April 2018 Committee on School Initiatives Item 8

Review of Proposed New 19 TAC Chapter 235, Classroom Teacher Certification Standards, Subchapter B, Elementary School Certificate Standards

April 13, 2018

COMMITTEE ON SCHOOL INITIATIVES: ACTION
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION: ACTION

SUMMARY:
This item provides the State Board of Education (SBOE) an opportunity to review a State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) rule action that would propose new 19 TAC Chapter 235, Classroom Teacher Certification Standards, Subchapter B, Elementary School Certificate Standards. Proposed new 19 TAC §§235.13, Content Standards, Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3, 235.15, Science of Teaching Reading Standards, Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3, 235.21, Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities Standards, Early Childhood-Grade 6, and 235.25, Implementation Date, Early Childhood-Grade 6, would implement recent legislation from the 85th Texas Legislative Session, 2017, and would specify the educator standards required for the Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3 certification as well as the pedagogy and professional responsibilities (PPR) educator standards required for the Early Childhood-Grade 6 certification. The proposed new chapter reflects feedback provided by the SBEC-appointed Classroom Teacher Standards Advisory Committee for the Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3 and Early Childhood-Grade 6 PPR standards.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY: The statutory authority for 19 TAC Chapter 235, Subchapter B, is Texas Education Code (TEC), §§21.003(a); 21.031; 21.040(4); 21.041(b)(1), (2), and (4); and 21.0489, as added by Senate Bill (SB) 1839 and House Bill (HB) 2039, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017.

TEC, §21.003(a), states that a person may not be employed as a teacher, teacher intern or teacher trainee, librarian, educational aide, administrator, educational diagnostician, or school counselor by a school district unless the person holds an appropriate certificate or permit issued as provided by the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B.

TEC, §21.031, charges the SBEC with regulating and overseeing all aspects of the certification, continuing education, and standards of conduct for public school educators to ensure that all candidates for certification demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to improve the performance of the diverse student population of this state.

TEC, §21.040(4), states that the SBEC shall, for each class of educator certificate, appoint an advisory committee composed of members of that class to recommend standards for that class to the board.

TEC, §21.041(b)(1), requires the SBEC to propose rules that provide for the regulation of educators and the general administration of the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B, in a manner consistent with the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B. TEC, §21.041(b)(2) and (4), require the SBEC to propose rules that specify the classes of educator certificates to be issued, including emergency certificates, and the requirements for the issuance and renewal of an educator certificate.

TEC, §21.0489, as added by SB 1839 and HB 2039, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, requires the SBEC to create a Prekindergarten-Grade 3 certificate.

EFFECTIVE DATE: The proposed effective date of the proposed new 19 TAC Chapter 235, Subchapter B, §§235.13, 235.15, 235.21, and 235.25, would be May 17, 2018.

PREVIOUS BOARD ACTION: None.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND JUSTIFICATION: The SBEC is statutorily authorized to regulate and oversee all aspects of the certification of public school educators. SBEC is also statutorily authorized to ensure that all candidates for certification or renewal of certification demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to improve the performance of the diverse population of this state.

At the March and June 2017 SBEC meetings, the SBEC and Texas Education Agency (TEA) staff discussed the desire to establish the educator standards for the classroom teacher into rule and to provide Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3 Content Standards and Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3 Science of Teaching Reading Standards for elementary teachers that are aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and the Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines and reflect best practices to better prepare beginning teachers of early learners. At the June 9, 2017 SBEC meeting, the SBEC approved the Classroom Teacher Standards Advisory Committee to begin the work of recommending Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3 Content Standards and the Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3 Science of Teaching Reading Standards for teachers of early learners.

At the August 4, 2017 SBEC meeting, TEA staff updated the SBEC on the activities completed by the advisory committee for the Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3 Content Standards and Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3 Science of Teaching Reading Standards. TEA staff also updated the SBEC on recent legislation requiring the Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3 certificate.

The Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3 Content Standards would focus specifically on the grade bands that serve students up to the age of eight, which defines the classification "early childhood." In developing the Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3 Content Standards, the goal is to place greater emphasis on the developmentally appropriate content knowledge and skills that are most critical for early childhood practitioners entering the field. This goal is rooted in the theory that by narrowing the grade bands for more rigorous, relevant, and reliable content, the preparation and support of Early Childhood-Grade 3 (EC-3) candidates will improve, thereby producing more effective educators that can improve student outcomes. The Classroom Teacher Standards Advisory Committee utilized the TEKS for Kindergarten-Grade 5, the Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines, and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation in the development of these standards.

The Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3 Science of Teaching Reading Standards would focus on the understanding that reading is an essential skill for every student's future academic success, which requires effective instruction from the students' earliest years. The science of teaching reading is comprised of complex knowledge and skills. Educators are not currently required to demonstrate a deep understanding of the science of teaching reading as a bar for entry into the EC-3 classroom. This is due to the breadth of content that must be covered in the current certification pathway. Therefore, the Classroom Teacher Standards Advisory Committee targeted standards within the current English Language Arts and Reading (ELAR) Core Subjects standards specifically focused on early reading development, allowing for the development of a wider breadth and depth of standards specifically addressing the science of teaching reading, while also ensuring that the standards are focused, rigorous, and relevant. The goal would be to establish a clear message that all educators must have a clear understanding of the knowledge and skills associated with the science of teaching reading as a bar for entry into the classroom, regardless of an educator's assigned content area, ultimately impacting educator preparation and performance, and, thus, improving student outcomes. The Classroom Teacher Standards Advisory Committee utilized the TEKS for Kindergarten-Grade 5 and the Prekindergarten Guidelines in the development of these standards.

Upon completion of drafting the standards to be included for an Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3 certificate, TEA staff identified an opportunity to strengthen the existing Early Childhood-Grade 6 (EC-6) certificate by applying the same methodology and advice provided to grade-band the existing Early Childhood-Grade 12 (EC-12) PPR by prioritizing standards for an EC-6 PPR. This will allow the EC-6 certified individuals to have the same grade-band focused PPR as the EC-3, 4-8, and 7-12 educators. At the October SBEC meeting, the SBEC agreed with this approach and directed TEA staff to provide proposed draft rule text for the EC-6 PPR standards along with the standards included for an Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3 certificate.

Subchapter B. Elementary School Certificate Standards

Chapter 235, Subchapter B, incorporates all elementary school classroom teacher certificate standards under one subchapter.

Division 1. Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3

Chapter 235, Subchapter B, Division 1, Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3, complies with TEC, §21.0489, as added by SB 1839 and HB 2039, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017. In addition to the rule for the PPR educator standards required of candidates seeking the EC-3 classroom teacher certificate, the proposed new rules outlined below would specify the content and science of teaching reading educator standards required of candidates seeking the EC-3 classroom teacher certificate. The rules adopted under Division 1 would apply to candidates admitted to an educator preparation program (EPP) on or after September 1, 2018.

§235.13. Content Standards, Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3

Proposed new subsection (a) would clarify the content standards for EC-3 classroom teachers of early learners, including the Prekindergarten Guidelines and Kindergarten-Grade 5 TEKS, with an emphasis on Kindergarten-Grade 3 TEKS. Content standards span Kindergarten-Grade 5 TEKS to ensure classroom teachers can meet the needs of all early learners and vertically align instruction.

Proposed new subsection (b) would specify the standards needed in regard to a teacher's content knowledge and expertise in child development. Proposed new subsection (c) would specify the standards needed in regard to a teacher's content knowledge in English language arts and reading. Proposed new subsection (d) would specify the standards needed in regard to a teacher's content knowledge in mathematics. Proposed new subsection (e) would specify the standards needed in regard to a teacher's content knowledge in science. Proposed new subsection (f) would specify the standards needed in regard to a teacher's content knowledge in social studies. Proposed new subsection (g) would specify the standards needed in regard to a teacher's content knowledge in fine arts. Proposed new subsection (h) would specify the standards needed in regard to a teacher's content knowledge in health education. Proposed new subsection (i) would specify the standards needed in regard to a teacher's content knowledge in physical education.

§235.15. Science of Teaching Reading Standards, Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3

Proposed new subsection (a) would clarify the Science of Teaching Reading Standards for EC-Grade 3 classroom teachers of early learners focused on the instruction of early reading, including the Prekindergarten Guidelines and Kindergarten-Grade 5 English Language Arts and Reading TEKS, with an emphasis on Kindergarten-Grade 3 TEKS. Proposed new subsection (b) would specify the standards needed in regard to a teacher's content knowledge and expertise in the components of reading. Proposed new subsection (c) would specify the standards needed in regard to a teacher's ability to plan and deliver early reading instruction.

