TITLE 14

Education

Free Public Schools

CHAPTER 12. EDUCATOR LICENSURE, CERTIFICATION, EVALUATION, AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Subchapter VI. Alternative Routes For Teacher Licensure and Certification


(a) Subject to § 1217 of this title and notwithstanding any other provision in this chapter to the contrary, candidates seeking participation in the alternative routes for teacher licensure and certification program shall be issued an initial license of no more than 3 years duration conditioned on continued enrollment in the Alternative Routes for Teacher Licensure and Certification Program and an emergency certificate or certificates provided they:

(1) Either:

a. Hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university in a coherent major or its equivalent, which shall be no less than 30 credit hours appropriate to the instructional field; or

b. Hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university and are enrolled in the Teach For America program or a teacher residency program and have completed all preservice requirements for such program and, where applicable and available, have achieved a passing score on an examination of content knowledge, such as Praxis II, for the area in which such individual will be teaching;

(2) Pass the state basic skills test and a state test of subject matter knowledge for fields of teaching specialization, if applicable and available. Candidates must pass the State Basic Skills Test and a state test of subject matter knowledge, if applicable and available, within the period of time from the date of hire to the end of the next consecutive fiscal year. Notwithstanding the foregoing sentence, candidates enrolled in the Teach For America Program or a teacher residency program shall, where applicable and available, have achieved a passing score on an examination of content knowledge, such as Praxis II, for the area in which such candidate will be teaching prior to taking full responsibility for teaching a classroom;

(3) Obtain an acceptable health clearance as per Department 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) Rules and regulations to implement this subchapter shall be promulgated and adopted pursuant to § 1203 of this title.

70 Del. Laws, c. 459, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 180, § 62A; 72 Del. Laws, c. 294, §§ 12, 13; 75 Del. Laws, c. 77, §§ 21-25; 77 Del. Laws, c. 15, §§ 1, 2.;

(a) Subject to § 1217 of this title and notwithstanding any other provision in this chapter to the contrary, candidates seeking participation in the alternative routes for teacher licensure and certification program shall be issued an initial license of no more than 3 years duration conditioned on continued enrollment in the Alternative Routes for Teacher Licensure and Certification Program and an emergency certificate or certificates provided they:

(1) Hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university in a coherent major or its equivalent, which shall be no less than 30 credit hours 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, if applicable and available. Candidates must pass the State Basic Skills Test and a state test of subject matter knowledge, if applicable and available, within the period of time from the date of hire to the end of the next consecutive fiscal year;

(3) Obtain an acceptable health clearance as per Department 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) Rules and regulations to implement this subchapter shall be promulgated and adopted pursuant to § 1203 of this title.

70 Del. Laws, c. 459, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 180, § 62A; 72 Del. Laws, c. 294, §§ 12, 13; 75 Del. Laws, c. 77, §§ 21-25; 77 Del. Laws, c. 15, §§ 1, 2, 5; 78 Del. Laws, c. 214, § 1.;

(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 licensure and certification program as established pursuant to subsection (b) or (d) of this section; and

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

(b) There is hereby established an alternative routes for teacher licensure and certification program which is intended to provide essential knowledge and skills to teachers participating in the alternative routes for teacher licensure and 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 licensure and 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 licensure and certification program established by regulation of the Standards Board and the State Board of Education under § 1203 of this title 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 or charter school. A teacher entering a Delaware school through the Teach For America or a teacher residency program shall be considered in compliance with this requirement if such teacher has completed the 200-hour preservice training provided by Teach For America or the preservice training requirements provided by the teacher residency program.

(2) A period of intensive on-the-job supervision beginning the 1st day on which the teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher licensure and 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 licensure and certification program shall participate in the State-approved mentoring program, and shall be observed and formally evaluated at the end of 10 weeks by certified evaluators. At the end of the 10-week period, the teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher licensure and certification program shall receive a formal written progress report from the certified evaluators.

(3) 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 licensure and certification program shall participate in the State-approved mentoring program, and shall be observed formally and evaluated by the school administration at least twice. No more than 2 months shall pass without a formal observation. Opportunities shall be provided for the teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher licensure and 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 licensure and certification program established by regulation of the Standards Board and the State Board of Education under § 1203 of this title or established by law, in the following topics shall be provided in all 3 phases of the program combined so as to ensure that National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) teacher training standards are maintained. Credit shall be granted to a participant in any approved alternative routes to teacher licensure and 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 paragraph (b)(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 Secretary, pursuant to rules and regulations promulgated and adopted pursuant to § 1203 of this title, may implement other alternative routes to teacher licensure and certification programs, provided the programs meet the minimum criteria set forth in subsection (b) of this section.

(e) Notwithstanding any other provision in this title to the contrary, candidates enrolled in the Teach For America or a teacher residency program shall not be limited to teaching in areas identified as critical curricular areas.

70 Del. Laws, c. 459, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 180, § 62B; 72 Del. Laws, c. 294, §§ 14, 15; 75 Del. Laws, c. 77, §§ 26-30; 77 Del. Laws, c. 15, §§ 3, 4.;

(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 licensure and certification program as established pursuant to subsection (b) or (d) of this section; and

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

(b) There is hereby established an alternative routes for teacher licensure and certification program which is intended to provide essential knowledge and skills to teachers participating in the alternative routes for teacher licensure and 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 licensure and 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 licensure and certification program established by regulation of the Standards Board and the State Board of Education under § 1203 of this title 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 or charter school.

