Eliminate Academic Literacy Skills Test for Teacher Certification, Remove Unnecessary Reference...

NY-ADR

3/29/17 N.Y. St. Reg. EDU-13-17-00014-EP
NEW YORK STATE REGISTER
VOLUME XXXIX, ISSUE 13
March 29, 2017
RULE MAKING ACTIVITIES
EDUCATION DEPARTMENT
EMERGENCY/PROPOSED RULE MAKING
NO HEARING(S) SCHEDULED
 
I.D No. EDU-13-17-00014-EP
Filing No. 183
Filing Date. Mar. 13, 2017
Effective Date. Mar. 14, 2017
Eliminate Academic Literacy Skills Test for Teacher Certification, Remove Unnecessary References to Liberal Arts and Science
PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE State Administrative Procedure Act, NOTICE is hereby given of the following action:
Proposed Action:
Amendment of Part 80 of Title 8 NYCRR.
Statutory authority:
Education Law, sections 207, 305, 3001, 3003, 3004 and 3009
Finding of necessity for emergency rule:
Preservation of general welfare.
Specific reasons underlying the finding of necessity:
As a result of feedback the Board of Regents received from public forums across the State and based upon recommendations from the edTPA Task Force, the proposed amendment eliminates the requirement to take and pass the Academic Literacy Skills Test in order to obtain an initial teaching certificate.
Because the Board of Regents meets at scheduled intervals, the earliest the proposed amendment could be presented for regular (non-emergency) adoption, after publication in the State Register and expiration of the 45-day public comment period provided for in the State Administrative Procedure Act (SAPA) sections 202(1) and (5), is the July 2017 Regents meeting. Furthermore, pursuant to SAPA section 203(1), the earliest effective date of the proposed amendment, if adopted at the July 2017 Regents meeting is August 2, 2017, the date a Notice of Adoption would be published in the State Register. However, emergency action is needed to protect the general welfare by ensuring that candidates applying for an initial teaching certificate are aware that they will no longer be required to take and pass the ALST to obtain certification, and therefore will not have to pay a fee for the examination.
It is anticipated that the emergency rule will be presented to the Board of Regents for adoption as a permanent rule at the July 2017 Regents meeting, which is the first scheduled meeting after expiration of the 45-day public comment period mandated by the State Administrative Procedure Act for proposed rulemakings.
Subject:
Eliminate Academic Literacy Skills Test for teacher certification, remove unnecessary references to liberal arts and science.
Purpose:
To implement the recommendations of the edTPA Task Force.
Text of emergency/proposed rule:
1. Subdivision (c) of section 80-1.5 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education shall be amended to read as follows:
(c) Except as otherwise prescribed in this subdivision, notwithstanding any applicable provisions of Subparts 80-1, 80-3, 80-4 and 80-5 of this Part or any other provision of rule or regulation to the contrary, a candidate who applies for and meets all the requirements for a certificate on or before June 30, 2018, except that such candidate does not achieve a satisfactory level of performance on one or more of the new certification examinations [(the academic literacy skills test and/or the teacher performance assessment)] the teacher performance assessment or the revised content specialty examination(s), as prescribed by the Commissioner, that is/are required for the certificate title sought, may instead use one or more of the following safety net options, in lieu of taking, retaking one or more of such new and/or revised certification examinations:
(1) Teacher performance assessment. A candidate who takes and fails to achieve a satisfactory level of performance on the teacher performance assessment (after completing and submitting for scoring the teacher performance assessment), may, in lieu of retaking the teacher performance assessment:
(i) receive a satisfactory score on the written assessment of teaching skills after receipt of his/her score on the teacher performance assessment and prior to [June 30, 2017] either the date a new passing score for the edTPA is approved by the Commissioner after a recommendation is made by a new standard setting panel or June 30, 2018, whichever is earlier; or
(ii) pass the written assessment of teaching skills on or before April 30, 2014 (before the new certification examination requirements became effective), provided the candidate has taken and failed the teacher performance assessment prior to [June 30, 2017] either the date a new passing score for the edTPA is approved by the Commissioner after a recommendation is made by a new standard setting panel, or June 30, 2018, whichever is earlier.