Division 2. Early Childhood-Grade 6

Proposed new 19 TAC Chapter 235, Subchapter B, Division 2, Early Childhood-Grade 6, would specify the PPR educator standards required of candidates seeking the EC-6 classroom teacher certificate.

§235.21. Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities Standards, Early Childhood-Grade 6

Proposed new subsection (a) would clarify the PPR standards for EC-6 for classroom teachers of early learners and are aligned with classroom teaching expectations as outlined in 19 TAC Chapter 149, Commissioner's Rules Concerning Educator Standards. Proposed new subsection (b) would specify the standards needed in regard to a teacher's ability to plan and deliver instruction. Proposed new subsection (c) would specify the standards needed in regard to a teacher's ability to ensure high levels of learning, social-emotional development, and achievement outcomes for all students, taking into consideration each student's educational and developmental backgrounds and focusing on each student's needs. Proposed new subsection (d) would specify the standards needed in regard to a teacher's content knowledge and expertise. Proposed new subsection (e) would specify the standards needed in regard to a teacher's ability to manage a safe and supportive learning environment. Proposed new subsection (f) would specify the standards needed in regard to a teacher's ability to apply data-driven practices. Proposed new subsection (g) would specify the standards needed in regard to a teacher's ability to abide by educator professional practices and responsibilities.

§235.25. Implementation Date, Early Childhood-Grade 6

The proposed new section would clarify that the provisions of this subchapter apply to candidates admitted to an EPP on or after September 1, 2018.

SBOE Review of Proposed SBEC Rules

Under the TEC, §21.042, the SBEC must submit a written copy of each rule it proposes to adopt to the SBOE for review. The SBOE may reject the proposed rule by a vote of at least two-thirds of the members of the SBOE present and voting, but may not modify a rule.

FISCAL IMPACT :
The TEA staff has determined that there is no additional fiscal impact on state and local governments and there are no additional costs to entities required to comply with the proposed new rules. In addition, there is no direct adverse economic impact for small businesses, microbusinesses, and rural communities; therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis, specified in Texas Government Code, §2006.002, is required. There is no effect on local economy; therefore, no local employment impact statement is required under Texas Government Code, §2001.002. The proposed new rules do not impose a cost on regulated persons, another state agency, a special district, or a local government and, therefore, are not subject to Texas Government Code, §2001.0045.

GOVERNMENT GROWTH IMPACT : The TEA staff has determined that the proposed new rules do not have a government growth impact pursuant to Texas Government Code, §2001.0221.

PUBLIC AND STUDENT BENEFIT : The public and student benefit anticipated as a result of the proposed new rules would be more rigorous, relevant, and reliable requirements for the preparation, certification, and testing of elementary classroom teachers upon entry into the profession and retention of these qualified professionals. The proposed new rules do not impose a cost on persons required to comply with the rules.

PROCEDURAL AND REPORTING IMPLICATIONS: The proposed new rules would have no additional procedural and reporting implications.

LOCALLY MAINTAINED PAPERWORK REQUIREMENTS: The proposed new rules would have no additional locally maintained paperwork requirements.

PUBLIC COMMENTS: In accordance with the SBEC rulemaking process, a summary of comments received by the SBEC on its proposed rules is shared with the SBOE under separate cover prior to this SBOE meeting.

OTHER COMMENTS AND RELATED ISSUES: None.

MOTION TO BE CONSIDERED: The State Board of Education:

Take no action on the proposed new 19 TAC Chapter 235, Classroom Teacher Certification Standards, Subchapter B, Elementary School Certificate Standards, with an effective date of 20 days after filing the adoption notice with the Texas Register.

Staff Members Responsible:
Ryan Franklin, Associate Commissioner
Educator Leadership and Quality

Grace Wu, Project Manager
Educator Support

Attachments:
I.  Statutory Citations (PDF, 20KB)
II. Text of Proposed New 19 TAC Chapter 235, Classroom Teacher Certification Standards, Subchapter B, Elementary School Certificate Standards (PDF, 50KB)