COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P.O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120
SUPTS. MEMO NO. 8
September 21, 2001
REGULATORY
 
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Implementation of New Licensure Requirements for Instructional Personnel

As a result of recent changes by the Virginia General Assembly and the Board of Education, revisions have been made in teacher education and licensure requirements. This regulatory memorandum highlights information on the technology standards for instructional personnel, Regulations Governing Approved Programs for Virginia

Institutions of Higher Education, data reporting requirements, Praxis I and II, and the School Leaders Licensure assessment. Guidance is provided in the implementation of the requirements.

Technology Standards for Instructional Personnel

The Technology Standards for Instructional Personnel became effective on March 4, 1998. School divisions were required to incorporate the technology standards into their local technology plans and develop strategies to implement the standards by December 1998. The goal was for all instructional personnel to meet the standards prior to the 2002-2003 school year. The standards are accessible on the following Web address: http://www.pen.k12.va.us/VDOE/Compliance/TeacherED/tech.html.

Regulatory Superintendentís Memorandum Number 2, dated April 17, 1998, provided guidance in the implementation of the Technology Standards for Instructional Personnel. By December 1998, Virginia institutions of higher education preparing instructional personnel incorporated the technology standards in their teacher education programs and began assessing studentsí proficiency in the standards.

Subsequently, in 1999 the Virginia General Assembly amended Section 22.1-298 of the Code of Virginia as follows: "On and after July 1, 2003, persons seeking initial licensure or license renewal as teachers must demonstrate proficiency in the use of educational technology for instruction." This amendment revises the implementation procedures outlined in the April 17, 1998, memorandum by requiring individuals to meet the technology standards as a condition of licensure.

All licensed instructional personnel must meet the technology standards. Effective July 1, 2003, verification of the demonstrated proficiency of the technology standards from the employing Virginia educational agency or a Virginia college or university will be required for individuals seeking an initial license or license renewal. Upon verification using forms supplied by the Department of Education, a notation will be made on the license to document demonstrated proficiency of the technology standards as attested to by the hiring Virginia school division. The licensure renewal forms and college verification forms will be revised prior to July 1, 2003, to document the completion of this requirement. Because the standards are intended to be entry level, institutions of higher education and school divisions should establish provisions by which students and instructional personnel who have acquired advanced skills could test out of the standards.

Individuals who have not completed a Virginia approved program since December 1998 and who are not currently employed may seek an initial license or license renewal; however, the notation regarding completion of the technology standards will not be included on the license. Upon employment in Virginia, the individuals must demonstrate proficiency in the technology standards during the first year of employment. Verification must be submitted to the Division of Teacher Education and Licensure so an upgraded license can be issued reflecting the completion of the technology requirement.

Regulations Governing Approved Programs for Virginia

Institutions of Higher Education

The Regulations Governing Approved Programs for Virginia Institutions of Higher Education became effective July 1, 2001. The regulations will be implemented beginning with program endorsement and professional education unit reviews scheduled for the 2002-03 academic year.

Candidates who are "in the pipeline" and are following the old regulations will be allowed to complete the requirements under those regulations through July 1, 2003. Personnel in the Division of Teacher Education and Licensure will rely on the institution to designate whether the student has completed an old or new program. Usually this is determined by the endorsement for which the candidate is recommended. For example, individuals may be completing an old program in middle education 4-8; whereas, a recommendation for middle education 6-8 that identifies two areas of concentration would be viewed as a new program.
 
 

Data Reporting Requirements

Last year, the Department of Education consolidated data collections of instructional personnel information required for state and federal reports. This information is reported in the annual Teacher/Administrator Data Collection to be requested in a superintendentís memorandum this fall. This year school divisions will be asked to provide information to respond to recent revisions in the Code of Virginia.

In 1999, the General Assembly amended Section 22.1-212.2:1 of the Code of Virginia and required the Board of Education to determine, biennially, critical teacher shortage areas for awarding Virginia Teaching Scholarship Loans. In 2001, legislation enacted by the General Assembly allows retired teachers and administrators to return to teaching in accordance with specified criteria. The law specifies that the Superintendent of Public Instruction shall survey all school divisions at least annually to identify critical shortages of teachers and administrative personnel by geographic area, by school division, or by subject matter, and report that information to each school division and to the Virginia Retirement System.

In 2000, the Code of Virginia was amended to establish a mechanism for school boards to issue a valid three-year local eligibility license to teachers. The annual report of the number of local licenses issued will be included in the Teacher/Administrator Data Collection, thus discontinuing the separate survey required last year.

In October 1998, Congress enacted Title II of the Higher Education Act. Title II authorizes new federal grant programs that support the efforts of states, institutions of higher education, and their school division partners to improve the recruitment, preparation, and support of new teachers. Title II also includes new accountability measures for institutions and states to report on teacher preparation and licensing. By law, institutions of higher education must submit annual reports to their states in April, and annual state reports must be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education in October. Information from school divisions for Title II, including numbers of full-time and part-time teachers, long-term substitute teachers, and licensure of instructional personnel, will be requested in the annual data collection report.

