COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 7

September 29, 2006

REGULATORY

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Billy K. Cannaday, Jr.

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Transmittal of Statement of Administrative Impact and Projected Costs of Implementation for the Promulgation of the Proposed Regulations Governing the Review and Approval of Education Programs in Virginia and Proposed Regulations Governing the Licensure of School Personnel

 

As part of its responsibility for promulgating new regulations or revisions to existing regulations, the Board of Education is required to develop a statement of the economic impact and projected cost to school divisions of implementing and complying with such regulations. The Board and the Department of Education are required to send a copy of the statement to each division superintendent.

 

As stipulated in Section 22.1-298 of the Code of Virginia, the Board of Education prescribes the requirements for the licensure of teachers and establishes other requirements for teacher preparation. The last comprehensive review of the licensure and approved program regulations was conducted in the mid-1990s with regulations becoming effective July 1, 1998. The regulations need to be revised based on federal and state legislation, as well as to address recommendations to change requirements for licensure. Due to the number of revisions in both documents, the current regulations will be repealed, and new regulations will be promulgated by the Board of Education. The full text of both sets of proposed regulations may be accessed at the websites listed on the next page.

 

 

Regulations Governing the Review and Approval of Education Programs in Virginia http://www.doe.virginia.gov/VDOE/VA_Board/Meetings/2006/ItemE-jun.pdf

 

Regulations Governing the Licensure of Schools Personnel

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/VDOE/VA_Board/Meetings/2006/ItemF-jun.pdf


Administrative Impact and Projected Costs of Implementation

 

Regulations Governing the Review and Approval of Education Programs in Virginia (8 VAC 20-542)

 

The Regulations Governing the Review and Approval of Education Programs in Virginia defines the standards that must be met and the review options available for the accreditation of teacher education programs. The regulations provide three options for accreditation: 1) a state review process for which the teacher education program must meet the standards established by Board of Education regulations; 2) the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) process for which the teacher education program must meet the boards teaching area requirements and the NCATE standards; or 3) the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) process for which the teacher education program must meet the Boards teaching area requirements and the TEAC standards.

 

Under the proposed regulations, the Department of Education will no longer evaluate professional education units if the professional education unit has obtained and maintained national accreditation from NCATE or TEAC. As a result, these units will save preparation and meeting time as well as the cost of materials and personnel.

 

The proposed regulations affect Virginias 37 professional education units, other institutions or entities considering offering education programs, 132 school divisions, approximately 110,000 instructional personnel, students in the Commonwealth, and all Virginia localities.

 

The proposal to deny approval for education programs that cannot meet basic accountability criteria requirements may reduce employment in institutions that have programs unable to meet these requirements. Private institutions with education programs that do not meet basic accountability requirements will likely take new actions to meet these requirements. Those that cannot meet the requirements will likely no longer offer those programs. The value of these private institutions may moderately decrease as a result. Other institutions that have education programs that are approved may obtain students that otherwise would have attended one of the programs that cannot obtain approval. The value of these institutions would moderately increase commensurately. The proposal to rate individual education programs also will be beneficial in that the public will become better informed concerning the performance of education programs. This information may potentially assist program applicants in making choices in applying to and perhaps attending an institution. The proposed regulations do not significantly affect small businesses.

 

Regulations Governing the Licensure of School Personnel

(8 VAC 20-22)

 

The Board of Education proposes to concurrently repeal the Regulations Governing the Licensure of School Personnel text of the current regulations and promulgate new regulations with the same title. The proposed regulations contain numerous changes. Potential impact on each is noted below:

 

1          Amending the requirements for teachers with out-of-state experience to qualify for exemption from Virginias assessment requirement.

 

Overall it appears likely that the benefit of reducing the prevalence of students having teachers that do not possess what is considered the minimum necessary knowledge to teach competently outweighs the introduced costs of fees and time for some applicants with out-of-state experience.

 

2          Requiring applicants for endorsement in early/primary education prek-3, elementary education preK-6, special education-general curriculum, special education-hearing disorders, special education-visual impairments and as a reading specialist to obtain passing scores on a reading instructional assessment.

 

The total fee for this exam is $105.50. The fees and time involved are not negligible, but their magnitudes are unlikely to discourage most potential applicants with out-of-state experience from pursuing teaching positions in Virginia.

 

3          Requiring that individuals seeking initial licensure demonstrate proficiency in the use of educational technology for instruction.

 

If each school division does in practice accurately identify which teachers have met this requirement, the proposed amendments will create a net benefit in regard to early/primary education preK-3 and elementary education preK-6 endorsed teachers. Thus, there will be savings in time and dollars to allow computer competent individuals to test out of the computer class requirement.

 

4          Increasing the required hours of student teaching from 300 to 500.

 

Additional time spent as a student teacher likely has some benefit, but it has costs as well. Individuals who pursue the career switcher route will continue to be able to obtain licensure with considerably less student teaching time in practice.

 

5          Requiring that Provisional license holders pass the professional teachers assessments within the first year of contract.

 

This requirement will likely reduce the frequency that Virginias students are taught by teachers who are unable to demonstrate what is considered the minimum necessary knowledge to teach competently.

