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Education Laws and Regulations

603 CMR 6.00:
Teacher Quality Enhancement

Section:
6.02:
6.03:
6.04:
6.05:
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6.01: Authority, Scope and Purpose

(1) The Board of Education promulgates 603 CMR 6.00 pursuant to its authority under M.G.L. c. 69, § 1B and under M.G.L. c. 15A, §§ 19B and 19C, as added by St. 1998, c. 260.

(2) 603 CMR 6.03 and 6.04 provide the criteria and process by which the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education selects recipients for the incoming teacher signing bonus program, as outlined by M.G.L. c. 15A, § 19B. The purpose of the incoming teacher signing bonus program is to encourage high achieving candidates, including recent college graduates and mid-career individuals such as engineers, homemakers, military personnel and others, especially those who would not otherwise consider a career in teaching, to teach in the Massachusetts public schools.

(3) 603 CMR 6.05 provides the criteria and process by which the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education selects master teachers for the master teacher corps program, as outlined by M.G.L. c. 15A, § 19C. The purpose of the master teacher corps program is to build a group of recognized teachers of high achievement in the profession who shall serve to mentor incoming apprentice teachers and further the goals of the Education Reform Act.

(4) The provisions of M.G.L. c. 15A, §§ 19B and 19C are hereby specifically incorporated by reference into 603 CMR 6.00.

6.02: Definitions

Bonus program. The incoming teacher signing bonus program, as established by M.G.L. c. 15A, § 19B.

Candidate. An individual who applies for the bonus program.

Commissioner. The Commissioner of Education, appointed in accordance with M.G.L. c. 15, § 1F, or his designee.

Department. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, as established by M.G.L. c. 15, § 1.

Massachusetts Educator Certification Test. The test(s) required for individuals seeking certification, under M.G.L. c. 71, § 38G.

Master Teacher Corps Program. The master teacher corps program, as established by M.G.L. c. 15A, § 19C.

Recipient. An individual to whom the Department awards a bonus under the bonus program.

6.03: Bonus Program: Criteria for Eligibility, Screening and Selection

(1) Eligibility. Graduates of, or current seniors in, accredited undergraduate institutions are eligible to apply for the bonus program so long as they demonstrate outstanding academic achievement by meeting at least one of the following criteria:

(a) ranking in the top ten percent of the candidate's graduating class;

(b) minimum of 3.5 grade point average in the major area of study as designated by the college or university the candidate attended;

(c) minimum of 3.5 grade point average overall from the college or university the candidate attended;

(d) ranking in the top tenth percentile overall on a nationally recognized examination designated by the Commissioner; or

(e) nomination made or endorsed by the dean of the candidate's institution of higher education as a high achiever with exemplary character and potential for success as a public school teacher. Institutions of higher education may submit up to two nominations each year.

If a candidate graduated from college five or more years before applying for the program, the Commissioner may determine that the candidate is eligible for selection as a recipient based on the candidate's experience and on the criteria listed in 603 CMR 6.03 (2) (c), (d) and (e).

All candidates must pass the two-part Massachusetts Educator Certification Test.

(2) Screening. The Commissioner will oversee a process in which all eligible candidates are reviewed based on the following criteria:

(a) high achievement based on objective measures as defined by 603 CMR 6.03 (1), including high performance on the Massachusetts Educator Certification Test;

(b) the rigor of the applicant's program of study;

(c) fulfillment of serious responsibility, as demonstrated by the candidate's experiences and level of responsibility;

(d) logical thinking and clear written expression, as demonstrated through writing samples, one of which is the writing section of the Communication and Literacy Skills component of the Massachusetts Educator Certification Test; and

(e) exemplary character and potential for success as a public school teacher, as demonstrated through four letters of reference.

Based on this review, and such other criteria as the Commissioner may establish consistent with 603 CMR 6.03 (1) and (2), the Commissioner shall recommend candidates for selection.

(3) Selection. The Commissioner, in consultation with the Board of Education, shall appoint a selection advisory committee. The committee shall review all candidates recommended by the Commissioner and advise the Commissioner on the final selection.

The Commissioner shall give priority in selection to candidates who will teach in subject areas most needed in the public schools of the Commonwealth, from among the following core subject areas: science, technology, and mathematics, history and social science, English, foreign languages, and the arts.

(4) In any given year, the Commissioner shall award bonuses only to those candidates who meet the criteria for selection, rather than awarding a specific number of bonuses.

6.04: Bonus Program: Process for Application and Notification

(1) Candidates shall apply for the bonus program using an application form provided by the Department no later than March 1 of each year. The Commissioner may waive the application deadline for good cause. The Commissioner may establish an application deadline earlier than March 1 if he determines an earlier deadline is necessary.

(2) The Commissioner shall select and notify bonus recipients by April 1 of each year. The decision of the Commissioner shall be final.

(3) The Commonwealth shall pay each recipient a $20,000 bonus over four years, with $8,000 paid in the first year of the bonus, and $4,000 in each of years two, three and four. Recipients shall be eligible for each year's bonus payment only if they are certified to teach in the Commonwealth, are employed as a teacher by a public school in the Commonwealth, and have not received an unsatisfactory evaluation from their principals or supervisors in the previous school year.

(4) The name of an individual recipient shall remain confidential unless the recipient waives such confidentiality in writing.

6.05: Master Teacher Corps Program

(1) The criteria and process by which the Department selects master teachers for the master teacher corps program shall be as specified in M.G.L. c. 15A, § 19C.



Last Updated: September 1, 1998
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