SECTION 1. (a) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the department of elementary and secondary education, herein known as the department, shall not implement or use the Partnership for Assessment for Readiness for College and Career, herein known as PARCC, assessment to provide any student competency determination as a graduation requirement or school and district accountability purpose until such time as the commissioner of the department shall provide the general court with the following: (i) an assessment of the costs including but not limited to the department, the costs to the board of elementary and secondary education, herein known as the board, and the costs to each individual school district in the commonwealth to develop and implement the PARCC; professional development associated with PARCC; and any equipment, hardware, software, or technology upgrades needed for compliance with PARCC; and (ii) any additional costs associated with data mapping of students in the commonwealth, as well as the administrative costs required to collect, maintain and protect the confidentiality of such data collection.
(b) In conducting such an assessment, the commissioner shall conduct not fewer than four public hearings to receive testimony from members of the public, including parents, teachers, and administrators. The hearings shall be held in locations that provide opportunities for residents from all geographic regions of the commonwealth to testify. The commissioner shall provide a summary of the transcribed hearings.
(c) The department, in coordination with the commissioner, shall report any preliminary findings to the house and senate committees on ways and means and the clerks of the house and senate no later than June 1, 2015. A final report due to the general court on the department’s recommendations shall be filed with the clerks of the senate and house of representatives on or before September 1, 2015.
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