 

6          Permitting all individuals obtaining licensure through alternative routes to substitute experiential learning in lieu of coursework.

 

These individuals will save the time and tuition associated with completing the exempted coursework. Additionally, the reduction in cost for fees and time may be enough to encourage some individuals who are highly-knowledgeable in specific fields to pursue teaching in their area of expertise who otherwise might not have chosen a teaching career. Thus, this proposal will likely produce a net benefit.

 

7          Establishing the International Educator License

 

To the extent that the individuals awarded the International Educator License are truly competent to teach the courses they end up in teaching in practice, the introduction of this license will likely produce a net benefit.

 

8          Establishing the Career Teacher, Mentor Teacher, and Teacher as Leader designations

 

The Career Teacher designation will not likely have much effect. It does not indicate anything beyond the teacher having had their license renewed. The Mentor Teacher and Teacher as Leader designations are not required by regulations or the Code of Virginia for teachers to do any particular work or fill any particular function. However, school divisions may find the designations useful and may choose to only hire or have hiring preferences for individuals who have gained one of these designations for specific jobs. Divisions may also wish to pay more to individuals who have achieved one of these designations.

 

9          Incorporating descriptions of professional development options that satisfy renewal requirements into the regulations.

 

10     Eliminating peer observation and educational travel as options for professional development.

 

Though some teachers may not be happy with the reduction in options, this proposal will likely produce a net benefit since more teachers participating in more effective training will likely result in some degree of improved student performance.

 

11     Establishing the school manager license.

 

It is not clear that schools would be prohibited from hiring individuals to administer non-instructional responsibilities without this license; thus, the introduction of this endorsement may have little effect.

 

12     Removing competencies for endorsement areas.

 

Removing this language does not diminish the readers understanding of the endorsement requirements, and may increase the ease of finding relevant information due to the reduction of extraneous information.

 

13     Allowing individuals who hold a teaching license to add an additional endorsement by passing a rigorous academic subject test prescribed by the Board.

 

This proposal will potentially save candidates a significant amount of time and tuition. If the prescribed tests are sufficiently well-designed to accurately assess the candidates relevant knowledge in the respective endorsement areas, then those individuals that obtain additional endorsements by passing a rigorous academic subject test should be at least as able to teach competently in their field as someone who took all the courses in the traditional route, other attributes being equal.

 

Also, the reduction in cost for fees and time may be enough to encourage some individuals to seek an additional endorsement who otherwise may not have. This will likely produce an increase in the number of teachers technically qualified to teach in fields that have shortages. Thus, this proposed amendment will likely produce a net benefit.

 

14     Changing the required minimum in-car instruction from 20 to 14 hours of actual behind-the-wheel supervised teaching experience and requiring 2 hours of basic evasive maneuvers.

 

15     Reducing the total semester hours of required coursework for the health and physical education preK-12 endorsement, and the history and social science endorsement.

 

Presuming that the endorsement candidates can acquire the necessary knowledge to teach competently with the smaller number of course hours, the proposed reductions in minimum required semester hours for endorsements should provide a net benefit in that candidates can choose to use the time and fees that would have been spent on those additional courses on other pursuits.

 

16     Permitting middle education endorsement in only one area.

 

This is beneficial in that it allows candidates to not spend time and funds on a field for which they have no desire or intention to teach.

 

17     Amending the nature and names of special education endorsements.

 

Insufficient information is available to evaluate the impact of this proposed change in endorsement categories.

 

18     Establishing Level II endorsement for administrators.

 

Divisions may choose to only hire or have hiring preferences for individuals who have gained Level II endorsement for specific jobs. Divisions may also wish to pay more to individuals who have achieved Level II.

 

19     Establishing the speech language pathology assistant endorsement.

 

There has been a shortage of qualified speech language pathologists in Virginias public schools. Working under the direction and supervision of a fully endorsed speech pathologist (speech-language disorders preK-12 endorsement), speech-language pathologist assistants should be able to competently help provide more frequent speech-language treatment for students. Additionally, the proposed endorsement may help provide a useful career path for those who intend to obtain a graduate degree in speech-language pathology.

 

20     Establishing the mathematics specialist endorsement.

 

School divisions will be required to hire individuals as mathematics specialist for elementary and middle education endorsement if funding is provided through the Standards of Quality.

 

21     Discontinuing the visiting teacher endorsement.

 

No visiting teacher programs exist at Virginia institutions, and there is no perceived demand for the endorsement. Removing the endorsement from the regulations will be moderately beneficial in that readers will not be misled into believing that such an endorsement may actively exist in the Commonwealth.

 

Finally, the proposed regulations affect the 132 school divisions, approximately 110,000 instructional personnel, 37 accredited institutions that offer education programs, students in the Commonwealth, and all Virginia localities. Also, the proposed regulations do not significantly affect small businesses.

 

If you have any questions, please contact the Division of Teacher Education and Licensure at (804) 371-2522, or mail to: Dr. JoAnne Y. Carver, director of teacher education at (804) 371-2475, or e-mail to: JoAnne.Carver@doe.virginia.gov, or Mrs. Patty S. Pitts, director of licensure at (804) 371-2471, or e-mail to: Patty.Pitts@doe.virginia.gov.

BKC/JYC