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2012 Minnesota Session Laws

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CHAPTER 122--H.F.No. 1770

An act

relating to education; requiring teacher candidates to pass basic skills exam;

amending Minnesota Statutes 2010, sections 122A.18, subdivision 2; 122A.23, subdivision 2; Minnesota Statutes 2011 Supplement, section 122A.09, subdivision 4.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2011 Supplement, section 122A.09, subdivision 4, is amended to read:

Subd. 4.

License and rules.

(a) The board must adopt rules to license public school teachers and interns subject to chapter 14.

(b) The board must adopt rules requiring a person to successfully complete pass a skills examination in reading, writing, and mathematics as a requirement for initial teacher licensure. Such rules must require college and universities offering a board-approved teacher preparation program to provide remedial assistance to persons who did not achieve a qualifying score on the skills examination, including those for whom English is a second language.

(c) The board must adopt rules to approve teacher preparation programs. The board, upon the request of a postsecondary student preparing for teacher licensure or a licensed graduate of a teacher preparation program, shall assist in resolving a dispute between the person and a postsecondary institution providing a teacher preparation program when the dispute involves an institution's recommendation for licensure affecting the person or the person's credentials. At the board's discretion, assistance may include the application of chapter 14.

(d) The board must provide the leadership and adopt rules for the redesign of teacher education programs to implement a research based, results-oriented curriculum that focuses on the skills teachers need in order to be effective. The board shall implement new systems of teacher preparation program evaluation to assure program effectiveness based on proficiency of graduates in demonstrating attainment of program outcomes. Teacher preparation programs including alternative teacher preparation programs under section 122A.245, among other programs, must include a content-specific, board-approved, performance-based assessment that measures teacher candidates in three areas: planning for instruction and assessment; engaging students and supporting learning; and assessing student learning.

(e) The board must adopt rules requiring candidates for initial licenses to successfully complete pass an examination of general pedagogical knowledge and examinations of licensure-specific teaching skills. The rules shall be effective by September 1, 2001. The rules under this paragraph also must require candidates for initial licenses to teach prekindergarten or elementary students to successfully complete pass, as part of the examination of licensure-specific teaching skills, test items assessing the candidates' knowledge, skill, and ability in comprehensive, scientifically based reading instruction under section 122A.06, subdivision 4, and their knowledge and understanding of the foundations of reading development, the development of reading comprehension, and reading assessment and instruction, and their ability to integrate that knowledge and understanding.

(f) The board must adopt rules requiring teacher educators to work directly with elementary or secondary school teachers in elementary or secondary schools to obtain periodic exposure to the elementary or secondary teaching environment.

(g) The board must grant licenses to interns and to candidates for initial licenses based on appropriate professional competencies that are aligned with the board's licensing system and students' diverse learning needs. The board must include these licenses in a statewide differentiated licensing system that creates new leadership roles for successful experienced teachers premised on a collaborative professional culture dedicated to meeting students' diverse learning needs in the 21st century and formalizes mentoring and induction for newly licensed teachers that is provided through a teacher support framework.

(h) The board must design and implement an assessment system which requires a candidate for an initial license and first continuing license to demonstrate the abilities necessary to perform selected, representative teaching tasks at appropriate levels.

(i) The board must receive recommendations from local committees as established by the board for the renewal of teaching licenses.

(j) The board must grant life licenses to those who qualify according to requirements established by the board, and suspend or revoke licenses pursuant to sections 122A.20 and 214.10. The board must not establish any expiration date for application for life licenses.

(k) The board must adopt rules that require all licensed teachers who are renewing their continuing license to include in their renewal requirements further preparation in the areas of using positive behavior interventions and in accommodating, modifying, and adapting curricula, materials, and strategies to appropriately meet the needs of individual students and ensure adequate progress toward the state's graduation rule.

(l) In adopting rules to license public school teachers who provide health-related services for disabled children, the board shall adopt rules consistent with license or registration requirements of the commissioner of health and the health-related boards who license personnel who perform similar services outside of the school.

(m) The board must adopt rules that require all licensed teachers who are renewing their continuing license to include in their renewal requirements further reading preparation, consistent with section 122A.06, subdivision 4. The rules do not take effect until they are approved by law. Teachers who do not provide direct instruction including, at least, counselors, school psychologists, school nurses, school social workers, audiovisual directors and coordinators, and recreation personnel are exempt from this section.

(n) The board must adopt rules that require all licensed teachers who are renewing their continuing license to include in their renewal requirements further preparation in understanding the key warning signs of early-onset mental illness in children and adolescents.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 122A.18, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Teacher and support personnel qualifications.

(a) The Board of Teaching must issue licenses under its jurisdiction to persons the board finds to be qualified and competent for their respective positions.

