(a) To improve academic excellence, improve ethnic and cultural diversity in the classroom, and close the academic achievement gap, the Board of Teaching must approve qualified teacher preparation programs under this section that are a means to acquire a two-year preliminary teacher license, which the board may renew one time for an additional one-year term, and to prepare for acquiring a professional five-year license. The following entities are eligible to participate under this section:
(1) a school district, charter school, or nonprofit corporation organized under chapter 317A for an education-related purpose that forms a partnership with a college or university that has a board-approved alternative teacher preparation program; or
(2) a school district or charter school, after consulting with a college or university with a board-approved teacher preparation program, that forms a partnership with a nonprofit corporation organized under chapter 317A for an education-related purpose that has a board-approved teacher preparation program.
(b) Before becoming a teacher of record, a candidate must:
(1) have a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 or higher grade point average unless the board waives the grade point average requirement based on board-adopted criteria adopted by January 1, 2016;
(2) demonstrate a passing score on a board-adopted reading, writing, and mathematics skills examination under section 122A.09, subdivision 4, paragraph (b); and
(3) obtain qualifying scores on applicable board-approved rigorous content area and pedagogy examinations under section 122A.09, subdivision 4, paragraph (e).
(c) The Board of Teaching must issue a two-year preliminary teacher license to a person who enrolls in an alternative teacher preparation program.
An alternative teacher preparation program under this section must include:
(1) a minimum 200-hour instructional phase that provides intensive preparation and student teaching before the teacher candidate assumes classroom responsibilities;
(2) a research-based and results-oriented approach focused on best teaching practices to increase student proficiency and growth measured against state academic standards;
(3) strategies to combine pedagogy and best teaching practices to better inform teacher candidates' classroom instruction;
(4) assessment, supervision, and evaluation of teacher candidates to determine their specific needs throughout the program and to support their efforts to successfully complete the program;
(5) intensive, ongoing, and multiyear professional learning opportunities that accelerate teacher candidates' professional growth, support student learning, and provide a workplace orientation, professional staff development, and mentoring and peer review focused on standards of professional practice and continuous professional growth; and
(6) a requirement that teacher candidates demonstrate to the local site team under subdivision 5 satisfactory progress toward acquiring professional five-year teaching licenses from the Board of Teaching.
(a) The Board of Teaching must approve alternative teacher preparation programs under this section based on board-adopted criteria that reflect best practices for alternative teacher preparation programs, consistent with this section.
(b) The board must permit teacher candidates to demonstrate mastery of pedagogy and content standards in school-based settings and through other nontraditional means. "Nontraditional means" must include a portfolio of previous experiences, teaching experience, educator evaluations, certifications marking the completion of education training programs, and essentially equivalent demonstrations.
(c) The board must use nontraditional criteria to determine the qualifications of program instructors.
(d) The board may permit instructors to hold a baccalaureate degree only.
(e) If the Board of Teaching determines that a teacher preparation program under this section does not meet the requirements of this section, it may revoke its approval of the program after it notifies the program provider of any deficiencies and gives the program provider an opportunity to remedy the deficiencies.
Where applicable, teacher candidates with a preliminary teacher license under this section are members of the local employee organization representing teachers and subject to the terms of the local collective bargaining agreement between the exclusive representative of the teachers and the school board. A collective bargaining agreement between a school board and the exclusive representative of the teachers must not prevent or restrict or otherwise interfere with a school district's ability to employ a teacher prepared under this section.
A school board or its designee must appoint members to a local site team that includes teachers, school administrators, and postsecondary faculty under subdivision 1, paragraph (a), clause (1), or staff of a participating nonprofit corporation under subdivision 1, paragraph (a), clause (2), to evaluate the performance of the teacher candidate. The evaluation must be consistent with board-adopted performance measures, use the Minnesota state standards of effective practice and subject matter content standards for teachers established in Minnesota Rules, and include a report to the board recommending whether or not to issue the teacher candidate a professional five-year teaching license.
A person who successfully completes another state's alternative teacher preparation program, consistent with section 122A.23, may apply to the Board of Teaching for an initial professional one-year teaching license or a professional five-year teaching license.
The Board of Teaching must issue a professional five-year teaching license to an otherwise qualified teacher candidate under this section who successfully performs throughout a program under this section, obtains qualifying scores on applicable board-adopted rigorous skills, pedagogy, and content area examinations under section 122A.09, subdivision 4, paragraphs (a) and (e), and is recommended for licensure under subdivision 5 or successfully demonstrates to the board qualifications for licensure under subdivision 6.
A person holding a valid limited-term license under this section is a qualified teacher and the teacher of record under section 122A.16.
By July 31 in an even-numbered year, approved alternative preparation program providers, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Private College Council, and the Department of Education must exchange information about best practices and educational innovations.
The Board of Teaching must submit an interim report on the efficacy of this program to the policy and finance committees of the legislature with jurisdiction over kindergarten through grade 12 education by February 15, 2013, and a final report by February 15, 2015.
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