You recently received Informational Superintendentís Memorandum Number 111, dated August 7, 2001, regarding the implementation of legislation authorizing the hiring of retired public school teachers and administrators for critical shortage areas. The information for each retired employee who is employed by a school division must be provided to the Division of Teacher Education and Licensure in the Department of Education through electronic files twice a year, on October 1 and February 1. Since this information is required on a different time schedule, this data must be submitted separately from the Teacher/Administrator Data Collection. Hard copies of the certification statements also must be mailed to the department on October 1 and February 1. When the term of employment ends for a hired retiree, the Department of Education must be notified.
 
 

Professional Teacherís Assessment

The Board of Education prescribes Praxis I (Reading, Writing, and Mathematics) and Praxis II (subject area content) as the professional teacherís assessment requirement for initial licensure in Virginia. Composite scores for Praxis I were recently established, new

Praxis II content tests have been approved, and a School Leaders Licensure Assessment has been developed.

Praxis I

Informational Superintendentís Memorandum Number 64, dated May 4, 2001, announced the Board of Educationís approval of the use of composite scores for Praxis I and provided specific information regarding the implementation of the composite scores. Individuals may meet the Praxis I assessment requirement by achieving the scores established by the Board of Education on October 26, 1995, on each of the three Praxis I tests Ė Writing, Reading, and Mathematics Ė or by achieving an established composite score on all three tests.

Praxis II

The Board of Education approved cut scores on 16 subject content tests that became effective July 1, 1999. Subsequently, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) introduced new content knowledge assessments in elementary education, middle school, and health and physical education. Upon release of these new tests, Virginia teachers and teacher educators participated in validation and standard setting studies guided by representatives from the Educational Testing Service. Additionally, panels of educators reviewed the test specifications to ensure an appropriate match between the Praxis II tests and the competencies set forth in the Licensure Regulations for School Personnel and the K-12 Standards of Learning.

The Board of Education has approved these additional

Praxis II tests that will be required for candidates who apply for licensure on and after July 1, 2002. The tests and passing scores are as follows:
 
 

Endorsement(Teaching Area)          Praxis II Assessmentand Test Code            Passing Score
 

Prek-3, PreK-6                            Elementary Education:
                                        Content Knowledge (0014)                      143

Middle Education                         Middle School English
6-8 (Two areas                            Language Arts (0049)                        164
of concentration)

                                        Middle School Mathematics                     163
                                                (0069)

                                        Middle School Science (0439)                  162
 
                                            Middle School Social
                                               Studies (0089)                         160

Health and                                 Health and Physical
Physical Education                           Education (0856)                         151
PreK-12
 

Candidates completing a middle education 6-8 program must identify two areas of concentration and take the two corresponding Praxis II middle school assessments.

Candidates who are "in the pipeline" in a Virginia- approved program and are following previous regulations will be allowed to complete programs under those requirements. The institution must designate whether the student has completed an old or new program. Usually, this is determined by the endorsement for which the candidate is recommended, i.e., an elementary education prek-6 recommendation would be interpreted as a new program. A recommendation for the middle education 6-8 endorsement that identifies two areas of concentration also would be viewed as a new program.

The Educational Testing Service has updated Vocational Praxis II tests in business education, technology education, marketing education and family and consumer sciences (work and family studies). New forms of these tests will be administered in the fall testing administration. The cut scores for these tests will continue as established by the Board of Education in 1999.
 
 
 
 

A new series of tests for special education has been developed by the Educational Testing Service. These tests will be available for match, validation, and standard- setting studies during this academic year. During this period of review and standard setting, a Praxis II assessment in special education is not required for initial licensure.

School Leaders Licensure Assessment

The Licensure Regulations for School Personnel stipulate that individuals seeking an endorsement in administration and supervision must have "completed a beginning administration and supervision assessment when prescribed by the Board of Education reflecting the knowledge of the state competencies or completed a full-time internship as a school principal."

A new test, the School Leaders Licensure Assessment, has been approved by the Board of Education as part of the licensure process for individuals seeking an endorsement in administration and supervision. This assessment reflects the most current research and professional judgment and experience of educators across the country. The test also is based on both a national job analysis study and a set of standards for school leaders identified by the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC), which consists of national professional organizations and 38 states including Virginia.

After a three-year period of data collection to set a standard for Virginia, a qualifying score (cut score) for the School Leaders Licensure Assessment is anticipated to be established. Currently, individuals have the option of taking this assessment or completing the internship.

In addition to the revisions highlighted in this memorandum, amendments to the Licensure Regulations for School Personnel are proceeding through the requirements of the Administrative Process Act (APA). Upon final approval of revisions to these regulations in early 2002, a memorandum will be distributed with other teacher education and licensure changes.

If you should have questions about the implementation of the requirements for licensure or the collection of data for instructional personnel, please contact Dr. Thomas A. Elliott (telliott@pen.k12.va.us), assistant superintendent of teacher education and licensure, or Mrs. Patty S. Pitts (ppitts@pen.k12.va.us), director of professional licensure, at (804) 371-2522.

JLD:psp

c: Deans/Chairs of

Schools of Education

Directors of Human Resources

Licensure Contacts