The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) is seeking applications from institutions of higher education, local education agencies, and non-profit organizations that wish to develop post-baccalaureate, non-degree educator preparation programs that lead to state licensure for program completers. The application deadline is Friday, February 13, 2009.
For more information–including information about the educator preparation program standards, the application review process and timeline, as well as OSSE’s expectations regarding development and submission of the application and related documents–please contact Orman Feres, accreditation coordinator, at (202) 741-5218 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About State-Level Initiatives to Improve and Ensure Educator Quality
In March 2008, a new state definition of “Highly Qualified Teacher” (HQT) for the District of Columbia was advanced by the OSSE and unanimously approved by the DC State Board of Education. Under the District’s previous definition, teachers were required to hold a state license in all of the subject areas that they teach, causing hundreds of teachers to be labeled as “not highly qualified” because they were unable to access the flexibility to demonstrate content knowledge in additional subjects outside their originally licensed subject. The revised HQT definition is now in alignment with the federal definition and permits the full flexibility that the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act allows for teachers to demonstrate core subject knowledge–including passing the state-adopted teacher subject assessment, having a degree or degree equivalent, or successfully completing a state-adopted rubric to demonstrate subject knowledge competency – to be considered a Highly Qualified Teacher.
Also in 2008, OSSE developed new licensure regulations for administrators and teachers that expand eligibility to a wider array of qualified professionals. The regulations drew upon the input of an educator quality workgroup convened by the OSSE to explore the qualifications necessary to receive initial licensure. The regulations for administrators were effective August 1, 2008, and those for teachers were recently put into effect by the State Superintendent of Education on January 9, 2009. The OSSE is also in the process of determining ways in which an educator’s effectiveness could be a factor in obtaining an advanced credential and the renewal of that credential. The OSSE, with input from the State Board, continues to develop a vision for what a measure of educator effectiveness might look like in the District of Columbia.
“We’re moving toward an educator licensure system that provides local education agencies maximum flexibility in selecting candidates with demonstrated competence, while moving away from a system that solely focuses on using educator qualities or inputs to one that also measures educator effectiveness or outputs,” said Deborah A. Gist, State Superintendent of Education.
The new licensure regulations also permit local education agencies and non-profit agencies to develop alternative licensure routes that must undergo state approval. In December 2008, the State Board approved new standards for these post-baccalaureate, non-degree educator preparation programs. Prior to the passage of these standards, teaching candidates were limited to traditional programs based at colleges and universities, but the new standards open the door to allow qualified non-profit organizations and local educational agencies to develop alternative educator preparation programs that can be approved by the state.
Educator Preparation Program RFA and Appendices A&B
DC Educator Prep Program Stds
Subject Area Standards
Subject Area Standards Maps