Rhode Island Redesigning Educator Certification

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1 Rhode Island Redesigning Educator Certification Demographic Information: Total Student Enrollment 145,342 Percent of Title 1 Schools 80.4% Percent of Students Eligible for FRL 39.8% Number of Teachers 11,316 Number of Districts 33 Number of Schools 332 NAEP, 8 th Grade, 2009 Nation: Math, 283; Reading, 156 Math: 278, Underperform National, Rank 37 Reading: 148, Underperform National, Rank 39 Led by the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE), Rhode Island is one of the first states to redesign their licensure system to align with educator effectiveness. The initiative is driven by the state s Race to the Top application and Strategic Plan, which outline plans to transform the educator certification process into one that awards and renews certification based on evidence of effectiveness as assessed through the local evaluation system. The Board of Regents has approved the redesign recommendations for public comment. Once RIDE is granted final approval, RIDE will begin implementing the new system in 2012, with completion targeted for The information below is based on draft recommendations which may change after the public comment period. Goals and Highlights: Develop a multi-tiered certification system based on classroom effectiveness o Make local evaluation results a determining factor in certification renewal and progression decision o Deny renewal if an educator does not meet established performance levels (if educator has no effectiveness rating above ineffective) o Base renewal of certification of educators who are not part of an evaluation system (those who are not employed) exclusively on professional development Create new pathways through preliminary certification Expert Preliminary Certification and Visiting Lecture Preliminary Certification Discontinue transcript analysis as a route to certification Develop an information system that links renewal with student achievement and other evidence of effective educator performance; Streamline areas of certification to ensure that all certificates are reasonably designed to improve student achievement for all youth and adults; and Create a multi-tiered system of licensure that opens pathways for career advancement. 1

2 Proposed Tier Structure: RIDE s current single certificate system issues every educator, regardless of experience, a Professional Certificate that is valid for five years and is renewed based upon evidence of professional development. New teachers are issued a temporary Certificate of Eligibility and are re-issued a Professional Certificate once employment is secured. In addition to the Professional and Eligibility Certificates, RIDE currently issues Emergency, Alternative Route, and Career and Technical certificates. A explanation of these certificates appear in Table 1.0 on page 3. As part of RIDE s educator effectiveness initiatives, RIDE has developed a new certification system that will offer educators three levels of full certification: Initial Educator Certification, Professional Educator Certification, and Advanced Educator Certification. Each level acknowledges different stages of practice within the profession and provides a way to recognize accomplished practice. All educators start with an initial certificate and, based on classroom effectiveness assessed through the local evaluation system, progress to a five-year professional certificate. Figure 1.0 illustrates the transition from an initial certificate to a professional certificate and from a professional certificate to an advanced certificate. Figure 1.0: Pathways through Initial Certificate Employed for three years At least one rating of Minimally Effective, Effective, or Highly Effective to earn professional certificate Initial Educator Certificate (Three Year) Completed an approved RI Preparation Programs OR Completed programs in another state OR Earned certificate in another state Employed for five years At least four ratings of Highly Effective with no rating below Effective to earn Advanced Educator Professional Educator Certificate (Five Year) For educators who demonstrate that they are successful educators Renewable At least one rating of Minimally Effective, Effective, of Highly Effective Advanced Educator Certificate (Seven Year) For educators who demonstrate highly effective practices Renewable At least four ratings of Highly Effective with no rating below Effective on Local Evaluation to renew Demonstration of or at least two ratings of Minimally Effective to renew as Professional Educator Certificate 2

3 For inactive educators, the initial certificate is renewable based solely on professional development; inactive educators must provide evidence that they have attained a minimum of 15 professional development hours per inactive year. The same is true for inactive educators with a professional certificate or an advanced certificate. Advanced certificates are capped at 75 professional development hours. RIDE added two new pathways Expert Preliminary Certification and Visiting Lecture Preliminary Certification - that allow educators who are not fully certified to serve as teachers and principals while pursuing full certification. These additional pathways allow districts greater flexibility and opportunities to recruit and retain educators, particularly those in areas with shallow application pools. Additionally, these pathways allow districts to respond to needs identified by schools. Table 1.0 lists these certificates and pathways. Table 1.0: Other License, Certificates, Permits Preliminary Certification Minimum Requirements Certification Area Request Initiated By Alternative Route Bachelor s degree All District and Pass content test Alternate Enrolled in alternate route program Route Program Successfully Completed Summer Field Experience Expert Residency Bachelor s degree All teacher and Individual Pass content test administrator Complete other certificate area areas specific requirements Visiting Lecture Unusual qualifications that All secondary and District supplement district program all grade teacher areas Career and Technical Educator Professional experience in the CTE field Pass content test Emergency Bachelor s degree Significant content preparation All career and technical education fields Individual Maximum Renewals and condition for renewals One conditional to recommendation of program and employing district Three conditional on enrollment in RI preparation program for first renewal and sufficient progress towards certification for subsequent renewals One conditional on district request Six conditional on enrollment in RI preparation program for first renewal and sufficient progress towards certification for subsequent renewals All District Three- conditional on passing the content test and enrollment in RI preparation program for first renewal and sufficient progress towards certification for subsequent renewals 3