(2) [Academic Literacy Skills Test. A candidate who takes and fails to achieve a satisfactory level of performance on the academic literacy skills test may, in lieu of retaking the academic literacy skills test, submit an attestation on or before June 30, 2017, on a form prescribed by the commissioner, attesting that the candidate has:
(i) demonstrated comparable skills to what is required by the academic literacy skills test through course completion by completing a minimum of three semester hours in coursework satisfactory to the commissioner; and
(ii) received a cumulative grade of a 3.0 or higher, or the substantial equivalent, in such coursework.
(3)] Content specialty test.
(i) . . .
(ii) . . .
(iii) . . .
(iv) . . .
2. Subparagraph (iii) of paragraphs (1) of subdivision (c) of section 80-3.4 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education shall be repealed.
3. Subparagraph (iii) of paragraphs (2) of subdivision (c) of section 80-3.4 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education shall be repealed.
4. Clause (a) of subparagraph (i) of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of section 80-3.4 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education shall be repealed and clause (b) of subparagraph (i) of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of section 80-3.4 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education shall be renumbered as clause (a) of subparagraph (i) of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of section 80-3.4 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.
5. Subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of section 80-5.22 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education shall be repealed and subparagraph (iii) shall be renumbered as subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of section 80-5.22 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.
6. Sections 80-5.10 and 80-5.11 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of the Education shall be repealed.
7. Paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of section 80-3.9 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education shall be repealed and paragraph (4) shall be renumbered as paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of section 80-3.9 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.
8. Paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of section 80-5.14 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education shall be amended, to read as follows:
(2) Examination.
(i) [A candidate who applies for a Transitional C certificate on or before April 30, 2014 and who has completed all other requirements for a Transitional C certificate on or before April 30, 2014, shall submit evidence of having achieved a satisfactory level of performance on the New York State Teacher Certification Examination liberal arts and sciences test, and content specialty test(s) in the area of the certificate on or before April 30, 2014, or a satisfactory level of performance on the academic literacy skills test, the educating all students test and the content specialty test(s) in the area of the certificate.
(ii)] Candidates who apply for a Transitional C certificate on or after May 1, 2014 or who apply for a Transitional C certificate on or before April 30, 2014 but do not meet all the requirements for an initial certificate on or before April 30, 2014, shall submit evidence of having achieved a satisfactory level of performance on the [academic literacy skills test, the] educating all students test and the content specialty test.
9. Subparagraph (i) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of section 80-3.3 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education shall be amended to read as follows:
(i)
(a) [Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision, for candidates who have completed all requirements for initial certification on or before April 30, 2014 and who apply for certification on or before April 30, 2014, the candidate shall submit evidence of having achieved a satisfactory level of performance on the New York State Teacher Certification Examination liberal arts and sciences test, written assessment of teaching skills, and content specialty test(s) in the area of the certificate on or before April 30, 2014, except that a candidate seeking an initial certificate in the title of Speech and Language Disabilities (all grades) shall not be required to achieve a satisfactory level of performance on the content specialty test. Instead of meeting the examination requirements of this subdivision, a candidate applying for certification on or before April 30, 2014 may achieve a satisfactory level of performance on the set of certification examinations described in this subdivision, except that such candidate may receive a satisfactory level of performance on either the teacher performance assessment or the written assessment of teaching skills.
(b)] Except as otherwise provided in this section, for candidates applying for certification on or after May 1, 2014 or candidates who applied for certification on or before April 30, 2014 but did not meet all the requirements for an initial certificate on or before April 30, 2014, such candidates shall submit evidence of having achieved a satisfactory level of performance on the New York State Teacher Certification Examination teacher performance assessment, the educating all students test, [the academic literacy skills test] and the content specialty test(s) in the area of the certificate, except that a candidate seeking an initial certificate in the title of Speech and Language Disabilities (all grades) shall not be required to achieve a satisfactory level of performance on the content specialty test or the teacher performance assessment and a candidate seeking an initial certificate in the title of Educational Technology Specialist (all grades) shall not be required to achieve a satisfactory level of performance on the teacher performance assessment.
