†††††††††† †††††††††

 

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

 

TO:

Higher Education and Professional Practice Committee

FROM:

Johanna Duncan-Poitier

 

 

 

SUBJECT:

Proposed Amendment to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Relating to the Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs

 

DATE:

June 5, 2006

STRATEGIC GOAL:

Goals 2 and3

AUTHORIZATION(S):

 

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY

 

Issue for Decision

 

Should the Regents amend section 52.21(b)(2)(iv)(c) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education to provide a one-time process through which existing teacher education programs may defer the date by which they must be accredited?

 

Reason(s) for Consideration

 

Review of Policy.


Proposed Handling

 

The proposed amendment is submitted for approval at the June 2006 Regents meeting.

 

Procedural History

 

The proposed amendment was discussed at the May 2006 meeting of the Board of Regents.A Notice of Proposed Rule Making concerning the proposed amendment was published in the State Register on April 19, 2006.An Assessment of Public Comment is attached.

Background Information

 

The proposed amendment defines a limited, one-time process under which registered teacher preparation programs may receive from the State Education Department a deferral of the date by which they must be accredited.

†††††††††

††††††††† Under current regulations, teacher preparation programs that were registered prior to September 1, 2001, must be accredited by an acceptable professional education accrediting association or the Board of Regents by December 31, 2006, in order to maintain their registration status.To date, the teacher education programs at 70 institutions have earned accreditation for some period of time.Forty institutions have had an accreditation visit and are awaiting a decision or are scheduled for a visit before December 31st.The four remaining institutions have newer programs that are subject to a later accreditation deadline.

 

††††††††† Given that the schedule of accreditation site visits extends through the fall 2006 semester, staff estimate that 20 or more institutions may not have an accreditation decision by December 31st or will have little time to respond to a denial of accreditation.As a result, the continued registration of the teacher preparation programs at those institutions will be jeopardized.

 

††††††††† The amendment's first provision applies to institutions that are awaiting a decision following an accreditation review conducted by December 31, 2006.For these programs, the date by which they must be accredited will be deferred by one year, until December 31, 2007.That deferral will cover the time accreditors will need to render decisions on their late-2006 accreditation reviews.

 

The amendment's second provision applies to institutions that have been denied accreditation and can benefit from additional time to resolve first-time accreditation issues.Under the proposed amendment, programs denied accreditation during a limited time period, January 1, 2005 through December 31, 2007, may apply for a deferral of the date by which they must earn accreditation.To qualify for such a deferral, the institution will need to provide an acceptable corrective action plan to address the deficiencies cited by the accreditor and the Department.†† Corrective action plans will be reviewed by the Department.If the Department approves the plan, it will defer the institution's accreditation deadline by up to three years.

 

The amendment gives the Department regulatory flexibility to accommodate teacher preparation programs that demonstrate the ability to earn accreditation within the short term.It provides a safety net for those institutions and the students they serve during this initial cycle of accreditation reviews.By providing for deferral of the accreditation deadline under the described conditions, the amendment allows programs to address deficiencies, thereby limiting disruptions to students while helping to ensure improvements in program quality.

 

 

 

 

 

Recommendation

 

I recommend that the Board of Regents take the following action:

 

VOTED: That clause (c) of subparagraph (iv) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of section 52.21 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education be amended, as submitted, effective July 13, 2006.

 

Timetable for Implementation

 

The effective date of the proposed amendment is July 13, 2006.

 

 

 

Attachments


PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO SECTION 52.21(b)(2)(iv)(c) OF THE REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION PURUSANT TO SECTIONS 207, 210, 215, 305, 3001, AND 3004 OF THE EDUCATION LAW RELATING TO THE ACCREDITATION OF TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAMS

ASSESSMENT OF PUBLIC COMMENT

††††††††† The proposed rule was published in the State Register on April 19, 2006.Below is a summary of written comments received by the State Education Department concerning the proposed rule making and the Departmentís assessment of issues raised by the comments.

††††††††† COMMENT: Institutions that delayed accreditation visits or that have deficiencies will have a number of years to become accredited for the first time, while in that same time those that worked to meet the original deadline may go through the accreditation process twice (initial accreditation and then re-accreditation).This does not hold all programs to high standards and sets a precedent that undermines Regents rulings.

††††††††† RESPONSE: The amendment gives the Department regulatory flexibility for a one-time accommodation of programs that demonstrate to the Department's satisfaction the ability to earn accreditation in the short term.†† Programs that have been denied accreditation during a limited time period may obtain a deferral of the date by which they must be accredited, provided that the programs submit a corrective action plan that is acceptable to the Department.The Department will determine the date by which the program must be accredited, which may not exceed three additional years. ††This upholds high standards by building the quality of those programs without jeopardizing the Department's ability to terminate the registration of programs with fundamental, pervasive problems.†† By providing this deferral of the accreditation deadline, the amendment allows programs to address deficiencies, thereby limiting disruptions to students while helping to ensure improvements in program qualify.

††††††††† COMMENT:The amendment recognizes that institutions seeking accreditation for the first time are evaluating their procedures and resources, and it helps those institutions to make adjustments to achieve the desired results.An affirmative vote will benefit students by assisting institutions in providing the best teacher education programs, statewide.

††††††††† RESPONSE:The amendment is designed to provide flexibility and a one-time means to support the progress of sound programs as they develop the structures and resources to meet accreditation standards.These programs and the students they serve will benefit, without compromising Regents initiatives to foster quality teaching.†††††

††††††††† COMMENT: New York State had never before required accreditation of teacher education programs, and it has taken most schools a tremendous amount of time and energy to develop the mechanisms necessary for a first-time accreditation process.Likewise, the accrediting organizations were pressed to schedule visits, formulate reports, and reach accreditation decisions within a restricted time period.It is a one-time only change that wisely and proactively addresses the challenges that have become evident.

††††††††† RESPONSE:The initial round of accreditation has both challenged and benefited teacher education programs, the institutions housing those programs, accrediting entities, and the Department.The flexibility provided by the amendment provides a one-time means to address those challenges while ultimately supporting the goals of accreditation and the Regents policy.