Topic: Certification

A Chance to Comment on SBEC Proposal Tilting the Rules on Certificate Sanctions

Last month the Hotline told you there would soon be an opportunity to submit your comments on some ill-advised new rules proposed by the State Board for Educator Certification. These rules would make it all too easy for SBEC to impose unjustified certificate sanctions on educators. Now, with the formal posting of the SBEC proposals for public comment on September...

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Certificate Sanctions: New Rule Proposals Would Tilt Scales of Justice

Texas AFT over the years has supported fair measures to toughen the professional code of ethics and disciplinary standards for Texas teachers. But sometimes the staff and members of the State Board for Educator Certification go too far in their zeal to make it easier to impose certificate sanctions by administrative action. A current case in point is a proposed...

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How to Measure Productivity in Texas Public Education?

At the meetings of the National Conference of State Legislatures in San Antonio this week, lawmakers from around the country heard a learned presentation from  education-finance professor James Guthrie of the Bush Institute at Southern Methodist University, purporting to show how the state is not getting its money’s worth from  Texas public schools. Defining productivity in terms of the ratio...

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Unheralded Wins for Schoolchildren and Educators in the 2011 Legislature

You already know the big picture coming out of the 2011 regular and special sessions of the Texas legislature:  deep and unnecessary budget cuts in public education, with those cuts then used as a phony rationale for attacks on educators’ pay and contract rights. While the battle over these major issues dominated the headlines, other efforts were under way on...

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Taking a Stand for Educational Quality, Employee Safeguards, Innovation

In the Senate Education and House Public Education Committees today Texas AFT's legislative team defended state standards of educational quality and employee safeguards from multiple attacks—while making the case for strong employee involvement and leadership in experiments with innovative practices. Texas AFT testified against a dangerous bill heard in the Senate committee (SB 738) that would allow "alternative methods of...

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Senate Education Committee’s Recommendations: More Gleanings

The previous Hotline described notable committee recommendations, in an interim report intended to guide legislative action in 2011, on the topics of charter schools, teacher evaluation, modification of class-size limits, and educator contracts. Additional topics addressed include: --Teacher pay:  The committee’s interim report calls for providing “flexibility to school districts to meet local conditions” (without noting the broad flexibility districts...

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New Report Says Quality Teacher-Prep Programs Require Strong Clinical-Practice Component

A new report from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) calls for increased emphasis on practical experience in the classroom as a critical element of teacher preparation. In addition to the stress on providing clinical experiences for teacher candidates, the report urges stronger partnerships between ed-prep programs and school districts, improved candidate selection and placement, and a...

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Certification Board Heads on Down the Wrong Road

A badly flawed revision of the Texas educators’ code of ethics is on its way to the State Board of Education for review next year, probably in April. The proposed revision tilts excessively in the direction of expanded prosecutorial authority for the staff of the State Board for Educator Certification, and it gives educators too little clarity concerning exactly where...

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Court Says Teachers Still in Training Aren’t “Highly Qualified” Under Federal Law

Last week a federal appeals court in California held that alternative-route teachers still in training are not "highly qualified" under the federal education law, the No Child Left Behind Act. The U.S. Department of Education has interpreted the "highly qualified" requirement to allow individuals who "demonstrate satisfactory progress" toward certification to be deemed the equivalent of a teacher who "has...

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