CHAPTER 459

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 427

AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NOS. 1 AND 2

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO ALTERNATIVE ROUTES FOR TEACI-IER CERTIFICATION.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF TI-IE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Chapter 12. Title 14, Delaware Code by adding thereto a new subchapter as follows:

"Subchapter IV. Alternative Routes for Teacher Certification

§ 1260. Requirements for the Participation in Alternative Routes for Teacher Certification Program

(a) Candidates seeking participation in the alternative routes for teacher certification program shall be issued a limited standard certificate of no more than two years duration provided they:

1. Hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in a coherent major appropriate to the instructional field;

2. Pass the State basic skills test and a State test of subject matter knowledge for fields of teaching specialization:

3. Obtain an acceptable health clearance as per State Board of Education regulations and an acceptable criminal background check clearance; and

4. Obtain and accept an offer of employment in a position that requires instructional certification.

(b) To be eligible for the limited standard certificate in the field of speech-language pathology, the applicant shall:

1. Hold a master's degree in the field of speech-language pathology;

2. Pass a State-administered examination of knowledge in the area of speech-pathology; and

3. Obtain an acceptable health clearance as per State Board of Education regulations and an acceptable criminal background check clearance.

§1261 Requirements for the Alternative Routes for Teacher Certification Program

(a) Each school district or charter school seeking to hire a candidate for the alternative routes program must:

1. Participate in the alternative routes for teacher certification program as established pursuant to subsections (b) or (d) of this section; and

2. Assign a mentor to each teacher participating in the alternative routes

(b) There is hereby established an alternative routes for teacher certification program which is intended to provide essential knowledge and skills to teachers participating in the alternative routes for teacher certification program through the following phases of training:

1. A seminar/practicum of no less than 120 hours duration which takes place prior to the time at which the teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher certification program takes full responsibility for a classroom. This seminar/practicum shall provide such formal instruction or equivalent professional development as shall be required by an alternative routes for teacher certification program established by regulation of the State Board or established by law, in the essential areas for professional study listed in subsection (c) of this section. It shall introduce basic teaching skills through supervised teaching experiences with students. The seminar and practicum components of the experience shall be integrated and shall include an orientation to the policies, organization and curriculum of the employing district.

2. A period of intensive on-the-job supervision beginning the first day on which the teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher certification program assumes full responsibility for a classroom and continuing for a period of at least 10 weeks. During this time, the teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher certification program shall be visited and critiqued no less than one time every two weeks by his or her assigned mentor and shall be observed and formally evaluated at the end of W weeks by the school administration. At the end of the 10-week period, the teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher certification program shall receive a formal written progress report from the school administration.

2. An additional period of continued supervision and evaluation of no less than 20 weeks duration. During this period, the teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher certification program shall he visited and critiqued by the assigned mentor at least four times and shall be observed formally and evaluated by the school administration at least twice. No more than two months shall pass without a formal observation. Opportunities shall be provided for the teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher certification program to observe the teaching of experienced colleagues.

(c) Approximately 200 hours of such formal instruction or equivalent professional development as shall be required by an alternative routes for teacher certification program established by regulation of the State Board or established by law, in the following topics shall he provided in all three phases of the program combined so as to ensure that National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification Standards teacher training standards are maintained. Credit shall be granted to a participant in any approved alternative routes to teacher certification program for hours of formal instruction or equivalent professional development successfully completed prior to entry into such program, or during the seminar/practicum prescribed in subsection (13)1. of this section, which courses meet the requirements of this subsection.

1. Curriculum: Studies designed to foster an understanding of the

curriculum taught and the assessment of teaching, including topics such as the following: the organization and presentation of subject matter, the development and use of tests and other forms of assessment, the evaluation and selection of instructional materials and the appropriate use of textbooks and teacher's guides, the use and interpretation of standardized tests and teacher-developed instruments, the reading process and other language arts skill-development appropriate to the field of specialization and grade level, and a knowledge of techniques and materials for fostering the development of reading and language arts skills.

2. Student development and learning at all levels: Studies designed to foster an understanding of students, their characteristics as individuals, and the ways in which they learn, including topics such as: student interests, motivation, preventing classroom disruption, creating a healthy learning climate, individual and group learning, language development, individual differences, and the role of technology learning.

3. The classroom and the school: Studies designed to foster an understanding of the school as a social unit and classroom management, including such topics as; the organizational/social structure of public education, the making of teaching decisions, allocation of instructional time, setting of priorities, pacing of instruction, setting of goals, questioning techniques, student practice and independent work.

(d) Notwithstanding the foregoing, the State Board of Education shall be authorized to prescribe such other alternative routes for teacher certification programs, meeting the minimum criteria set forth in subsection (b) of this section, with appropriate consideration of any recommendations of the Professional Standards Council.

§1262. Requirements for the evaluation of teachers participating in the alternative routes for teacher certification program.

(a) Teachers participating in the alternative routes for teacher certification program shall be observed by the assigned mentor teacher and evaluated by the school administration as per §1261 of this subchapter.

(b) Mentor teachers shall not participate in any way in decisions which might have a bearing on the employment or certification of teachers. They shall not assess or evaluate the performance of teachers unless they are appropriately certified administrators. Interactions between teachers and experienced mentor teachers are formative in nature and considered a matter of professional privilege. Mentor teachers shall not be compelled to offer testimony on the performance of teachers.

