THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234

 

TO:

Full Board

FROM:

Johanna Duncan-Poitier

 

 

 

 

SUBJECT:

Addendum to Item for Decision

 

Proposed Amendment to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Relating to Requirements for Provisional Certification in School Psychology by Licensed Psychologists and for the Interim Bilingual Education Extension for Certificates in School Psychology and Speech and Language Disabilities

DATE:

July 14, 2005

STRATEGIC GOAL:

Goals 3 and 4

AUTHORIZATION(S):

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attached is an Assessment of Public Comment regarding the proposed amendment to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, relating to requirements for provisional certification in school psychology by licensed psychologists who have demonstrated proficiency in a language other than English and for the interim bilingual education extension for certificates in school psychology and speech and language disabilities.  The proposed amendment was published in the State Register on May 4, 2005.  This statement is necessary to assess comments received in the Office of Teaching Initiatives after the Regents mailing. 

 

Staff will be available at the Regents meeting to answer questions on this matter.   

 

 

 

 

Attachment


PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO SECTIONS 80-2.3, 80-2.9 AND 80-4.3 OF THE REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION PURSUANT TO SECTIONS 207, 210, 305, 3001, 3004, 3006, 3009, and 3010 OF THE EDUCATION LAW RELATING TO REQUIREMENTS FOR PROVISIONAL CERTIFICATION IN SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGY BY LICENSED PSYCHOLOGISTS AND FOR THE INTERIM BILINGUAL EDUCATION EXTENSION FOR CERTIFICATES IN SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGY AND SPEECH AND LANGUAGE DISABILITIES

ASSESSMENT OF PUBLIC COMMENT

A Notice of Proposed Rule Making concerning the proposed amendment was published in the State Register on May 4, 2005.  Below is a summary of the written comments received during the public comment period, and the State Education Department's response:

COMMENT: The proposed regulation would allow licensed psychologists to practice without the pre-requisite knowledge and skills necessary to assess and treat children in a school setting.  This lack of preparation extends to the educational coursework associated with the bilingual extension, which focuses on educational foundations and pedagogy.

RESPONSE: School districts around the State, and most particularly the New York City School District, have experienced persistent, serious shortages of certified school psychologists with bilingual skills to meet the needs of students classified with disabilities whose principal language is not English.  The purpose of the proposed amendment is to increase the number of certified school psychologists available to meet the needs of limited English speaking students with disabilities.  Specifically, the proposal would establish an expedited pathway for licensed psychologists who have demonstrated proficiency in a language other than English to obtain the first level certificate necessary to work as a school psychologist without first completing a college supervised internship in school psychology.  Such candidates will have completed a doctoral program in psychology for licensure.  Among other requirements, candidates must maintain registration in a program leading to the bilingual education extension and receive mentoring by a certified school psychologist during the first year of his or her employment under the provisional certificate.   The Department believes that these requirements, in combination with the considerable academic preparation necessary to qualify for the psychology license, are sufficient to ensure that all such candidates will have the baseline competencies necessary to meet the needs of this student population.   

COMMENT:  The proposal lacks detail about how a licensed psychologist and provisionally certified school psychologist will gain the necessary educational knowledge and skills to perform effectively once they are in the school setting.  It is unlikely that a year of mentored employment can replace the rigor and depth of graduate preparation in school psychology.  

RESPONSE:  The Department believes that a well crafted mentoring plan for candidates obtaining a provisional school psychologist certificate by the proposed route will be sufficient to convey the baseline knowledge and skills necessary for the provisional certificate holder to effectively address the needs of the identified student population.  Without this mechanism to increase the number of certified school psychologists with bilingual skills, the Department believes that the needs identified in the individualized education plans of many students with disabilities whose principal language is not English will not be adequately addressed consistent with the requirements of the IDEA, New York law or Part 200 of the Commissionerís regulations.

COMMENT: The responsibilities and expectations of the mentoring school psychologists are not included in the proposed regulation and are likely to be considerable.

RESPONSE:  The Department anticipates providing guidance information and assistance to the field on the planning and implementation of effective mentoring programs to help address this need.