4 Grade Spans and Certification Areas: RIDE will maintain, with modest updates, its current certification areas and endorsements. Below, Tables 2.0 and 2.1 show the grade spans for each certificate for teacher, administrator, and support professional. Table 2.0: Certificates and Grade Spans PK K Early Childhood Grades Certificate B-Gr. 2 Early Childhood Special Education Certificate Middle Grades Certificates English, Foreign Language, Math, Science, Social Studies Middle Grades Special Education Rhode Island Teacher Certificates and Endorsements Elementary Grades Certificate Elementary Grades Special Education Certificate Secondary Grades Certificate Agriculture, Biology, Business Education, Chemistry, English, Foreign Languages, General Science, M ath, Physics, Social Studies Secondary Grades Special Education Certificate Career and Technical Education Certificates All Grades Certificates Art, Dance, Health, Home Economics, Library Media, Music, Physical Education, School Nurse Teacher, Technology Education, Theatre Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Blind/Partially Sighted, Severe and Profound English Language Learners Table 2.1: Administrator and Support Professional Certificates and Grade Spans Administrator Certificates Support Professional Certificates PK-12 Building Level Administrator District Level Administrator Superintendent of Schools English as a Second Language Specialist Instructional Leader/Specialist Mathematics Specialist Reading Specialist School Counselor School Psychologist School Social Worker Speech and Language Pathologist 4

5 New Mexico Three-Tiered Educator Licensing System Demographic Information: Total Student Enrollment 330,245 Percent of Title 1 Schools 81.7% Percent of Students Eligible for FRL 61.7% Number of Teachers 22,825 Number of Districts 89 Number of Schools 867 NAEP, 8 th Grade, 2009 Nation: Math, 283; Reading, 156 Math: 270, Underperform National, Rank 48 Reading: 154, Underperform National, Rank 26 New Mexico s three-tiered licensure system, developed and deployed by the state in 2004, is currently the only educator certification system in the country to incorporate student learning and evaluation data as determining factors for certificate renewal and advancement. The system includes a student learning strand but does not include any value-added data or growth model data. The state s evidence-based portfolio requirements and review process are unlike those of other states, requiring each portfolio to be reviewed by external evaluators. Additionally, district-level administrators are asked to approve renewal decisions. Teachers are only granted a professional license if they pass the portfolio review and receive recommendation from their superintendent. Highlights: Licensure system links salaries to certificate levels Outcomes of evidence-based portfolio review determine certificate renewal and progression Superintendents play a role in licensure renewal and progression decisions New teachers are evaluated annually Tier Structure: To enter the profession, teachers are required to have a Baccalaureate Degree and pass all required licensure tests. Beginning teachers are issued a Level I Provisional Teacher License, a five-year non-renewable license with a starting salary of $30,000. Level I teachers are required to develop a Professional Development Plan (PDP) with their principals at the beginning of each year and principals use the PDP to evaluate teachers. To continue teaching in New Mexico, teachers must earn a Level II Professional Teacher License. Teachers are required to complete an approved mentoring program, complete three academic years of teaching at Level I, and demonstrate increased teaching competencies required for Level 5

