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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Proposed Amendments to 603 CMR 7.00 - Regulations for Educator Licensure and Preparation Program Approval

To:
Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
Date:
October 14, 2011

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I am presenting to the Board this month, for discussion and a vote to solicit public comment, proposed amendments to 603 CMR 7.00, the Educator Licensure and Preparation Program Approval Regulations. With the Board's approval, we will solicit public comment on the regulations and bring them to the Board for a final vote in December 2011.

Through the Board's leadership and federal Race to the Top and Teacher Incentive Fund funding, the Department has been increasing our attention in the area of educator effectiveness. In addition to the new Educator Evaluation Regulations that the Board adopted in June 2011, we are working on several other initiatives that will lead to a comprehensive system that supports educator development across the career continuum. The proposed amendments to the Regulations on Educator Licensure are another component of the educator effectiveness initiative. These regulations focus on new leadership standards for preparation and licensure that are aligned to the new educator evaluation standards. The proposed amendments also make other minor changes to the regulations to better support the needs of students, schools, and districts.

In summary, these proposed amendments to the regulations on Educator Licensure and Preparation Program Approval, 603 CMR 7.00, are intended to do the following:

  1. Align the licensure standards for administrative leadership with the standards for educator evaluation that the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved in June 2011;
  2. Streamline the licensure regulations by including only the administrative leadership standards and publishing more detailed indicators in guidelines;
  3. Include American Sign Language as a Foreign Language license; and
  4. Create an option for a school nurse to earn a Supervisor/Director license.

Background on administrative leadership standards and indicators

Since 2007, with support from the Wallace Foundation, the Department has been engaged in developing standards and performance indicators for educational leaders, working with a research team at UMass Amherst and partner districts of Springfield and Boston. At various points we have vetted the draft indicators with stakeholder groups in-state and nationally. In 2009 the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to adopt general policy standards for educational leadership in the Commonwealth. (A copy of the 2009 policy standards is attached.) Over the past year as we worked with the Educator Evaluation Task Force, the Department revised the draft licensure standards and indicators for school and district leaders, to align them with the standards and indicators for evaluation. In June 2011 the Department sent the revised standards and indicators to over 200 external stakeholders and received feedback through a survey.

In the regulations that I am presenting for initial review this month, I am recommending that the four proposed licensure standards for administrative leadership in 603 CMR 7.10 (Professional Standards for Administrative Leadership) be identical to the four evaluation standards for administrators in the Educator Evaluation Regulations that the Board adopted in June 2011. See 603 CMR 35.04, http://www.doe.mass.edu/lawsregs/603cmr35.html?section=04. This change would mean that the standards for school and district administrators entering the profession (preparation and licensure under 603 CMR 7.00) would be the same as the standards by which school and district administrators will be evaluated on the job (educator evaluation under 603 CMR 35.00), thereby helping to ensure a comprehensive and coherent system of educator development.

I am also recommending that the Department publish the detailed indicators for each standard in administrative guidelines, rather than including them in the regulations. This approach would streamline the regulations and enable the Department to update the guidelines periodically based on research and best practices, in consultation with the field and with state and national experts, including the Council of Chief State School Officers' State Consortium on Educator Effectiveness in which we participate.

We expect to have the indicators ready to publish in December 2011 when the Board adopts the new regulations on administrator preparation and licensure standards. The indicators will be a roadmap for the 34 principal preparation programs and 12 superintendent preparation programs in the Commonwealth. The Department will provide information and technical assistance to institutions of higher education and other sponsoring organizations as they align their preparation programs to the new standards for administrative leadership, so that the programs will qualify for Department approval. We also expect to use the indicators as the basis for developing performance assessments tailored to specific administrative roles and license stages.

Other proposed changes to licensure to meet the needs of districts

In addition to the proposed Professional Standards for Administrative Leadership, I am presenting a few other changes to the regulations to streamline the licensure process for educators and better address the needs of districts. These changes have been vetted through the Educational Personnel Advisory Council (EPAC), and in one instance, with educators and higher education faculty in that specialty area. The highlights of these changes are:

  • Creating a Foreign Language license in American Sign Language (603 CMR 7.06 (10) (c));
  • Providing the opportunity for school nurses to be eligible for a Supervisor/Director license (603 CMR 7.09 (3) (b) 1. c. iii.);
  • Accepting the Middle School Humanities and Middle School Mathematics/Science MTEL for a Moderate Disabilities 5-12 license (603 CMR 7.06 (25 (a); and
  • Allowing superintendents to accept a Vocational license for a position for which there is no obvious "Academic" license (603 CMR 7.14 (11)).

The proposed amendments also make some editorial changes for clarity and include a phase-in for new standards.

Proposed amendments are indicated by underline (new language) or strikethrough (deleted language). Sections of the regulations that are not being changed are omitted. For the complete text of the current Regulations for Educator Licensure and Preparation Program Approval, 603 CMR 7.00.

Claudia Bach, Director of the Department's Office of Educator Preparation, Policy and Leadership (EPPL); Brian Devine, Director of the Licensure Office; Liz Losee, Assistant Director of the Office of EPPL; and Attorney Debra Comfort of our legal staff will be present at the Board meeting to answer your questions.

With the Board's approval, we will solicit public comment on the proposed amendments to the regulations. We plan to bring them back to the Board for final action in December 2011. This schedule will allow ample time for institutions of higher education and other organizations that prepare school and district leaders to update their preparation programs as needed. We believe these proposed changes will help to advance the goal of having highly effective educational leaders in every school and district throughout the Commonwealth.

Enclosures:

Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
June 2009 Board vote on leadership standards
Draft Regulations for Educator Licensure and Preparation Program Approval, 603 CMR 7.00 - clean version Download PDF Document  Download Word Document and strikethrough version Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Motion to solicit public comment


Last Updated: October 21, 2011
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