"Teacher" means a classroom teacher or other similar professional employee required to hold a license from the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board.
"Board" means the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board.
(a) "Comprehensive, scientifically based reading instruction" includes a program or collection of instructional practices that is based on valid, replicable evidence showing that when these programs or practices are used, students can be expected to achieve, at a minimum, satisfactory reading progress. The program or collection of practices must include, at a minimum, effective, balanced instruction in all five areas of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary development, and reading comprehension.
Comprehensive, scientifically based reading instruction also includes and integrates instructional strategies for continuously assessing, evaluating, and communicating the student's reading progress and needs in order to design and implement ongoing interventions so that students of all ages and proficiency levels can read and comprehend text, write, and apply higher level thinking skills. For English learners developing literacy skills, districts are encouraged to use strategies that teach reading and writing in the students' native language and English at the same time.
(b) "Fluency" is the ability of students to read text with speed, accuracy, and proper expression.
(c) "Phonemic awareness" is the ability of students to notice, think about, and manipulate individual sounds in spoken syllables and words.
(d) "Phonics" is the understanding that there are systematic and predictable relationships between written letters and spoken words. Phonics instruction is a way of teaching reading that stresses learning how letters correspond to sounds and how to apply this knowledge in reading and spelling.
(e) "Reading comprehension" is an active process that requires intentional thinking during which meaning is constructed through interactions between text and reader. Comprehension skills are taught explicitly by demonstrating, explaining, modeling, and implementing specific cognitive strategies to help beginning readers derive meaning through intentional, problem-solving thinking processes.
(f) "Vocabulary development" is the process of teaching vocabulary both directly and indirectly, with repetition and multiple exposures to vocabulary items. Learning in rich contexts, incidental learning, and use of computer technology enhance the acquiring of vocabulary.
(g) Nothing in this subdivision limits the authority of a school district to select a school's reading program or curriculum.
A "field" or "subject area" means the content area in which a teacher may become licensed to teach.
"Shortage area" means:
(1) licensure fields and economic development regions reported by the commissioner of education or the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board as experiencing a teacher shortage; and
(2) economic development regions where there is a shortage of licensed teachers who reflect the racial or ethnic diversity of students in the region.
"Teacher preparation program" means a program approved by the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board for the purpose of preparing individuals for a specific teacher licensure field in Minnesota. Teacher preparation programs include traditional programs delivered by postsecondary institutions, alternative teacher preparation programs, and nonconventional teacher preparation programs.
"Teacher preparation program provider" or "unit" means an entity that has primary responsibility for overseeing and delivering a teacher preparation program.