Meeting of the Board of Regents | January 2008
THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
State Professional Standards Board for Teaching - Priorities for 2007-2008
January 2, 2008
Issue for Discussion
How does the work of the State Professional Standards and Practices Board for Teaching relate to the Regents and the Department’s P-16 initiatives to improve student learning?
Reason(s) for Consideration
At the July 2007 Regents meeting, Patrick Allen and Eric Gidseg, co-chairs of the State Professional Standards and Practices Board for Teaching (PSPB), reported on the Board’s activities during 2006-2007 and outlined the direction the Board intends to take in 2007-2008. The PSPB is one of the Board of Regents and Department’s advisory boards for policy issues related to teaching. This month the PSPB co-chairs, Eric Gidseg and Debra Colley, will attend the Regents Higher Education and Professional Practice Committee meeting to more fully describe the areas that the PSPB will be focusing on (as outlined in this item), the products that it expects to bring to the Regents in 2008, and to respond to questions from the members of the Committee.
The Standards Board was created by the Board of Regents to advise the Regents and the Commissioner on matters related to the preparation, certification, and practice of teaching. It comprises P-12 teachers, school administrators, higher education representatives, a teacher education student, and public members, all committed to advancing the quality of teaching and learning in New York State.
In support of the Regents P-16 initiatives, the Standards Board is undertaking initiatives this year in three key areas along the continuum of teacher development: teacher preparation, mentoring for new teachers, and continuing professional development. These three initiatives are described below.
The Standards Board is proposing that New York State adopt standards in the area of professional development. State standards will serve to define effective professional development and support the implementation of professional development programs. A small group of Board members met over the summer to draft the recommended standards, which were discussed by the Board of Regents at its September 2007 meeting. Broad discussion and feedback is critical to the process of developing these standards. At the end of November, the Department distributed the draft document to stakeholder groups with a mid-January response deadline. Some of the stakeholder groups included in the distribution were:
- Deans, Chairs, and Directors of Institutions with Teacher Education programs
- New York State Teacher Centers
- New York City Department of Education
- Public School District Principals
- Public School District Superintendents
- New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA)
- New York State United Teachers (NYSUT)
- New York State Council of School Superintendents (NYSCOSS)
- School Administrators Association of New York State (SAANYS)
- New York State Association of Teacher Educators/New York Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (NYSATE/NYACTE)
We have begun to receive comments and the Board’s ad hoc work group has begun the work of reviewing and revising the draft document. The Standards Board’s goal is to finalize the document for review and approval by the Board of Regents by June 2008.
The Standards Board is also proposing that New York State adopt State standards in the area of mentoring in order to serve as a guide in the development and implementation of comprehensive mentoring programs for new teachers. An ad hoc work group has begun work on draft mentoring standards, informed by both current research on mentoring and existing practice in other areas (benchmarking the work of other states), and coordinated with the draft professional development standards. The same consultative process will be followed and the Standards Board anticipates finalizing the draft mentoring standards for review and approval by the Board of Regents by early fall 2008.
Teacher Education Policy:
A third ad hoc work group is undertaking a review of current teacher education policy, with the goal of making recommendations for new policy and/or for the continuation or change of existing policy.
In response to the Commissioner’s invitation to the Board to suggest bold, actionable ideas that focus on the Regents budget priorities for the upcoming year, the ad hoc group developed recommendations for a P-16 cooperative model for preparing the next generation of teachers for New York State. The model encompasses the entire continuum from career development for high school students, through preparation and induction of new teachers, and continuing through to supporting and sustaining teachers’ professional development throughout their careers. If the Regents budget request for P-16 Partnerships initiatives to hire 1,000 new teachers is funded, staff will work with the Board to develop an RFP for pilot projects based on this proposal.
This ad hoc group has shaped its agenda for the remainder of the year on the Regents recently adopted plan, “Building on Success: Strengthening Teaching and Learning in New York State.” Specifically, this group will examine (a) how teacher education programs are/will be assessed (i.e., do measures that we use to evaluate teacher education take into account all the important expected outcomes of programs?); and (b) how we assure involvement with equity in the teacher education process of faculty in education, faculty in arts and science, and faculty in K-12 schools (i.e., how can regulations be changed or strengthened to assure involvement by faculty in education, faculty in arts and science, and faculty in K-12 schools in the education of educators?) The Board will forward its recommendations for review and consideration by the Board of Regents by June 2008.
In addition to the Standards Board’s ongoing role in teacher moral character cases and the accreditation of teacher education programs, the Department regularly consults with the Board on teacher preparation, certification, or practice regulations to gain its input before these are brought to the Board of Regents for discussion. The Professional Standards and Practices Board also stands ready to provide input on specific topics or issues that the Board of Regents or Commissioner may identify.
Timetable for Implementation