Section 1A. DEPARTMENT OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION; COMMISSIONER; DUTIES
There shall be within the executive office of education a department of elementary and secondary education, hereinafter called the department, which shall be under the supervision and management of a commissioner of elementary and secondary education, hereinafter called the commissioner. Said commissioner shall be appointed pursuant to section 1F of chapter 15 and shall devote full time to the duties of the office.
The commissioner, with the approval of the board of elementary and secondary education, hereinafter called the board, shall establish such bureaus and other offices and employ such staff and consultants as may be necessary for the proper and efficient administration of the department. There shall be within the department an office of language acquisition to assist the commissioner in overseeing and monitoring the development and implementation of English language learners programs established under chapter 71A. The office shall compile best practices relative to effective programs and techniques to assist limited English proficient students in becoming proficient in English and shall disseminate such information to school districts on an annual basis.
The commissioner shall propose a budget to the board; said budget shall reflect the goals and objectives of the board and the secretary of education, in this chapter called the secretary. The board shall review and make recommendations regarding the budget to the secretary. The secretary shall then prepare and submit a budget request on behalf of the department to the house and senate committees on ways and means, the joint committee on education, and the secretary of administration and finance.
The commissioner shall analyze the present and future goals, needs and requirements of public elementary, secondary and vocational-technical education in the commonwealth and recommend to the board comprehensive means to achieve a well-coordinated system of high achievement in public education in the commonwealth.
The commissioner shall, in consultation with the board, prepare and submit to the secretary for the secretary’s review and approval a five year master plan for public elementary, secondary, and vocational-technical education in the commonwealth. The master plan shall include, but not be limited to, enrollment projections, utilization of existing facilities, promotion of research, programmatic excellence, community service activities and community school activities, recommendations for the construction or acquisition of new facilities, program distribution and the need for program revision, including the termination of absolute or unnecessarily duplicative programs. Said master plan along with an annual progress report shall reflect the goals and standards established by the board and the secretary.
The commissioner shall receive reports, undertake research, and facilitate coordination among and between school districts.
The commissioner shall assist school districts in the development of school based management systems. Such assistance shall focus on the implementation of participatory management systems involving all school based professionals, parents, and on the secondary level, students.
The commissioner shall provide guidelines and ongoing training for school districts and charter schools in order to ensure the quality of student evaluations conducted pursuant to the provisions of section 3 of chapter 71B.
The commissioner shall monitor the implementation of independent evaluations of students with disabilities.
The commissioner shall assess the effectiveness of special education programs developed by school districts and charter schools pursuant to chapter 71B and shall supervise and monitor on an on-going basis: (i) the compliance of school districts and charter schools in adhering to the standards for evaluating students pursuant to the provisions of said chapter 71B; (ii) the compliance of school districts and charter schools in fully implementing the educational program recommendations required by individual educational plans of students with disabilities; (iii) the educational results of services provided by school districts and charter schools pursuant to the provisions of said chapter 71B; (iv) the collection and analysis of data reported by school districts and charter schools regarding educational programs offered pursuant to the provisions of said chapter 71B.
The commissioner shall collect and analyze data reported by school districts regarding educational programs offered pursuant to the provisions of chapter 71A.
The commissioner shall encourage and facilitate the adoption of regional districts to improve the delivery of a quality public education in an economical manner. The commissioner shall encourage and facilitate the use of existing, or the formation of new, educational collaboratives to foster interdistrict cost effective purchasing, management collaboration, sharing of resources and other multipurpose educational activities.
The commissioner shall facilitate partnerships of public elementary, secondary and vocational-technical schools with civic, conservation, business, cultural and labor organizations, and with institutions of higher education particularly through the development of regional teacher centers and the expansion of the Bay State centers for global education, to enhance educational programs.
The commissioner shall assess the effectiveness and monitor the improvement of the public schools in each district, including charter schools.
The commissioner shall assess current programs of alternative education and shall develop a statewide action plan to expand and improve the delivery of alternative education programs.
The commissioner shall recommend, to the board, changes necessary to the competency determination as appropriate to reflect evolving notions of vocational education.
The commissioner shall appoint independent fact-finding teams to assess the reasons for a school or school district’s under-performance under sections one J and one K, and shall assess the prospects for school district improvement. The commissioner shall also supervise the receiver of a school district declared to be chronically under-performing under said sections one J and one K, and shall provide technical assistance to a school or school district deemed under-performing or chronically under-performing pursuant to said sections one J and one K.
The commissioner shall initiate the process for selecting a list of impartial arbitrators as provided in sections thirty-eight, forty-one and forty-two of chapter seventy-one and, upon receipt of a request for review pursuant thereto, the commissioner shall provide the names of three arbitrators as provided therein.
The commissioner shall distribute to the chief executive officer in each city and town a copy of any notice or other information, including all notices given under chapter seventy, that is provided to the school committee or the superintendent of schools in such city or town, or to the school committee or superintendent of a regional school district of which such city or town is a member, if such notice or information affects the appropriation or budget of the municipality or school district.
The commissioner shall consult with the commissioner of mental health prior to taking an action substantially affecting the design and implementation of behavioral health services for children under guidelines established by the commissioner and the secretary of health and human services under section 16S of chapter 6A.