SECTION 1. (a) There shall be a special commission on the student, school and district evaluation system, assessment instruments, and requirements regarding state intervention in underperforming schools and school districts. The commission shall review the Commonwealth’s current assessment and accountability system, including provisions in sections 1D, 1I, 1J, and 1K of chapter 69 of the General Laws that affect the performance, efficacy, and impact of the student, school, and district evaluation system.
The commission shall examine the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, Public Law 114-95, as well as potential waivers; the range of alternative assessment and accountability systems in place or being considered across the country; and research data on what parents, K-12 educators, higher education and business leaders want students to know and be able to do upon high school graduation.
Regarding the assessment of students, the special commission shall consider assessments other than conventional methods, including, but not limited to, work samples, projects and portfolios, and authentic and direct gauges of student performance.
Regarding the accountability formula, the special commission shall consider the inclusion of a broader range of measures that align with public values and are less tied to student demography.
Regarding accountability determinations, the commission shall consider a process of public input and deliberation, rather than an algorithm or the commissioner’s or Board’s judgment alone. The commission shall use these reviews and research data to develop recommendations, including proposed amendments to sections 1D, 1I, 1J and 1K of chapter 69 of the General Laws, on the Commonwealth’s future education assessment and accountability system. The commission shall file its recommendations, together with drafts of legislation necessary to carry those recommendations into effect, with the clerks of the senate and house of representatives on or before December 31, 2022.
(b) There shall be two co-chairs, selected by commission members at their first meeting from among the commission’s membership. Commission members shall include the senate and house chairs of the Joint Committee on Education or designees; the commissioner of elementary and secondary education or designee; the secretary of education or designee; the speaker of the house of representatives or designee; the president of the senate or designee; the minority leader of the house of representatives or designee; the minority leader of the senate or designee; and one member to be appointed by each of the following organizations: Massachusetts Association of School Committees, Inc.; Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, Inc.; Massachusetts Teachers Association; American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts; Massachusetts Parent Teacher Association; Massachusetts State Student Advisory Council; Multicultural Education, Training, and Advocacy, Inc.; NAACP Boston; Citizens for Public Schools; Massachusetts Consortium for Innovative Education Assessment; Black Educators Alliance of Massachusetts; Massachusetts Asian American Educators Association; Gaston Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy of the University of Massachusetts Boston; Massachusetts Advocates for Children; Center for Law and Education; and the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University.
(c) Prior to issuing its recommendations, the commission shall conduct not fewer than 8 public hearings across regions of the Commonwealth, and shall invite expert speakers on alternative forms of state assessment and accountability systems that replace standardized testing.
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