FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Education Department Proposes Rule to Allow Individual Evaluation for Certain Teaching Certificate Titles
Regulation Will Help Ease Teacher Shortage in Some Certificate Areas
60-Day Public Comment Period Begins April 25
The State Education Department today proposed regulatory changes to reinstate an individual evaluation pathway in certain certificate titles for teacher candidates who have not completed an approved teacher education program but have completed coursework and field experience. The change will help school districts find qualified teachers in certificate areas that have been difficult to fill.
“Districts continue to tell us they’re having difficulty recruiting and retaining qualified teachers in certain hard to staff subject areas,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa. “This regulatory change will help administrators hire the teachers they need, while we maintain the rigor of New York’s certification process.”
“Certifying teachers through individual evaluation just makes sense,” said State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. “These individuals are well-qualified to teach in their areas of expertise, and our students will benefit from having them in the classroom.”
There are typically several pathways available to candidates seeking to obtain a teaching certificate. In 2003, the Board of Regents revised the certification requirements for teachers by creating a pathway for individual evaluation for candidates who have not completed an approved teacher education program. The original individual evaluation pathway was established as a means to address teacher shortage areas and included a sunset date of February 1, 2007 for certificates in childhood education and February 1, 2009 for all other certificates in the classroom teaching service. These dates were ultimately extended, resulting in a continuation of individual evaluation for all certificate titles except for Early Childhood, Generalist in Middle Childhood Education, English Language Arts, and Literacy.
Under individual evaluation, candidates submit evidence of coursework and field experience. The Department’s Office of Teaching Initiatives reviews candidates’ transcripts and supporting materials to determine if they meet the requirements.
School districts throughout the State have indicated that they are finding it difficult to recruit and retain qualified teachers in certain certificate areas. To help address these reported teacher shortages, the Department proposes to reinstate individual evaluation for the following certificate titles:
- Early childhood education (birth-grade 2)
- Childhood education (grades 1-6)
- Generalist in middle childhood education (grades 5-9)
- English language arts (grades 5-9)
- English language arts (grades 7-12)
- Literacy (birth-grade 6)
- Literacy (grades 5-12)
The proposed change will allow qualified candidates to become certified in these areas, creating larger pools of qualified teachers from which schools can recruit and hire.
Timetable for Implementation
A Notice of Proposed Rule Making will be published in the State Register on April 25, 2018. Comments on the proposed changes will be accepted through June 25, 2018 and can be submitted by email to REGCOMMENTS@nysed.gov.
Following the 60-day public comment period required under the State Administrative Procedure Act, it is anticipated that the proposed amendment will be presented to the Board of Regents for adoption at its July 2018 meeting. If adopted at the July 2018 meeting, the proposed amendment will become effective on September 2, 2018.
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