[(c)] (b) Examination requirement for candidates with a graduate degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics and two years of post-secondary teaching experience in the area of the certificate sought.
(1) [Any candidate seeking an initial certificate in earth science, biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics or in a closely related field as determined by the department in (grades 7-12) and who is applying for an initial certificate through individual evaluation under section 80-3.7(a)(3)(ii)(c) of this Subpart on or before April 30, 2014 and who has completed all other requirements for initial certification under such section on or before April 30, 2014 shall only be required to achieve a satisfactory level of performance on the liberal arts and sciences test.
(2)] Any candidate seeking an initial certificate in earth science, biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics or in a closely related field as determined by the department in (grades 7-12) and who is applying for an initial certificate through individual evaluation under section 80-3.7(a)(3)(ii)(c) of this Subpart on or after May 1, 2014 or candidates who applied for certification on or before April 30, 2014 but did not meet all the requirements for an initial certificate through individual evaluation on or before April 30, 2014, shall only be required to achieve a satisfactory level of performance on the educating all students test [and the academic literacy skills test].
10. Subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of section 80-5.13 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, shall be amended, to read as follows:
(ii) Examination.
(a) [A candidate who applies for a Transitional B certificate on or before April 30, 2014 and who meets all the requirements for a Transitional B certificate on or before April 30, 2014, shall submit evidence of having achieved a satisfactory level of performance on the New York State teacher certification examination liberal arts and sciences test, and the content specialty test(s) in the area of the certificate, where such content specialty test is required for the certificate title on or before April 30, 2014. Successful completion of the content specialty test in the area of the certificate shall not be required for the transitional B certificate authorizing the teaching of English to speakers of other languages, students with disabilities, students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, students who are blind or visually impaired, or students with speech and language disabilities, or for an extension of a transitional B certificate in bilingual education. Instead, the candidate shall submit evidence of having achieved a satisfactory level of performance on a New York State teacher certification examination content specialty test prescribed by the Commissioner.
(b)] A candidate who applies for a Transitional B certificate on or after May 1, 2014 or a candidate who applies for a Transitional B certificate on or before April 30, 2014 but does not meet all the requirements for a Transitional B certificate on April 30, 2014 shall submit evidence of having achieved a satisfactory level of performance on the New York State teacher certification examination [academic literacy skills test,] the [education for] educating all students test and the content specialty test(s) in the area of the certificate, where such content specialty test is required for the certificate title. Successful completion of the content specialty test in the area of the certificate shall not be required for the [transitional B] Transitional B certificate authorizing the teaching of English to speakers of other languages, students with disabilities, students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, students who are blind or visually impaired, or students with speech and language disabilities, or for an extension of a Transitional B certificate in bilingual education. Instead, the candidate shall submit evidence of having achieved a satisfactory level of performance on a New York State teacher certification examination content specialty test prescribed by the Commissioner or a teaching certificate in the classroom teaching service.
11. Subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of section 80-5.13 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education shall be amended to read as follows:
(ii) Examination. The candidate shall submit evidence of having achieved a satisfactory level of performance on [the New York State teacher certification examination written assessment of teaching skills test, and] any [other] examination required for the provisional or initial certificate, as applicable, and/or a bilingual education extension of such certificate, as applicable.
[(a) A candidate who applies for an initial certificate on or before April 30, 2014, and who has completed all other requirements for an initial certificate or who has completed all requirements for an initial certificate except completion of their registered Transitional B program, on or before April 30, 2014 shall submit evidence of having achieved a satisfactory level of performance on the New York State teacher certification examination written assessment of teaching skills test, and any other examination required for the provisional or initial certificate, as applicable, and/or a bilingual education extension of such certificate, as applicable, on or before April 30, 2014 or a satisfactory level of performance on the teacher performance assessment, if applicable for that certificate title, and any other examination required for the provisional or initial certificate, as applicable, and/or a bilingual education extension of such certificate, as applicable.
