THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF
Higher Education and Professional Practice Committee
Proposed Amendment to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Relating to the Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs
June 5, 2006
Goals 2 and†
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
Review of Policy.
The proposed amendment is submitted for approval at the June 2006 Regents meeting.
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.
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
††††††††† 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.
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.
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
††††††††† 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
††††††††† 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
††††††††† 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.†††††
††††††††† 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.