(a) Notwithstanding other law to the contrary, the commissioner of education may contract with the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota or other Minnesota public entity the commissioner determines is qualified to undertake the development of an articulated K-12 Chinese curriculum for Minnesota schools that involves:
(1) creating a network of Chinese teachers and educators able to develop new and modify or expand existing world languages K-12 curricula, materials, assessments, and best practices needed to provide Chinese language instruction to students; and
(2) coordinating statewide efforts to develop and expand Chinese language instruction so that it is uniformly available to students throughout the state, and making innovative use of media and technology, including television, distance learning, and online courses to broaden students' access to the instruction.
(b) The entity with which the commissioner contracts under paragraph (a) must have sufficient knowledge and expertise to ensure the professional development of appropriate, high-quality curricula, supplementary materials, aligned assessments, and best practices that accommodate different levels of student ability and types of programs.
(c) Project participants must:
(1) work throughout the project to develop curriculum, supplementary materials, aligned assessments, and best practices; and
(2) make curriculum, supplementary materials, aligned assessments, and best practices equitably available to Minnesota schools and students.
The entity with which the commissioner contracts must work with the network of Chinese teachers and educators to:
(1) conduct an inventory of Chinese language curricula, supplementary materials, and professional development initiatives currently used in Minnesota or other states;
(2) develop Chinese language curricula and benchmarks aligned to local world language standards and classroom-based assessments; and
(3) review and recommend to the commissioner how best to build an educational infrastructure to provide more students with Chinese language instruction, including how to develop and provide: (i) an adequate supply of Chinese language teachers; (ii) an adequate number of high-quality school programs; (iii) appropriate curriculum, instructional materials, and aligned assessments that include technology-based delivery systems; (iv) teacher preparation programs to train Chinese language teachers; (v) expedited licensing of Chinese language teachers; (vi) best practices in existing educational programs that can be used to establish K-12 Chinese language programs; and (vii) technical assistance resources.