(b) A candidate who applies for an initial certificate on or after May 1, 2014 or who applies for an initial certificate on or before April 30, 2014 but does not meet all the requirements for an initial certificate on April 30, 2014, shall submit evidence of having achieved a satisfactory level of performance on the teacher performance assessment, if applicable for that certificate title, and any other examination required for the provisional or initial certificate, as applicable, and/or a bilingual education extension of such certificate, as applicable.]
This notice is intended:
to serve as both a notice of emergency adoption and a notice of proposed rule making. The emergency rule will expire June 10, 2017.
Text of rule and any required statements and analyses may be obtained from:
Kirti Goswami, State Education Department, Office of Counsel, State Education Department, Room 148, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12234, (518) 474-6400, email: legal@nysed.gov
Data, views or arguments may be submitted to:
Peg Rivers, State Education Department, 977 EBA, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12234, (518) 486-3633, email: REGCOMMENTS@NYSED.GOV
Public comment will be received until:
45 days after publication of this notice.
Regulatory Impact Statement
1. STATUTORY AUTHORITY:
Education Law 207(not subdivided) grants general rule-making authority to the Regents to carry into effect State educational laws and policies.
Education Law 210 (not subdivided) authorizes the Regents to register domestic and foreign institutions in terms of New York standards.
Education Law 305(1) authorizes the Commissioner to enforce laws relating to the State educational system and execute Regents educational policies. Section 305(2) provides the Commissioner with general supervision over schools and authority to advise and guide school district officers in their duties and the general management of their schools.
Education Law 3001 establishes the qualifications of teachers in the classroom.
Education Law 3004(1) authorizes the Commissioner to promulgate regulations governing the certification requirements for teachers employed in public schools.
Education Law 3009 prohibits school district money from being used to pay the salary of an unqualified teacher.
2. LEGISLATIVE OBJECTIVES:
The proposed emergency rule is necessary to implement recommendations from the edTPA Task Force, which was reconvened at the request of the Board of Regents, to eliminate the Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST) for teacher certification, revise the Educating All Students Test (EAS) and make potential changes to the passing score for the edTPA.
3. NEEDS AND BENEFITS:
New and revised teacher certifications exams were released to the field in May 2014.
Description of the Currently Required Certification Examinations
The edTPA, a performance examination, is a multiple-measure examination system comprised of three tasks: (i) planning instruction and examination; (ii) instructing and engaging students in learning; and (iii) assessing student learning.
The ALST measures skills and competencies in reading and writing aligned to college and career readiness standards, including: (i) analyzing text structure; (ii) writing to sources; and (iii) using valid reasoning and relevant evidence to support claims.
The Educating All Students (EAS) measures skills and competencies that address: (i) diverse student populations; (ii) English language learners; (iii) students with disabilities and other special learning needs; (iv) teacher responsibilities; and (v) school-home relationships.
The CSTs measure content knowledge in a particular subject area, and are aligned with the New York State learning standards.
Ongoing Review of Teacher Certification Examinations
The edTPA Task Force was reconvened by request of the members of the Board of Regents in January 2016. Beginning in May 2016, the Task Force began to review the edTPA, as well as other teacher certification exams. Conversations were led by co-chairs, Dr. David Cantaffa (Assistant Provost for Educator Preparation, SUNY) and Dr. Jamie Dangler (Vice President for Academics, UUP). This work was also informed by the gathering of information across the State of New York by the Higher Education Committee chairs, Regents Cashin and Collins. Several other members of the NYS Board of Regents and the NYS Commissioner of Education participated in public forums over the past year to discuss the teacher certification exams.
At the January 2017 Board of Regents meeting, the co-chairs of the Task Force presented the Board with their proposed recommendations. See Appendix A for the full report of the Task Force. One of the recommendations from the Task Force was to eliminate the requirement to take and pass the ALST (or use the safety net, which is in place until June 30, 2017) for teacher certification.