(2) A period of intensive on-the-job supervision beginning the 1st day on which the teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher licensure and 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 licensure and certification program shall participate in the State-approved mentoring program, and shall be observed and formally evaluated at the end of 10 weeks by certified evaluators. At the end of the 10-week period, the teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher licensure and certification program shall receive a formal written progress report from the certified evaluators.

(3) 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 licensure and certification program shall participate in the State-approved mentoring program, and shall be observed formally and evaluated by the school administration at least twice. No more than 2 months shall pass without a formal observation. Opportunities shall be provided for the teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher licensure and 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 licensure and certification program established by regulation of the Standards Board and the State Board of Education under § 1203 of this title or established by law, in the following topics shall be provided in all 3 phases of the program combined so as to ensure that National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) teacher training standards are maintained. Credit shall be granted to a participant in any approved alternative routes to teacher licensure and 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 paragraph (b)(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 Secretary, pursuant to rules and regulations promulgated and adopted pursuant to § 1203 of this title, may implement other alternative routes to teacher licensure and certification programs, provided the programs meet the minimum criteria set forth in subsection (b) of this section.

(e) [Repealed.]

70 Del. Laws, c. 459, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 180, § 62B; 72 Del. Laws, c. 294, §§ 14, 15; 75 Del. Laws, c. 77, §§ 26-30; 77 Del. Laws, c. 15, §§ 3, 4, 5; 78 Del. Laws, c. 214, § 1.;

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

(b) Mentor teachers shall not participate in any way in decisions which might have a bearing on the licensure, certification or employment of teachers. They shall not assess or evaluate the performance of teachers unless they are appropriately certified evaluators. 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.

70 Del. Laws, c. 459, § 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 294, §§ 16, 17.;

(a) At the conclusion of the alternative routes for teacher licensure and certification training program, the certified evaluators shall prepare a comprehensive evaluation report on the performance of the teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher licensure and certification program. This report shall be submitted by the certified evaluators directly to the Department of Education and shall contain a recommendation as to whether or not a license should be issued to the teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher licensure and certification program. Such license shall be an initial license valid for the balance of the 3-year term, if the participant has completed the program in less than 3 years, or a continuing license, if the 3-year term of the initial license has expired.

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

(c) The final evaluation report on each teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher licensure and certification program shall include 1 of the following recommendations:

(1) Approved. — Recommends issuance of the appropriate license and standard certificate or certificates; or

(2) Disapproved. — Recommends that a license and standard certificate not be issued and that the candidate not be allowed to continue in the alternative routes for teacher licensure and certification program.

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

(e) If the teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher licensure and certification program disagrees with the certified evaluators' recommendation, the teacher may, within 15 days of receipt of the evaluation report and licensure and certification recommendation, submit to the certified evaluators written materials documenting the reasons that the teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher licensure and certification program believes a license should be awarded. The certified evaluators shall forward all such documentation to the Department of Education along with the evaluation report and recommendation concerning licensure and certification. The Secretary or the Secretary's designee shall review the evaluation report, the licensure and certification recommendation, and any documentation supplied by the teacher and make a determination as to whether the teacher qualifies for licensure and certification.

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

70 Del. Laws, c. 459, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 180, § 62C; 72 Del. Laws, c. 294, §§ 18-20; 75 Del. Laws, c. 77, §§ 31-36, 44.;

A teacher participating in the alternative routes for teacher licensure and certification program is entitled to a full and fair hearing before the Standards Board to challenge the Secretary's or the Secretary's designee's licensure and certification decision.

70 Del. Laws, c. 459, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 180, § 62D; 72 Del. Laws, c. 294, §§ 21, 22; 75 Del. Laws, c. 77, § 37.;

(a) On or before January 20, 2015, the Department of Education shall provide a report to the General Assembly on the effectiveness of the Teach for America Program and all Delaware alternative route for teacher licensure and certification programs under this subchapter. Such report shall be conducted by an independent entity pursuant to a request for proposal (RFP) that shall be issued by the Department of Education. The RFP committee shall be comprised of representatives of the Department of Education and from the State's local educational agencies. The committee shall determine which vendors meet the minimum requirements pursuant to selection criteria of the RFP and procedures established in §§ 6981 and 6982 of Title 29. The committee may negotiate with 1 or more vendors during the same period and may, at its discretion, terminate negotiations with any or all vendors. The committee shall make a recommendation regarding the award to the Delaware Secretary of Education, who shall have final authority, subject to the provisions of such RFP and § 6982 of Title 29, to determine the evaluator or evaluators in the best interests of the State.

(b) The report shall include, but not be limited to, a comparative analysis of student performance in statewide assessment tested subject areas in all alternative route for teacher licensure and certification programs, including Teach for America. Student performance in alternative route for teacher licensure and certification program participant classrooms in Delaware shall be compared to student performance in similar classrooms in Delaware taught by both alternative route participants and nonalternative route program educators. The report shall include overall program participant retention rates, including a report on participants who remain in original placement schools, participants who remain inside the teaching profession, and participants who remain in the education field in general to assist in the determination of programmatic efficacy. The report shall be inclusive of the academic years August 1, 2010, through July 1, 2014, as well as any other academic periods deemed relevant by program evaluators pursuant to the RFP.

78 Del. Laws, c. 259, § 1.;