Texas Register Preamble

The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) proposes a repeal and new 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §§228.1, 228.2, 228.4, 228.6, 228.11, 228.13, 228.15, 228.17, 228.19, 228.21, 228.23, 228.25, 228.31, 228.33, 228.35, 228.37, 228.39, 228.41, 228.43, 228.45, 228.47, 228.49, 228.51, 228.53, 228.55, 228.57, 228.61, 228.63, 228.65, 228.67, 228.69, 228.71, 228.73, 228.75, 228.77, 228.79, 228.81, 228.91, 228.93, 228.95, 228.97, 228.99, 228.101, 228.103, 228.105, 228.107, 228.109, 228.111, 228.113, 228.115, 228.117, 228.121, and 228.123, concerning requirements for educator preparation programs (EPPs). The proposed repeal and new rules would provide updated guidance on the requirements for EPPs.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND JUSTIFICATION: The SBEC rules in 19 TAC Chapter 228, Requirements for Educator Preparation Programs, establish the requirements for EPPs in the preparation of candidates for Texas educator certification.

The proposed repeal of and new 19 TAC Chapter 228 was initially driven by the following three primary goals prescribed by the SBEC and were informed by extensive stakeholder input: 1) reorganize the chapter to support enhanced organization and readability, including the creation of subchapters and sections and the streamlining of redundancy to make the rules clearer and more user-friendly; 2) create a residency preparation route leading to an enhanced standard certificate to recognize programs who have implemented this quality preparation pathway and recognize candidates who have completed this extensive preparation; and 3) codify foundational components of the SBEC's Educator Preparation Framework (EPF), to ensure the foundational expectations of preparation programs as prescribed in Chapter 228 align with the aspirational vision outlined in the EPF.

Throughout extensive engagement with stakeholders in the Chapter 228 redesign process, additional opportunities to elevate the quality of educator preparation were surfaced and integrated into the draft rule text presented to the SBEC at its September 2023 meeting. The proposed new rules reflect additional edits informed by stakeholder input.

The following is a description of proposed new 19 TAC Chapter 228.

Subchapter A. General Guidance

§228.1, General Provisions

Proposed new §228.1 would provide an overview of the purpose and goals of educator preparation in Texas.

§228.2, Definitions.

Proposed new §228.2 would include definitions from the proposed repeal of §228.2, with the addition of definitions for analysis, assignment start date, authentic school setting, clinical experience, completer, co-teaching, enactments, host teacher, representations, performance task, and residency, and revised definitions for campus supervisor, classroom teacher, clinical teaching, cooperating teacher, educator preparation program, field-based experiences, enhanced standard certificate, late hire, and standard certificate.

The proposed new definition of assignment start date would set the point at which the teacher candidate's internship experience starts for the purpose of field supervision and ongoing support of candidates as required.

The proposed new definition of clinical experience would provide a common term in which to categorize the supervised clinical requirement for each certificate class, including clinical teaching, internship, practicum, and residency.

The proposed new definition of authentic school setting would establish that a candidate cannot count professional development, extracurricular activities, workdays when students are not present, or before or after-school childcare or tutoring as field-based experiences, 30 hours of which are required as pre-requisites for an intern certificate, and that field-based experience hours are allowable in a summer school setting.

The proposed new definition of completer would match the definition in 19 TAC §229.2(10), Definitions, to create consistency between chapters of SBEC rules.

The proposed new definitions of cooperating teacher , mentor , and site supervisor would be streamlined to remove the qualifications and duties of these positions that appear in the proposed repeal of 19 TAC Chapter 228. The qualifications and duties are proposed in new §228.93, Cooperating Teacher Qualifications and Responsibilities, §228.97, Mentor Qualifications and Responsibilities, and §228.99, Site Supervisor Qualifications and Responsibilities, respectively. These proposed new sections would increase clarity and ease of reference so that the public no longer has to go to §228.2 to find definitions for this critical information.

The proposed new definition of entity would be updated with a more specific list of the types of entities that act as EPPs.

The proposed new definition of educator preparation program would define the role of an entity approved by the SBEC.

The proposed new definition of field-based experiences would be updated to include the proposed new defined term authentic school setting and add that field-based experiences include both observation and interaction and are an element of coursework.

The proposed new definition of field supervisor would be modified to improve readability and clarity.

The proposed new definition of school day would specify that conference periods, lunch periods, professional development, and extracurricular activities do not count as part of the school day for purposes of determining the length of a clinical teaching or internship experience.

The proposed new definition of late hire would specify that after the 45th day before the first day of instruction, an individual must be both accepted into an EPP and hired for a teaching position at a school district.

Definitions are also proposed for the following five terms from the Effective Preparation Framework (EPF): analysis, co-teaching, enactments, performance task, and representations. The proposed additions would offer clarity to EPPs and candidates around the intended meaning of the terms, how and when they are applied in preparation and practice, and relevance to improving quality practices in approved programs. The additional definitions would provide a common language in the effective preparation of candidates for certification.

The proposed new definitions of school day and school year would provide flexibility by aligning them with the school calendars of the campuses on which the candidates are completing the clinical experiences.

The proposed new definitions of enhanced standard certificate and standard certificate would mirror definitions proposed in new §230.1, Definitions, and align with the inclusion of intern certificate and probationary certificate .