Proposed Regulation
As a result of feedback from the public forums and the edTPA Task Force, as well as meetings with deans of many education preparation programs, and the recommendations of the edTPA Task Force, the Department recommends that candidates for teacher certification no longer be required to take and pass the Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST) in order to obtain an initial teaching certificate. Concerns about the assessment that were expressed by the Task Force and the deans included the cost, the need for the assessment in light of the other certification examinations, and the total number of exams required for teacher certification.
In lieu of this assessment, the Department will work with the testing vendor to make modifications to the EAS exam to eliminate the current short-answer constructed response items and replace them with reading and writing item(s) which will assess both students’ ability to teach a diverse population and also their literacy skills. As a result, the Department will extend the safety net for the EAS until the revised EAS becomes operational.
The Department is also proposing technical amendments to eliminate any references to the Liberal Arts and Sciences Test which is no longer administered as a teacher certification examination. The proposed amendment also makes technical amendments to eliminate regulations relating to modified licenses and certificates of qualification because these certificates and licensure titles no longer exist.
4. COSTS:
a. Costs to State government: The amendment does not impose any costs on State government, including the State Education Department.
b. Costs to local government: The amendment does not impose any costs on local government, including school districts and BOCES.
c. Costs to private regulated parties: The amendment does not impose any costs on private regulated parties.
d. Costs to regulating agency for implementation and continued administration: See above.
5. LOCAL GOVERNMENT MANDATES:
The proposed amendment does not impose any additional program, service, duty or responsibility upon any local government, school districts or BOCES.
6. PAPERWORK:
The amendment does not require any additional paperwork requirements upon state or local government, the State Education Department, school districts, BOCES, or teacher certification candidates. In fact, it will reduce paperwork, as the safety net for the ALST (which is an attestation and transcript submitted by candidates) will no longer be necessary.
7. DUPLICATION:
The rule does not duplicate existing State or Federal requirements.
8. ALTERNATIVES:
The amendment was proposed in response to concerns raised in the field as well as in response to the outcome of the work of the edTPA Task Force. The amendment applies equally to all candidates pursuing teacher certification in New York State.
9. FEDERAL STANDARDS:
There are no applicable Federal standards related to the amendment.
10. COMPLIANCE SCHEDULE:
The proposed emergency amendment will be presented for emergency adoption at the March 2017 Board of Regents meeting, and will be effective as an emergency rule on March 14, 2017. It is anticipated that the proposed emergency amendment will be adopted as a permanent rule at the July 2017 Board of Regents meeting, and will become effective as a permanent rule on August 2, 2017.
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
The purpose of the proposed emergency amendment is to address concerns raised by the field, and to implement recommendations from the edTPA Task Force, which included the elimination of the Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST), the establishment of a new passing score for the edTPA and potential revisions to the Educating all Student (“EAS”) test.
The Department is also proposing technical amendments to eliminate any references to the Liberal Arts and Sciences Test, which is no longer administered as a teacher certification examination. The proposed amendment also makes technical amendments to eliminate regulations relating to modified licenses and certificates of qualification because these certificates and licensure titles no longer exist.
Because it is evident from the nature of the rule that it does not affect small businesses or local governments, no further steps were needed to ascertain that fact and one were taken. Accordingly, a regulatory flexibility analysis for small businesses and local governments is not required and one has not been prepared.
Rural Area Flexibility Analysis
1. TYPES AND ESTIMATED NUMBER OF RURAL AREAS:
This proposed amendment applies to all teacher certification candidates, including those in the 44 rural counties with fewer than 200,000 inhabitants and the 71 towns and urban counties with a population density of 150 square miles or less.
2. REPORTING, RECORDKEEPING, AND OTHER COMPLIANCE REQUIREMENTS; AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICES:
New and revised teacher certifications exams were released to the field in May 2014.
