Final Action on Proposed Regulations for Educator Licensure and Preparation Program Approval (603 CMR 7.00)
|To:||Members of the Board of Education|
|From:||David P. Driscoll, Commissioner of Education|
|Date: ||November 20, 2000|
I am pleased to present the proposed Regulations for Educator Licensure and Preparation Program Approval (603 CMR 7.00) for your consideration and action. These proposed regulations have been developed over the course of the past year and discussed with the Board of Education on several occasions:
- November and December 1999 - Discussions of Draft Concept Paper and permission to release it for public comment
- April 2000 - Discussion of Proposed Regulations for Educator Licensure and Preparation Program Approval and permission to seek public comment on them
- October 24, 2000 - Discussion of key points affecting licensure of teachers of elementary and middle school students and students with moderate disabilities; discussion of draft guidelines for performance assessment, induction programs, and program approval.
The draft concept paper, initial draft regulations, and a preview of the attached proposals have been shared widely with educators and other interested parties across the Commonwealth. The Department of Education, under the leadership of Deputy Commissioner for Academic Affairs and Planning Dr. Sandra Stotsky, also held six public forums and numerous meetings with education professional associations and others to share ideas and receive comments that shaped the proposals that are presented to you here.
The following fundamental changes distinguish these proposed regulations from the current ones:
- Strengthening and clarification of academic subject matter knowledge requirements for all teacher licenses, especially for the elementary and middle school licenses.
- Strengthening of requirements for the teaching of reading, including a test of knowledge of the teaching of reading for the early childhood and elementary licenses. The teaching of reading is also included in the requirements for the middle school and English licenses and in the Professional Standards for Teachers.
- Clarification of professional standards for all educators, including knowledge of how to apply learning standards in the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks to promote achievement for all students without exception.
- Establishment and clarification of alternate routes to initial licensure of teachers and administrators to provide avenues for career-changers to enter the education profession.
- Establishment of a performance assessment program, as an option to achieving professional licensure, that is equally rigorous as other options.
- Requirement for induction programs with mentors for all beginning teachers and administrators to improve initial practice and increase retention in the profession.
- Requirement for three years of practice under an Initial license in order to qualify for a Professional license.
- Requirement that educators who seek a license in a new teaching field pass the appropriate subject matter test.
- Changes in grade levels to better align teacher knowledge requirements with student learning needs and current school grade configurations.
- Increased accountability requirements for higher education institutions and other organizations that sponsor educator preparation programs.
- Clarification of requirements for revocation of licenses.
- Clarification of the organization, language, and terms of the regulations, for example:
- "License" to replace "certificate"
- "Initial License" to replace "Provisional Certificate with Advanced Standing"
- "Professional License" to replace "Standard Certificate"
The current certification regulations, which will remain in effect through September 30, 2001, will be amended to incorporate the following provisions, effective immediately:
- The amendments to the regulations that the Board adopted as Emergency Regulations on September 26, 2000 to implement recent amendments to the certification statute.
- The proposed amendment to the regulations, implementing the recently enacted early retirement law, which was approved for public comment by the Board on September 26, 2000.
- The revised revocation procedures that were included in the Proposed Amendments to the Certification Regulations that were approved for public comment by the Board on April 25, 2000.
The entire package of the proposed regulations will become effective on October 1, 2001 and will affect preparation programs and individuals as follows:
- Currently approved programs must comply with the new program approval requirements by October 1, 2003. (See 603 CMR 7.03 (7) (a).)
- New program approval requirements will apply to any new program seeking approval after October 1, 2001. (See 603 CMR 7.03 (7) (b).)
- Anyone who completes a program after October 1, 2003 will have to meet the new licensure requirements. (See 603 CMR 7.03 (7) (c).)
- Between October 1, 2001 and October 1, 2003, anyone who holds a Provisional certificate issued prior to October 1, 2001 may qualify for an Initial license by completing either the requirements for a Provisional Certificate with Advanced Standing under the old regulations or by meeting the requirements for an Initial license under these proposed regulations. After October 1, 2003 they will have to meet the new requirements. (See 603 CMR 7.14 (13) (b).)
- Between October 1, 2001 and October 1, 2003, anyone who holds a Provisional Certificate with Advanced Standing may qualify for a Professional license by completing either the requirements for a Standard certificate under the old regulations or by meeting the requirements for a Professional license under these proposed regulations. After October 1, 2003 they will have to meet the new requirements. (See 603 CMR 7.14 (13) (c).)
- Between now and September 30, 2001, the current regulations will remain in effect as amended.
Therefore, I have attached two motions: one for the amendments to the existing regulations that will take effect immediately, and one for the proposed Regulations for Educator Licensure and Preparation Program Approval .
A summary of the public comment on the draft regulations that were released by the Board in May 2000 is also enclosed. I look forward to discussing the proposed regulations with you on November 28.