§ 1263. Recommendation for certification of teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher certification program.

(a) M the conclusion of the alternative routes for teacher certification training program, the school administration shall prepare a comprehensive evaluation report on the performance of the teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher certification program. This report shall be submitted by the school administration directly to the State Board of Education and shall contain a recommendation as to whether or not an initial standard certificate should be issued to the teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher certification program.

(b) The final comprehensive evaluation report on each teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher certification program shall be made on standard forms developed by the State Board of Education.

(c) The final evaluation report on each teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher certification program shall include one of the following recommendations:

1 Approved: Recommends issuance of an initial standard certificate;

2. Insufficient: Recommends that an initial standard certificate not be issued at this time, but that the candidate be allowed to continue to participate in the alternative routes for teacher certification for an additional period of one year.

3. Disapproved: Recommends that an initial standard certificate not be issued and that the candidate not be allowed to continue in the alternative routes for teacher certification program.

(d) The school administration shall provide the teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher certification program with a copy of the teacher's written evaluation report and certification recommendation 20 days before submitting it to the State Board of Education.

(e) If the teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher certification program disagrees with the school administration recommendation, the teacher may, within 15 days of receipt of the evaluation report and certification recommendation, submit to the school administration written materials documenting the reasons that the teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher certification program believes an initial standard certificate should be awarded or a recommendation of insufficient should be granted. The school administration shall forward all such documentation to the State Board of Education along with the evaluation report and recommendation concerning certification. The teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher certification program may contest the unfavorable recommendation pursuant to §1264 of this subchapter.

(f) Teachers participating in the alternative routes for certification program who receive a recommendation of "disapproved" may petition the State Board for approval of additional opportunities to participate in the alternative routes for certification program.

§1264. Procedure for teachers participating in the alternative routes for teacher certification program to contest certification recommendations

(a) When the State Board of Education receives any adverse recommendation concerning the initial standard certification of a teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher certification program, the Board shall notify the teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher certification program ten days prior to the date upon which the State Board of Education will consider such recommendation. The Board shall allow the teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher certification program an additional opportunity to provide the State Board of Education with written materials documenting the reasons that the teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher certification program believes initial standard certification should be awarded.

(b) The State Board of Education shall take final action concerning the certification of teachers participating in the alternative routes for teacher certification programs in accordance with existing State Board policy on appeals of certificate revocations and denials.

Section 2. A participating teacher in a secondary, non-special education position may meet the requirement for completion of a seminar/practicum set forth in §1261(b)1, by successful completion of a program conforming to the following:

(a)A seminar/practicum of no less than 120 hours duration which shall include an introduction generally to basic teaching skills and specifically to the following standards defined by the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification Standards or such successor organization as shall hereafter be established:

• Cultural Diversity - Section 3.3 (Standard 1)

• Instructional Strategies/Classroom Management - Section 3.3 (Standards VI, VIII, and IX)

• Methods of Teaching - Section 3.3 (Standard VI)

• Field Experience/Internship - Section 3.3 (Standards VI and IX)

(b) Successful completion of the seminar/practicum requirement established in a) above, shall be established by submission of a certificate of completion from a regionally accredited institution of higher education.

(c)Prior training or experience in any of the areas specified in (a) above shall be credited to the participating teacher upon submission of appropriate documentation by the participating teacher or provider of such training, and approval by the Department of Public Instruction.

Section 3. A participating teacher in a secondary, non-special education position shall meet the requirement for completion of 200 hours of formal instruction or equivalent professional development set forth in §1261(c), by successful completion of the following prescribed courses as defined by the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification Standards or such successor organization as shall hereafter be established:

• Cultural Diversity - Section 3.3 (Standard 1)

• Human Development and Educational Practices - Section 3.3 (Standards II, 111 and IV)

• Instructional Strategies/Classroom Management - Section 3.3 (Standards VI, VIII and IX)

• Teaching Reading in the Content Areas - Section 3.3 (Standard VII)

• Introduction to Exceptional Children - Section 3.3 (Standard V)

• Methods of Teaching (in the relevant content area) - Section 3.3 (Standard VI)

• Adolescent Development/Psychology - Section 3.3 (Standard II)

• Field Experience/Internship - Section 3.3 (Standards VI and IX)

Section 4. With respect to any participating teacher who has been hired to begin teaching in the 1996-97 school year, the requirements set forth in §1261(b)1, contained in Section I above, that the participating teacher complete a seminar/practicum of no less than 120 hours duration which takes place prior to the time at which the teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher certification program takes full responsibility for a classroom shall not apply provided that such participating teacher completes such seminar/practicum no later than one year after the date on which such participating teacher takes full responsibility for a classroom.

Section 5. With respect to any participating teacher who has been hired to begin teaching in the 1996-97 school year, the requirements set forth in §126I(c), contained in Section 1 above, that the participating teacher complete approximately 200 hours of such formal instruction or equivalent professional development as shall be required by an alternative routes for teacher certification program established by regulation of the State Board or established by law shall not apply provided that such participating teacher completes such 200 hours no later than three years after the date on which such participating teacher takes full responsibility for a classroom.

Section 6. With respect to any participating teacher who has been hired to begin teaching in the 1996-97 school year, the requirements set forth in §1260(a) that the limited standard certificate be of no more than two years duration shall instead be a limited standard certificate of three years duration.

Section 7. This act shall be effective July 1, 1996.

Approved July 9, 1996