Texas Register Preamble

The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) adopts an amendment to §228.10, relating to requirements for educator preparation programs. The amendment is adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the March 30, 2007, issue of the Texas Register (32 TexReg 1822) and will not be republished. The section addresses the approval process for requesting additional certificate fields. The adopted amendment updates the process for requesting additional certificate fields to ensure that educator preparation programs have the capacity to offer support, training, and quality coursework for candidates.

Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.049, authorizes the SBEC to adopt rules providing for educator certification programs as an alternative to traditional educator preparation programs. The rule in 19 TAC §228.10, Approval Process, specifies the current process for approving new and continuing entities, adding certificate fields for fully accredited programs, and denying approval. The rule also specifies approval contingent on compliance with state and/or federal law and approval of other lawfully established governing bodies.

Section 228.10(c) establishes that programs fully accredited may request by "letter of intent" the addition of certificate fields within the classes of certificates for which they have been previously approved by the SBEC. The rule also currently states that the request must be approved by the executive director.

The current approval process in the rule is meant to save time; however, the process does not ensure that educator preparation programs have the staff and resources to adequately support the candidates in the additional certificate fields. Although most new program proposals only request one or few certificate fields, the practice has been to add other fields using the "letter of intent" process authorized in 19 TAC §228.10(c)(1). Research conducted by Educator Standards staff at the Texas Education Agency revealed that the 19 educator preparation programs rated "Accredited Preliminary Status" for the 2004-2005 school year have added 321 additional certificate fields. Eight of those programs added the certificate fields following SBEC board action taken on May 6, 2005, that allowed the executive director to grandfather educator preparation programs between January and March 2005 by way of letters of intent. Research also identified eight educator preparation programs that added 138 certificate fields contrary to the rule.

The adopted amendment to 19 TAC §228.10 modifies the current process for educator preparation programs to add certificate fields to allow for higher standards. The adopted amendment adds language to §228.10(c)(1) requiring that requests for additional certificate fields include a curriculum alignment matrix, as required in the initial proposal, and supporting documentation of staff expertise in the additional certificate field. Only educator preparation programs that have a current "Accredited" rating may submit requests for additional certificate fields. The "Accredited" rating is determined by the student pass rates on approved certificate area examinations as indicated by the annual accountability rating in the Accountability System for Educator Preparation (ASEP), codified in 19 TAC Chapter 229. The ASEP would include certificate fields under 19 TAC §229.4 beginning in Spring 2007.

Throughout 19 TAC §228.10, "executive director" was changed to "Texas Education Agency staff" to reflect the assignment of the SBEC's administrative functions and services to the Texas Education Agency in TEC, §21.035. Adopted new subsection (c)(3) was added to track that statutory assignment. In addition, House Bill 1116, 79th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2005, repealed TEC, §21.039, which established the SBEC executive director position. Other technical edits, such as changing "board" to "State Board for Educator Certification," were made for clarity.

No comments were received regarding adoption of the amendment.

The State Board of Education (SBOE) took no action on the review of the adopted amendment to 19 TAC §228.10 at the July 20, 2007, SBOE meeting.

The amendment is adopted under the TEC, §21.031(a), which vests the SBEC with the authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of the certification, continuing education, and standards of conduct of public school educators; §21.041(b)(1), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that provide for the regulation of educators and the general administration of Chapter 21, Subchapter B, in a manner consistent with that subchapter; §21.041(b)(2), which requires the SBEC to specify the classes of certificates to be issued; §21.044, which requires the SBEC to propose rules establishing the training requirements and minimum academic qualifications required for a certificate; §21.045(a), which requires the SBEC to propose rules establishing standards to govern the approval and continuing accountability of all educator preparation programs; and §21.049, which authorizes the SBEC to adopt rules providing for educator certification programs as an alternative to traditional educator preparation programs.

The adopted amendment implements TEC, §§21.031(a), 21.041(b)(1) and (2), 21.044, 21.045(a), and 21.049.

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