SECTION 1. Section 15MMM of chapter 6 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2014 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 2, the words “second week of November” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- the first week of April.
SECTION 2. Section 1G of chapter 15 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “education”, in line 63 and 64, the following words:- and a representative from the Massachusetts Geographic Alliance.
SECTION 3. (a) There shall be a commission on geography education, which shall consist of 8 members including: the commissioner of elementary and secondary education or a designee, who shall serve as chair; a member of the global education advisory council, appointed by the commissioner of elementary and secondary education; 2 members appointed by the secretary of labor and workforce development, 1 of whom shall be a representative of the alternative energy industry and 1 of whom shall be a representative of the geotechnology industry; and 4 members appointed by the governor, 1 of whom shall be a public university professor or administrator in the commonwealth selected from a group of 3 nominees submitted by the New England-St. Lawrence Valley Geographical Society, 1 of whom shall be a teacher with expertise in geography education selected from a list of 3 nominees submitted by the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts, 1 of whom shall be a teacher with expertise in geography education selected from a list of 3 nominees submitted by the Massachusetts Teachers Association and 1 of whom shall be a representative from the Massachusetts Geographic Alliance.
(b) The commission shall investigate and study the status of geography education including, but not limited to: (i) an assessment of the status of geography education from kindergarten through grade 12, inclusive, in the commonwealth’s history and social science frameworks; (ii) an investigation of the status of programs that promote geography education and whether the curriculum frameworks and overall educational goals of the commonwealth could be cost-effectively enhanced through cooperation among public educational entities and those programs; (iii) an assessment of best practices in geography education in the United States, including the national geography standards that could serve as models for improving geography education in the commonwealth; (iv) the implementation of professional development points to promote teacher participation in geography education workshops and seminars to further improve and encourage the incorporation of geography education in the daily curriculum; and (v) any other matters that the commission considers relevant to the fulfillment of its mission and purpose.
(c) The commission shall report to the general court the results of its findings and recommendations, if any, together with drafts of legislation necessary to carry out such recommendations. This report shall be filed with the clerks of the senate and house of representatives, who shall forward the report to the chairs of the joint committee on education and the chairs of the house and senate committees on ways and means not later than December 31, 2018.
SECTION 4. The commission established in section 3 shall be convened by the chair not later than 90 days after the effective date of this act, whether or not all of the designees have been appointed.
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