July 2016 State Policy Recap
Ed Prep Matters is pleased to bring you this special feature on state policy and AACTE state chapter activity. For a summary of the year prior to the summer, see this article.
Overview of State Policy Activity
Only a handful of state legislatures actively met in July, as over 40 state legislative sessions had adjourned for the year. No educator preparation-related bills were introduced, although Illinois enacted two bills into law. One of them modifies the professional development requirements for educator license renewal. The other law allows a principal endorsement to be added to an existing professional educator license if the individual meets certain requirements, such as having taught for at least 4 years.
Regulations saw a bit more activity in July, as 10 state regulations were adopted in six states—California, Florida, Mississippi, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. These regulations’ topics include modifying educator certification assessments, amending requirements for teacher candidate loan forgiveness, and providing more pathways into the profession by creating a nonrenewable teacher intern license.
Additionally, eight regulations were proposed in five states—Alaska, California, Maryland, Oregon, and South Carolina. These proposed regulations are focused on a wide range of topics including allowing retired teachers to serve as long-term substitutes, amending certification requirements for school counselors, amending instruction for dyslexia, and modifying the requirements for an out-of-state educator to receive a professional certificate.
State Chapter Activities
During July, two state chapter leaders participated in conferences hosted by the Council of State Governments (CSG). Ann Larson, who is past president of the Kentucky Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, past chair of the Advisory Council of State Representatives, and a member of AACTE’s Board of Directors and its Executive Committee, presented at the annual meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference of CSG. Reid Riggle, president of the Wisconsin Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, presented at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Legislative Conference of CSG. Larson’s presentation focused on effective teacher preparation programs, and Riggle spoke about the role of educator preparation programs in the teacher pipeline and emphasized the need to change the narrative around the teaching profession.
State Advocacy Activities
This month, states continued their activities surrounding the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and engaging stakeholders, including educator preparation programs. Below is a sample of some of these convening activities:
- California – The California Department of Education is holding six regional meetings on the transition to ESSA.
- Louisiana – State Superintendent John White will host a series of public meetings to discuss ESSA.
- New York – The New York Department of Education presented to the Board of Regents a draft list of 20 guiding principles for the evaluation of schools under ESSA.