(b) The board must require a person to successfully complete pass an examination of skills in reading, writing, and mathematics before being granted an initial teaching license to provide direct instruction to pupils in prekindergarten, elementary, secondary, or special education programs. The board must require colleges and universities offering a board approved teacher preparation program to provide remedial assistance that includes a formal diagnostic component to persons enrolled in their institution who did not achieve a qualifying score on the skills examination, including those for whom English is a second language. The colleges and universities must provide assistance in the specific academic areas of deficiency in which the person did not achieve a qualifying score. School districts must provide similar, appropriate, and timely remedial assistance that includes a formal diagnostic component and mentoring to those persons employed by the district who completed their teacher education program outside the state of Minnesota, received a one-year license to teach in Minnesota and did not achieve a qualifying score on the skills examination, including those persons for whom English is a second language. The Board of Teaching shall report annually to the education committees of the legislature on the total number of teacher candidates during the most recent school year taking the skills examination, the number who achieve a qualifying score on the examination, the number who do not achieve a qualifying score on the examination, the distribution of all candidates' scores, the number of candidates who have taken the examination at least once before, and the number of candidates who have taken the examination at least once before and achieve a qualifying score.

(c) A person who has completed an approved teacher preparation program and obtained a one-year license to teach, but has not successfully completed the skills examination, may renew the one-year license for two additional one-year periods. Each renewal of the one-year license is contingent upon the licensee:

(1) providing evidence of participating in an approved remedial assistance program provided by a school district or postsecondary institution that includes a formal diagnostic component in the specific areas in which the licensee did not obtain qualifying scores; and

(2) attempting to successfully complete the skills examination during the period of each one-year license.

(d) (c) The Board of Teaching must grant continuing licenses only to those persons who have met board criteria for granting a continuing license, which includes successfully completing passing the skills examination in reading, writing, and mathematics.

(e) (d) All colleges and universities approved by the board of teaching to prepare persons for teacher licensure must include in their teacher preparation programs a common core of teaching knowledge and skills to be acquired by all persons recommended for teacher licensure. This common core shall meet the standards developed by the interstate new teacher assessment and support consortium in its 1992 "model standards for beginning teacher licensing and development." Amendments to standards adopted under this paragraph are covered by chapter 14. The board of teaching shall report annually to the education committees of the legislature on the performance of teacher candidates on common core assessments of knowledge and skills under this paragraph during the most recent school year.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 122A.23, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Applicants licensed in other states.

(a) Subject to the requirements of sections 122A.18, subdivision 8, and 123B.03, the Board of Teaching must issue a teaching license or a temporary teaching license under paragraphs (b) to (e) to an applicant who holds at least a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university and holds or held a similar out-of-state teaching license that requires the applicant to successfully complete a teacher preparation program approved by the issuing state, which includes field-specific teaching methods and student teaching or essentially equivalent experience.

(b) The Board of Teaching must issue a teaching license to an applicant who:

(1) successfully completed all exams and human relations preparation components required by the Board of Teaching; and

(2) holds or held an out-of-state teaching license to teach the same content field and grade levels if the scope of the out-of-state license is no more than one grade level less than a similar Minnesota license.

(c) The Board of Teaching, consistent with board rules and paragraph (h), must issue up to three one-year temporary teaching licenses to an applicant who holds or held an out-of-state teaching license to teach the same content field and grade levels, where the scope of the out-of-state license is no more than one grade level less than a similar Minnesota license, but has not successfully completed all exams and human relations preparation components required by the Board of Teaching.

(d) The Board of Teaching, consistent with board rules, must issue up to three one-year temporary teaching licenses to an applicant who:

(1) successfully completed all exams and human relations preparation components required by the Board of Teaching; and

(2) holds or held an out-of-state teaching license to teach the same content field and grade levels, where the scope of the out-of-state license is no more than one grade level less than a similar Minnesota license, but has not completed field-specific teaching methods or student teaching or equivalent experience.

The applicant may complete field-specific teaching methods and student teaching or equivalent experience by successfully participating in a one-year school district mentorship program consistent with board-adopted standards of effective practice and Minnesota graduation requirements.

(e) The Board of Teaching must issue a temporary teaching license for a term of up to three years only in the content field or grade levels specified in the out-of-state license to an applicant who:

(1) successfully completed all exams and human relations preparation components required by the Board of Teaching; and

(2) holds or held an out-of-state teaching license where the out-of-state license is more limited in the content field or grade levels than a similar Minnesota license.

(f) The Board of Teaching must not issue to an applicant more than three one-year temporary teaching licenses under this subdivision.

(g) The Board of Teaching must not issue a license under this subdivision if the applicant has not attained the additional degrees, credentials, or licenses required in a particular licensure field.

(h) The Board of Teaching must require an applicant for a teaching license or a temporary teaching license under this subdivision to pass a skills examination in reading, writing, and mathematics before the board issues the license.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Presented to the governor February 20, 2012

Signed by the governor February 22, 2012, 1:34 p.m.

700 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155 ♦ Phone: (651) 296-2868 ♦ TTY: 1-800-627-3529 ♦ Fax: (651) 296-0569