Section 1. Highly Qualified Teacher Defined. Clarifies the definition of highly qualified teacher to include a teacher with a limited-term license participating in an alternative teacher preparation program.
Section 2. Preparation equivalency. Allows an applicant for a license from the Board of Teaching, who holds a degree that is not essentially equivalent, to fulfill missing course requirements by instead passing a comprehensive examination test in the subject area of the missing coursework.
Section 3. Alternative Teacher Preparation Program and Limited-Term Teacher License.
Subdivision 1. Requirements. Directs the Board of Teaching to approve qualified teacher preparation programs that are a means to acquire a two-year limited-term license. Requires programs to be composed of schools and either: (i) a college or university with a board-approved preparation program; (ii) a nonprofit corporation formed for an education-related purpose with a board-approved teacher preparation program; or (iii) a board-approved teacher preparation program within a district. Requires candidates to have a bachelor’s degree; pass the reading, writing, and mathematics examinations; and obtain qualifying scores on relevant content area and pedagogy tests.
Subd. 2. Characteristics. Requires an alternative teacher program to include: (1) an instructional phase; (2) a research-based and results-oriented approach; (3) strategies to combine pedagogy and best practices; (4) assessment, supervision and evaluation of the participant; (5) intensive, ongoing, and multiyear professional learning opportunities; and (6) a requirement that participants demonstrate to the district or charter school that they are making progress towards standard licensure.
Subd. 3. Program Approval. Directs the Board of Teaching to approve alternative teacher preparation programs based on board-adopted criteria. Requires the board to permit licensure candidates to demonstrate pedagogy and content standards in school-based settings and through other nontraditional means.
Subd. 4. Employment conditions. Makes teachers with a limited-term license members of and subject to the terms of the local collective bargaining agreement, if applicable. Prohibits a collective bargaining agreement from limiting or prohibiting employment of teachers licensed under this section.
Subd. 5. Approval for standard entrance license. Directs the school district or charter school to evaluate the performance of the candidate and submit to the board an evaluation report recommending whether or not to issue the teacher candidate a standard entrance license.
Subd. 6. Applicants trained in other states. Allows a person who has successfully completed an alternative preparation program in another state to apply for a standard entrance license. Requires the candidate to have two years of teaching experience prior to applying for the standard license and a report from the local site team recommending whether or not to issue the teacher candidate a standard entrance license.
Subd. 7. Standard entrance license. Directs the Board of Teaching to issue a standard entrance license to a candidate who successfully performs throughout the program, has successfully complete all necessary examinations, and is recommended for licensure by the local site team.
Subd. 8. Highly qualified or qualified teacher. States that the teacher with a valid limited-term license is highly qualified and the teacher of record for the purposes of the No Child Left Behind Act.
Subd. 9. Reports. Directs the Board of Teaching to submit an interim and final report on the efficacy of this program to education committees in the legislature.
Effective Date. Makes this section effective beginning in the 2011-2012 school year.
Section 4. Repealer. Repeals Minnesota Statutes, section 122A.24 (Alternative Preparation Licensing for Teachers).
Effective Date. Makes this section effective August 1, 2011.