the provisions of 150E. The commissioner shall create enrollment guidelines and the board shall promulgate rules and regulations as necessary to carry out the intent of this section.

Section 5. (a) There is hereby established a commonwealth teaching corps. The main objective of the corps is to encourage individuals to become elementary math specialists and secondary teachers of math and science. The commissioner shall have the authority to grant a certificate to an individual who has satisfied the requirements as set forth in this section. This certificate shall be valid for renewable terms of five years. Any certificate issued by the commissioner may be revoked for cause, pursuant to standards and procedures established by the board.

(b) Notwithstanding any special act or law to the contrary, the only educational requirements for being granted a certificate is that the individual

(i)demonstrate a college degree with a math, science or engineering major and/or an advanced degree in a math, science or engineering, and
(ii)pass the appropriate MTEL exam in the field the individual plans to teach.

(c) Individuals who are granted a commonwealth teacher certificate shall not be eligible for professional teacher status under section 41 of chapter 71; provided that the lack of professional teacher status for such individuals shall not be used as a criterion in connection with any reduction in force.

(d) Teacher evaluations shall be made pursuant to section 38 of chapter 71.

(e) At the end of the school year, a member of the commonwealth teaching corps who has taught the subject in which he holds a certificate, shall be awarded by the school district a premium payment of $5,000 provided that the teacher verifies the employment in a form prescribed by the school district and the teacher evaluation received as described in subsections (a) and (b) of section 38 of chapter 71 is satisfactory.

(f) All applications for the certificate granted under this section shall be accompanied by a fee to be determined by the secretary for administration and finance under the provisions of section 3b of chapter 7.

(g)All school districts hiring an individual holding a certificate granted under this section must assign to the new teacher a veteran teacher for mentoring/induction, which shall include but not be limited to instructional delivery and classroom management. The veteran teacher assigned shall have demonstrated success in teaching the subject pursuant to performance evaluations as described in section 38 of chapter 71. The Commonwealth shall provide up to $3,000, subject to appropriation, for a stipend or to compensate for release time of the veteran teacher, subject to the school district providing the department with an acceptable mentoring plan and a post-induction evaluation.
(h) Nothing in this section shall preclude a previously licenses teacher from obtaining a Commonwealth Teaching Corps certificate.

Section 6. The board shall have the authority to promulgate, amend, and rescind such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.