Teacher Standards and Practices Commission

465 Commercial Street NE

Salem OR  97301

 

August 1-3, 2007

 

ITEM:

 

 

STUDENT TEACHER/INTERN PLACEMENT ISSUES

ACTION:

 

DISCUSSION ITEM

INFORMATION:

 

Since the implementation of new licensure redesign in 1999, the TSPC administrative rules have required that candidates preparing for two or more grade level authorizations[1] complete a work sample at each level.[2]   [The exception to this rule is if the candidate is preparing for a “specialty” endorsement such as ESOL, art, music, physical education, special education and others.  With these specialty endorsements, candidates must obtain licensure in at least two grade authorization levels.  The Commission determined in 2003 that a practicum in only one of the two paired grade authorization levels was necessary. [3]

 

All teacher education programs in the state are having difficulty accessing appropriate placements for candidates in Oregon classrooms.  There are several factors contributing to this problem including:

 

  • a high rate of retirements coupled with the increased hiring of teachers new-to-the profession; [This results in fewer experienced teachers to mentor and supervise the student teaching/practicum experiences.]
  • distance from the college or university to rural school sites;
  •  restructuring of middle and high schools; [?What is making this a factor?]
  • the requirements of NCLB, including finding “highly qualified” teachers; and [This has prevented the formation of internships as the federal Department of Education has ruled that interns are teachers of record necessitating that they be identified as “highly qualified teachers.”
  • the demands of high stakes testing. [With NCLB and state demand for student performance, teachers are reluctant to turn their classrooms over to student teachers particularly in grades at which statewide tests are administered.]

 

Oregon Teacher Education’s (OEA) program representatives have met with Confederation of School Administrators’ (COSA) representatives to discuss the difficulty of placements.  A common issue was identified at this meeting:  The work sample requirement at the second authorization level is a significant factor in finding adequate placement sites for student teachers.  Administrators in K-12 sites repeatedly indicated that teachers were reluctant to relinquish their students for the extended period of time needed to properly develop a work sample.  It is believed that modifying the requirement of the work sample at the second authorization level will help resolve this problem.

 

Just over a year ago, TSPC modified OAR 584-017-0070 to allow placements with school-based teachers that have only two years (instead of three years) of on-the-job experience.  This adopted rule change has not resulted in more placements as was initially believed when the proposed rule change was presented to the Commission.  In fact, due to the demands of NCLB and testing, districts have understandably been reluctant to place students with new teachers.

 

COSA sponsored a meeting of representative from COSA, Oregon Education Association (OEA), and the TSPC-approved teacher preparation programs.  The following proposal was agreed upon by the representatives.

 

First Authorization:  Candidates will be placed in a school for student teaching and will complete two work samples, in addition to providing “evidence of effectiveness to foster student learning.”

 

Second Contiguous Authorization:  Candidates will have experience at the second authorization level.  Teacher education programs will be responsible for structuring this experience so that the candidate will become proficient at the knowledge, skills and abilities required of a teacher at the second authorization level.”

 

Another aggravating factor is the Commission’s requirement regarding the length of time a student must be in a school-based placement.  OAR 584-017-0180, attachment 2.1c.

 

Items for discussion:

 

  1. What additional information would be helpful for you to have in order to feel fully informed to discuss and solve this issue?
  2. Several issues have arisen relating to the four grade level authorizations the Commission currently applies to licensure; does this commission feel that these designations are still important?
  3. Next steps:

 



[1] Please review agenda item 3.2 for further information relating to grade level authorizations.

[2] See, 2.1a OAR 584-017-0185, Evidence of Effectiveness. Candidates are required to meet the objectives of this rule when completing a work sample.  Accordingly, ample time is necessary to gather sufficient artifacts for a valid work sample.

[3] See, OAR 584-060-0071, attachment 2.1b.