Description of the Currently Required Certification Examinations
The edTPA, a performance examination, is a multiple-measure examination system comprised of three tasks: (i) planning instruction and examination; (ii) instructing and engaging students in learning; and (iii) assessing student learning.
The ALST measures skills and competencies in reading and writing aligned to college and career readiness standards, including: (i) analyzing text structure; (ii) writing to sources; and (iii) using valid reasoning and relevant evidence to support claims.
The Educating All Students (EAS) measures skills and competencies that address: (i) diverse student populations; (ii) English language learners; (iii) students with disabilities and other special learning needs; (iv) teacher responsibilities; and (v) school-home relationships.
The CSTs measure content knowledge in a particular subject area, and are aligned with the New York State learning standards.
Ongoing Review of Teacher Certification Examinations
The edTPA Task Force was reconvened by request of the members of the Board of Regents in January 2016. Beginning in May 2016, the Task Force began to review the edTPA, as well as other teacher certification exams. Conversations were led by co-chairs, Dr. David Cantaffa (Assistant Provost for Educator Preparation, SUNY) and Dr. Jamie Dangler (Vice President for Academics, UUP). This work was also informed by the gathering of information across the State of New York by the Higher Education Committee chairs, Regents Cashin and Collins. Several other members of the NYS Board of Regents and the NYS Commissioner of Education participated in public forums over the past year to discuss the teacher certification exams.
At the January 2017 Board of Regents meeting, the co-chairs of the Task Force presented the Board with their proposed recommendations. See Appendix A for the full report of the Task Force. One of the recommendations from the Task Force was to eliminate the requirement to take and pass the ALST (or use the safety net, which is in place until June 30, 2017) for teacher certification.
Proposed Regulation
As a result of feedback from the public forums and the edTPA Task Force, as well as meetings with deans of many education preparation programs, and the recommendations of the edTPA Task Force, the Department recommends that candidates for teacher certification no longer be required to take and pass the Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST) in order to obtain an initial teaching certificate. Concerns about the assessment that were expressed by the Task Force and the deans included the cost, the need for the assessment in light of the other certification examinations, and the total number of exams required for teacher certification.
In lieu of this assessment, the Department will work with the testing vendor to make modifications to the EAS exam to eliminate the current constructed response items and replace them with constructed response item(s) which will assess both students’ ability to teach a diverse population and also their literacy skills. As a result, the Department will extend the safety net for the EAS until the revised EAS becomes operational.
The Department is also proposing technical amendments to eliminate any references to the Liberal Arts and Sciences Test which is no longer administered as a teacher certification examination. The proposed amendment also makes technical amendments to eliminate regulations relating to modified licenses and certificates of qualification because these certificates and licensure titles no longer exist.
3. COSTS:
The proposed amendment does not impose any costs on teacher certification candidates in New York State, including those located in rural areas of the State. In fact, it will result in a cost savings to those pursuing teacher certification in New York State because candidates will no longer be required to take and pass the ALST for teacher certification, which requires candidates to pay a fee to take the exam.
4. MINIMIZING ADVERSE IMPACT:
The proposed amendment seeks to address concerns raised by the field, and to implement recommendations from the edTPA Task Force, which was reconvened at the request of the Board of Regents. This rule applies equally to all teacher certification candidates throughout the State, including those in rural areas, and removes barriers that some candidates face when pursuing certification as a teacher in this State.
5. RURAL AREA PARTICIPATION:
Copies of the rule have been provided to Rural Advisory Committee for review and comment.
Job Impact Statement
The purpose of the proposed emergency amendment is to address concerns raised by the field, and to implement recommendations from the edTPA Task Force, which included the elimination of the Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST), the establishment of a new passing score for the edTPA and potential revisions to the Educating all Student (“EAS”) test.
Because it is evident from the nature of the proposed rule that it will have no impact on the number of jobs or employment opportunities in New York State, and no further steps were needed to ascertain that fact and none were taken. In fact, it may help to address potential teacher shortage issues in New York State by removing barriers to certification. Accordingly, a job impact statement is not required and one has not been prepared.
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