6 II by submitting a Professional Development Dossier (PDD). The advancement from a Level I license to a Level II increases a teacher s base salary to $40,000. Teachers have the option to seek a Level III Instructional Leader License. To progress from a Level II to a Level III, teachers are required to complete three years of teaching at Level II and demonstrate increased competencies. Level III teachers are guaranteed a minimum salary of $50,000. New Mexico s three-tiered licensure system is only applicable to teachers. Figure 2.0: New Mexico Three-Tiered Licensure Progression and Advancement Core Academic Subject: Bachelor s degree, pass appropriate test, full state licensure, no wavers Non-Core Academic Subject: Bachelor s degree, pass appropriate test, waivers permitted Submitting a Professional Development Dossier Complete an approved mentoring program Minimum three years Level II teaching experience Submit a Professional Development Dossier Level I: Provisional Teacher (Three Year) Annual evaluations Mentoring Teacher assignment verification Options for additional endorsements $30K minimum salary Minimum three years Level II teaching experience MA or NBTPS Level II: Professional Teacher (Nine Year) Annual evaluations Teacher assignment verification Licensure renewal Options for additional endorsements $40K minimum salary Level III: Instructional Leader (Nine Year) Annual evaluations Teacher assignment verification Licensure renewal Options for additional endorsements $50K minimum salary 6

7 Professional Development Dossier (PDD) The Professional Development Dossier is a collection of classroom data (lesson descriptions, handouts, student work, video and audio recording, photos) with explanations of that data written by the teacher, accompanied by verification and recommendation by the district superintendent. The PDD is organized into five strands: A. Instructional Strand B. Student Learning Strand C. Professional Learning Strand D. Verification Strand E. Evaluation Strand Strands A, B, and C are evaluated by two reviewers from outside a candidate s district. At least one of the external reviewers must have teaching experience in the same or similar subject area and at the same or similar grade level. Each of these strands are rated DOES NOT MEET, MEETS, or EXCEEDS. The reviewers rate each strand independently. If both reviewers agree on a rating, that will be the final rating. Licensure Advancement: Superintendent provides verification for Strand D and recommends licensure advancement for Strand E Strands A, B, and C are rated MEETS or EXCEEDS. Applicants will receive credits for strands with ratings of MEETS and EXCEEDS and may resubmit any strand rated DOES NOT MEET under conditions established in the rules. Teacher Licensure Grade Spans New Mexico differentiates its grade spans by issuing an early childhood certificate, elementary education certificate, middle education certificate, secondary education certificate, etc. Some areas span all grade levels, for example, special education. Table 3.0 illustrates these various grade spans and certificate areas. 7

8 Table 3.0: Grade Spans by Certificate PK K Early Childhood: B- Grade 3 Middle Education Elementary Education New Mexico Certificates Secondary Education Special Education Blind and Visually Impaired Secondary Vocational- Technical PK-12 Administrator Certificates Education Administration Support Provider Certificates Alcohol, Drug and Substance Abuse Counselor, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, Educational Diagnostician, Interpreter for the Deaf, Licensed Practical Nurse, Occupational Therapist, Orientation and Mobility Specialist, Physical Therapist, Physical Therapist Assistant, Recreational Therapist, Rehabilitation Counselor, School Counselor, School Nurse, School Psychologist, School Social Worker, Speech Language Pathologist Performance Evaluation Requirements Each license level comes with its own evaluation requirements. The frequency with which teachers are evaluated is dictated by license level and years of teaching experience. Level 1 Provisional Teacher: With 1-5 years of experience: Observation + PDP + Evaluation Form Level 2 Professional Teacher: With 4-6 years of experience: Progressive documentation that provides formative information on teacher performance. Must include annual observation of classroom practice + annual PDP review. Progressive documentation results in a summative performance evaluation every three years. Level 3 Instructional Leader: 8

9 Progressive documentation that provides formative information on teacher performance. Must include annual observation of classroom practice + annual PDP review. Progressive documentation results in a summative performance evaluation every three years. 9

10 Appendix A: Colorado Certificates and Endorsement Areas PK K Early Childhood Education, Early Childhood Special Education, and Early Childhood Education Specialist (Age B-8) Colorado Certificates and Endorsement Areas Elementary Education (K-6) Secondary Education (7-12); CTE, Agriculture & Renewable Education, Business Education, English, Consumer and Family Studies, Math, Science, Social Studies, Speech, Technology Art, Aurally Handicapped, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education, Drama, Foreign Languages, Health Education, Instructional Technology Specialist, Instructional Technology Teacher, Linguistically Diverse Education, Music, Physical Education, Reading Specialist, Reading Teacher, School Librarian, Teacher Librarian, Gifted & Talented Specialist Special Education Generalist and Special Education Specialist 10

11 Sources Colorado Department of Education, New Mexico Department of Education, Rhode Island Department of Education Website, 11

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