Proposed Amendments to Part 25 (Educator Licensure)
Each of the substantive changes being proposed is summarized in the order in which they appear in the rules.
New Section 25.80 establishes requirements for receipt of the part-time provisional career and technical educator endorsement that is placed on an educator license with stipulations. P.A. 98-28, effective July 1, 2013, reinstates what used to be the part-time provisional vocational certificate, which was eliminated in the educator licensure bill enacted in 2011 (P.A. 97-607). The new endorsement differs from the previously issued certificate in that it may be renewed only once (rather than renewable every two years) and the requirements for receipt of the endorsement mirror those for the provisional career and technical educator endorsement (i.e., a minimum of 8,000 hours of work experience in the skill area for which the applicant is seeking the endorsement). As with the previously issued certificate, a person holding the part-time provisional career and technical educator endorsement is limited to teaching two courses in grades 6 through 12 only. Provisions for this credential were reinstated in Article 21B in response to concerns that the field expressed about the continuing need for these specialized instructors for career and technical education skill areas.
Section 25.510, which addresses requirements for paraprofessional educators, is being amended due to an oversight in the educator licensure rulemaking effective June 2013. Previous to 2010, the rules provided that individuals holding other types of certificates were to apply separately for approval as paraprofessionals even though it was self-evident that they qualified. This requirement resulted in much duplication of effort and delay and was rectified to allow an exception for the holders of certain credentials with qualifications that exceeded those required for the paraprofessional approval. In moving from the certification to the licensure system, staff overlooked the fact that the 2010 exception was being removed from Section 25.510. Staff propose that the exception be restored in the rules.
New Section 25.520 is being proposed to allow the agency to identify the tests that would qualify under Section 21B-20(3) as constituting "a test of basic skills" for the purpose of renewing the substitute teaching license. Staff are proposing that holders of the substitute teaching license may choose between the Illinois test of basic skills (i.e., Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP)) or the WorkKeys® assessment offered by ACT.
The educator licensure legislation (P.A. 97-607) eliminated as of June 30, 2013, the majority of the provisions of Article 21 of the School Code, which addressed educator certification. One such provision, Section 21-2.1, affected Section 25.620(f) of the rules. In particular, the law allowed for certain individuals to be paid as a teacher while they are participating in a student teaching component of their early childhood preparation program and still receive credit for the student teaching. Although Section 21-2.1 of the School Code has been repealed and Article 21B (Educator Licensure) does not set forth specific requirements for student teaching, the law does authorize the agency to set standards for both the receipt of educator licenses and for the programs that prepare educators. For this reason, and because programs are currently exercising this latitude, staff are proposing that the previous statutory allowance be explicitly placed into the rules.
Several changes are being proposed in Section 25.720 (testing requirements and scores). P.A. 98-361, effective January 1, 2014, removes from Section 21B-30 of the School Code the requirement that a candidate must pass the Illinois test of basic skills, or TAP, before being admitted to an educator preparation program. Under the law, a candidate instead must pass the test before beginning student teaching or the final semester of an internship. Proposed amendments in Section 25.720(b) reflect this change. Other changes in the rules specific to TAP address the following.
The following technical changes also are being proposed in Part 25.
Initial Review by State Board of Education: December 2013