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July 17, 2024 Clouds | 73°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 1S: Statewide targets for addressing persistent disparities in student achievement; submission of 3-year plan by districts; reporting

Section 1S. (a) The commissioner shall establish statewide targets for addressing persistent disparities in achievement among student subgroups in the aggregate and within subcategories, including, but not limited to, subject matter and relevant grade levels. The targets shall include annual benchmarks on the progress expected to be achieved in the aggregate and by subcategory.

(b) Each district shall establish targets for addressing persistent disparities in achievement among student subgroups consistent with the targets established by the department. Each district shall develop an evidence-based 3-year plan to meet its targets. Each district's plan shall be developed by the superintendent in consultation with the school committee and shall consider input and recommendations from parents and other relevant community stakeholders, including but not limited to, special education and English learner parent advisory councils, school improvement councils and educators in the school district.

(c) The 3-year plan shall be submitted in a form and manner prescribed by the department and shall include, but not be limited to:

(i) a description of how funds received pursuant to chapter 70 will be allocated among schools in the district, by foundation category, to be used in support of the plan, including how other local, state, federal and grant-based funding sources will be used in conjunction with chapter 70 funds; provided, however, that the description shall include an explanation of the relationship between the allocation of the funds and the educational needs of English learners and low-income students;

(ii) a description of the evidence-based programs, supports and interventions that the school district will implement to address persistent disparities in achievement among student subgroups, including, but not limited to: (A) expanded learning time in the form of a longer school day or school year; (B) increased opportunity for common planning time for teachers; (C) social services to support students' social-emotional and physical health; (D) hiring school personnel that best support improved student performance; (E) increased or improved professional development; (F) purchase of curriculum materials and equipment that are aligned with the statewide curriculum frameworks; (G) expanding early education and pre-kindergarten programming within the district in consultation or in partnership with community-based organizations; (H) diversifying the educator and administrator workforce; (I) developing additional pathways to strengthen college and career readiness; and (J) any other program determined to be evidence-based by the commissioner; provided, however, that if a district elects not to implement the evidence-based programs described in clauses (A) to (I), inclusive, the district plan shall specify the reasons for electing not to implement said programs including a description of why said programs would not effectively address persistent disparities in achievement among student subgroups;

(iii) identification of outcome metrics to be used by the district to measure success in addressing persistent disparities in achievement among student subgroups; provided, however, that the department shall develop standard metrics that may be incorporated in district plans and may include: (A) results from the statewide student assessment including student growth; (B) results from the English proficiency assessment administered to English learners; (C) grade-level completion and attendance data; (D) participation in advanced coursework; and (E) other indicators of district and school climate, diversity and performance; and

(iv) a description of how the district will effectuate and measure increased parent engagement, including, but not limited to, specific plans targeted to parents of low-income students, English learners and students with disabilities.

(d) Each district shall submit its plan to the department every 3 years. Upon receipt of a district plan, the commissioner shall review the plan to ensure that it sets forth clear and achievable goals and measurable standards for student improvement that comply with the requirements of this section; provided, however, that the district shall amend any plan deemed not to conform with the requirements of this section. Following the submission of a 3-year plan, each district shall annually, not later than April 1, submit to the department: (i) relevant data, pursuant to its plan, to assess success in addressing persistent disparities in achievement among student subgroups; and (ii) amendments to the plan that reflect changes deemed necessary to improve district performance in meeting plan goals. Each plan shall be made publicly available on both the submitting district's website and the department's website.

(e) Annually, not later than December 31, the commissioner shall submit a report to the clerks of the house of representatives and the senate and the chairs of the joint committee on education on the progress made in addressing persistent disparities in achievement among student subgroups in the aggregate and within subcategories on a statewide basis; provided, however, that district and school-level data shall be made available on the department's website along with the report.

(f) The department may authorize school districts to combine the reporting required in this section with the reporting required from school districts pursuant to section 1I.

(g) The department shall ensure that annual reports and accountability plans submitted by charter schools pursuant to 603 CMR 1.00 contain data consistent with the requirements set forth in this section.