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    Tom Rosenthal
    Richard Vespucci
    Jon Zlock

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For Release: February 5, 2003


DOE FACT SHEET

New Rules for Professional Licensure & Standards
First Discussion—February 5, 2003

OVERVIEW

The Department of Education is proposing repeal of NJAC 6:11, Professional Licensure and Standards and adoption of a new chapter, NJAC 6A:9, also entitled Professional Licensure and Standards. The new rules are part of a comprehensive review of all chapters of the state administrative code to identify rules that were overly prescriptive, outdated or creating high cost and low benefit to those affected by these regulations. For this chapter, a decision was made to advance new code rather than revise the existing regulations.

Changes from the existing code are extensive and take into account critical improvements made in the last several years, including introduction of the Core Curriculum Content Standards. They also look ahead to meet the need to create better connections between certification and teaching and learning, and address licensing in standards-based reform. The new regulations are intended to be structured in a more coherent, practical manner.

HIGHLIGHTS

The new chapter would:

  • Establish standards for teachers and school leaders as the basis for college preparation programs, mentoring programs, and professional development.
  • Tighten certification requirements to ensure that teacher preparation programs train teacher candidates and existing teachers for the specific subjects they will be required to teach.
  • Clarify and create a seamless, coherent path of teacher training and career enrichment from teacher preparation courses for prospective teachers to professional development requirements for existing teachers.
  • Ensure that the state complies with provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act that affect teacher credentials. For example, the act contains new definitions in a number of areas, including one for a "highly qualified teacher."

TIMELINE

Code development is a public process in which input is solicited from educators and interested citizens on items for consideration before the board takes action. The new chapter is scheduled for second discussion in March, and three regional public hearings will be scheduled in March and April. The State Board of Education intends to consider the proposed new chapter at third discussion level in June. The code is slated for proposal level in August, with adoption currently scheduled for December 2003.

DETAILS

More details, including actual code language, appears in the State Board of Education agenda for February 5, 2003.