April 2010 Attachment A
Excerpts from Board of Regents Item on Certificate Flexibility
The purpose of these amendments is to retain effective teachers with appropriate education and experience who may be reassigned to meet the needs of other students.
Grades 7-12 Academic Area Certification Extended to Grades 5 and 6
The proposed amendment provides a level of flexibility in certification similar to that of the Experiment in Organizational Change. During a period of fiscal crisis, a district could reassign a teacher who is employed by the district and certified in the classroom teaching service in a subject area in grades 7-12 to teach that same subject area in grades 5 or 6 through a limited extension to the teacher’s existing certificate. The limited extension will be valid for two years and shall be valid with that employing entity only. A full extension may be issued to the candidate if the candidate meets the requirements within those two years.
Childhood Education Extended to Kindergarten
The proposed amendment authorizes a teacher who is currently certified in childhood education (grades 1-6) to be reassigned to teach kindergarten under a limited extension to their existing certificate for a two-year period while they complete six semester hours of pedagogical coursework in early childhood education. At that point, the teacher could apply for the full extension to teach kindergarten.
Childhood Education Extended to Grades 7 and 8
Similar to the regulation on the Experiment in Organizational Change, the proposed amendment authorizes a certified and qualified elementary school teacher (grades 1-6) to be reassigned to a position teaching an academic subject in grades 7 and 8. The teacher would need to have appropriate education and experience for such teaching assignment as demonstrated by earning Highly Qualified status under NCLB in order to be granted a limited extension to their existing certificate title. Also, the teacher must agree to: 1) successfully complete the Content Specialty Test in that subject area, and 2) complete 6 semester hours of course work in Middle Childhood Education, within the next two years to qualify for the full certificate extension when their limited extension expires.
Limited Extensions would not be renewable and would expire at the end of the two-year period. It is intended that these Limited Extensions would provide a two-year bridge to authorize teaching for an already experienced teacher who is seeking to complete any remaining requirements to qualify for the full certificate extension in the new teaching assignment.
The proposed amendment addresses certification issues only. Hiring decisions or appointments to tenure areas continue to be governed by existing law and rules. For example, if, due to a previous reduction in force, a preferred eligibility list exists that covers the tenure area where the district seeks to fill a position, the school district must use the preferred eligibility list first before making any new appointments to that tenure area. Also, any reassignments to a new tenure area require the consent of the teacher and result in the teacher serving a probationary period in the new tenure area.