Friday, December 11, 2009

News from the December 10th Advisory Board Meeting

A review of the actions taken (thanks IACTE!):
The Professional Standards Advisory Board met again on Thursday, December 10th to review the proposed revisions to Articles 8, 9, 10 and 12 of REPA. This was a lively meeting with several more active members and "voices" participating than have in previous meetings. Below is a summary of the proposed changes that were approved.

Chapter 8: K-12 License

Clarification was provided that the content areas listed under the K-12 license (8-1-1.7) may be content additions to other licenses and these additions would be at the grade levels specific to the initial license.

In other words, the content areas listed under K-12 are NOT exclusively K-12.


Joyce Johnstone and Carrie Clements brought up the issue of the specificity in the rules re: reading requirements in the license curricula. Initially, Joyce focused on the fact that the six required hours in the secondary curriculum did not reference adolescent literature or literacy, AND to require six credit hours of reading in the secondary curriculum would represent one-third of the pedagogy for secondary transition to teaching programs (6 of 18 credit hours). She shared with the Board members a summary of research re: adolescent literacy. Board members agreed with Joyce, and the secondary education curriculum requirements (8-1-1.6) were changed. In the list of topics to be covered in education, (AA) has been deleted; all reference to six hours and elements defined by the National Reading Panel, etc. The new language in (AA) is "demonstration of performance of adolescence literacy standards, based on scientifically-based reading research and developed and approved by the Board." The Board will develop a set of standards specific to adolescent literacy.

Given this change, it was moved to strike the reference to six hours of reading and reference to the National Reading Panel for ALL school setting curriculum requirements and insert the language noted above with reference to the respective developmental level. So, for example, in the elementary education curriculum requirements, the reference to reading will read "demonstration of performance of elementary literacy standards based on scientifically-based reading research and developed and approved by the Board." For elementary, these reading standards already exist. These changes will be made in early childhood and middle school curriculum requirements as well.

Exceptional Needs(8-1-21)

Changes in this content area will be made to note that the license at the elementary level will be P-6, rather than K-6. This is the ONLY content area in which this change was made. The rationale is that public schools are required to provide education and services to students with exceptional needs once they turn three years of age.

Thus, it was discussed that teachers must be licensed P-6 in exceptional needs, in order to meet this requirement and to have highly qualified teachers working with these students. Relatedly, there was a great deal of discussion re: the P-3 license.

While the Board did not take away the P-3 license, there seemed to be consensus among the Board members that if candidates wish to work at the elementary level, they should be advised about potential difficulty in being hired to work in a public elementary setting with only a P-3 license.

Science (8-1-36)

This content area was changed to require only one or more areas of science for the license. Yet, it is important to note that each administrator on the Board indicated that they would not hire a science teacher with only one content area; physics being a possible exception.

Board members felt that colleges and universities should advise students that they need more than one area of science. In part the change was made to reflect consistency between the initial license for "traditional" candidates/programs and the transition to teaching candidates.

Social Studies (8-1-37)

This content area was changed to require only one or more areas of social studies for the license. Yet, again, Board members indicated that candidates should be advised to take more than one area and be licensed in more than one area, if they ever hope to be hired. This change was made to align the initial license for "traditional" candidates with the initial license of transition to teaching candidates.

Temporary Administrator License (8-1-50) The change to this section is that this temporary administrator license will be available ONLY for a superintendent. There was A GREAT DEAL of discussion about this section. At least two different motions were made to modify the section to require that a temporary licensed superintendent be required to complete a professional growth plan or academic program. Each motion failed, though the vote was different from the spread we have seen at previous meetings. Dr. Bennett felt that this license was important to provide local school boards with flexibility AND an "alternative" superintendent license is an asset to the Race to the Top application.

Test Requirements and Exemptions(8-2-1)

At the November 18th meeting the reference to the item that the Board may require applicants for the renewal of certain licenses to demonstration proficiency in reading comprehension was deleted. Also the sections referring to a written examination (c)(2) and (3) were deleted to allow for future on-line testing options.

At this December meeting, the section re: license additions was NOT changed (g). License additions WILL REQUIRE both meeting the testing requirements AND content area requirements.

Chapter 9:All the changes proposed by the Board's subcommittee were approved.

Highlights include:
- Candidates planning to earn 2002 licenses must complete

their programs by August 31, 2013 and license applications must be received by the DOE no later than December 31, 2013. THEREFORE, teacher education programs have about 18 months to revise programs to align with REPA.

- Out of state applicants must have completed a program accredited by NCATE, the state or have regional accreditation.
- Out of state applicants may receive reciprocity permits

(note change in term from "emergency permit"). All of the language strike in the REPA draft was "un-struck" AND these licenses may be renewed only up to TWO times. (9-1-8)

- Re: applicants from on-line teacher preparation programs,

reference was made to the fact that institutions which offer an on-line option must meet the requirements in Chapter 3.

Chapter 10

License areas for the workplace specialist license shall include content areas approved by the State Board of Education as vocational/career subjects. The specific reference to fine arts, health, physical education, journalism and library/media was deleted.


All the proposed language strikes in 10-1-9 and 10-1-14 was "unstruck"; reference to the beginning teacher residency program and the renewal requirements.

Chapter 12

Changes were made to clarify the content areas in which teachers may earn the accomplished practitioner license. For the administrative accomplished practitioner licenses, applicants must have five years of experience as an administrator AND a total of 60 graduate hours in school administration.

Overall, the changes approved at the November and December meetings of the Advisory Board have been positive and reflect the key issues raised by IACTE. The next step is that the Advisory Board members will receive a new document with all the approved changes no later than December 31st. The Board members will have time to review the new document to ensure that all approved changes have been made and that the proposed rules are internally consistent.

The next meeting of the Board is Thursday, January 7th, and the expectation is that they will take as long as it takes to approve REPA on January 7th. It will be important to show support for the changes at the January 7th meeting. I encourage you to plan to attend the Board meeting. Mark your calendars now!

This has been a long and stressful five months, but each of you made a difference. At both the November and December meetings, Board members made constant reference to the number of written comments they received. Congratulations to each of you! Great job!

Final Note: I have received several calls re: the wording of the Department of Education press release with respective to the secondary education majors. This topic WAS NOT DISCUSSED yesterday. The language with respect to the secondary education curriculum is the SAME as was approved at the November 18th; the secondary content major must be "at least identical to the content major." This does not suggest that the students' degrees cannot be education degrees; only that the content requirements must be "at least identical." There has been a lot of back door negotiations to retain the secondary education majors.

That data provided by IACTE have been a tremendous help in supporting the quality of secondary education programs. Thanks to everyone who participated in those projects.


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