To implement the Residency preparation route, the proposed new language in §228.2, Definitions, would amend the definition of campus supervisor to include residency candidates along with intern candidates, and add definitions of host teacher, residency, and co-teaching to standardize the meaning of those terms.

§228.4, Declared State of Disaster

Proposed new §228.4 would provide continuity of educator preparation program processes during a declared state of disaster.

§228.6, Implementation Date

Proposed new §228.6 would confirm the repeal of Chapter 228 and the provisions of new Chapter 228 are effective September 1, 2024.

Subchapter B. Approval of Educator Preparation Programs

§228.11, New Entity Approval

Proposed new §228.11 would identify the requirements that must be met by an entity seeking approval from the SBEC as an EPP. The proposed new rule would authorize the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to develop and identify the approval components to be included in the application. TEA staff can revise EPP applications as needed to align with the TEC and TAC.

Proposed new §228.11(a) would require that entities seeking to become an EPP take part in a workshop conducted by TEA staff to familiarize the entity with the SBEC rules.

Proposed new §228.11(a)(2) would create a limitation that an entity seeking initial approval cannot apply to offer more than five certificate categories within one certificate class. This limitation would allow an entity to focus on high-quality preparation and provide TEA staff time to review application materials more efficiently.

Proposed new §228.11(a)(3) would require that an entity seeking approval must demonstrate that it has the staff, knowledge, and expertise to support individuals in each certificate category and class requested.

Proposed new §228.11(d) would establish the timing of the post-approval site visit to occur after the first year in which the new EPP reports that it has completers.

Proposed new §228.11(f) would require an entity seeking approval to have at least one location in Texas that provides candidate's a face-to-face setting for interacting with EPP staff as necessary.

§228.13, Continuing Educator Preparation Program Approval.

Proposed new §228.13 would establish the timeframe for EPP reviews.

Proposed new §228.13(b) would establish the types of continuing approval reviews--an onsite visit involves TEA staff going to the EPP's location, while a desk review is conducted remotely.

Proposed new §228.13(c) would establish the components of the risk assessment with regard to alignment with requirements in TEC, §21.0454.

Proposed new §228.13(d) would require a continuing approval review when an EPP consolidates with another EPP. This would allow TEA staff to identify whether the surviving EPP is adequately supporting the candidates and certificate categories that it received.

Proposed new §228.13(e) would require an EPP undergoing a continuing approval review to pay the required fees prior to the start of the review. This would prevent EPPs from attempting to evade or indefinitely delay payment.

Proposed new Figure: 19 TAC §228.13(f) would set out the required evidence of compliance that EPPs must create, maintain, and present during the continuing approval review.

Proposed new §228.13(f) would incorporate the requirement that an EPP retain documents demonstrating a candidate's eligibility for admission and completion of requirements for five years from the date the candidate completes or leaves the EPP. The proposed additions to new §228.13(f) would also specify that the EPP will be scored on a rubric developed and published by TEA staff and provide that 80% of records reviewed by TEA staff must meet or exceed the requirements.

Proposed new §228.13(g) would allow EPPs participating in a Continuing Approval Review pilot to use that pilot to meet the requirements of the five-year continuing approval review.

§228.15, Additional Approval.

Proposed new §228.15(b) would set out the requirements for an EPP seeking approval from the SBEC to offer the residency route to certification. It would require the EPP to complete an application outlining its compliance with the residency requirements established within Chapter 228 and Chapter 230, which would be reviewed by the TEA and approved by the SBEC, and would require a post-approval site visit demonstrating compliance with rules once the EPP produces residency completers. Proposed new §228.15(b)(1) would adopt in rule a figure that would describe evidence sources to evaluate and approve residency applications. EPPs will be scored for approval on a rubric developed and published by TEA staff.

Proposed new §228.15(c) would require EPPs to apply for new certification classes or categories, reference the applications that EPPs must complete when seeking to offer a new certificate class or category, and add language about the parameters that must be used by TEA staff to develop the applications. The proposed new language in §228.15(c)(4) would require that an EPP have an accreditation status of Accredited to add new certificate categories and/or classes.

§228.17, Limitations on Educator Preparation Program Amendment

Proposed new §228.17 would establish the process through which an EPP can amend its program.

§228.19, Contingency of Approval

Proposed new §228.19 would specify that approval of an entity is contingent on approval by other governing bodies, including the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, board of regents, and school district boards of trustees, and that continuing approval is contingent on compliance with state and federal law.

Subchapter C. Administration and Governance of Educator Preparation Programs

The subchapter title would be updated to more accurately reflect that the proposed new rules focus on both the administration and governance of EPPs.

§228.21, Program Consolidation or Closure

Proposed new §228.21 would state that closure rules apply to an EPP regardless of whether the EPP is closing fully or eliminating certificate classes and regardless of whether the closure is voluntarily or due to SBEC action.

Proposed new §228.21(a)(1) would replace August 31 as the effective date for EPP closure with a more flexible requirement that would specify an effective date of at least 90 days and no more than 270 days after the date of notification of closure or consolidation. This would allow programs to choose a closure date that gives them enough time to fulfill the obligations to candidates.

Proposed new §228.21(a)(2) would require the EPP legal authority to communicate with the TEA on a scheduled basis so that staff from the closing program can seek guidance concerning questions and problems that arise during the close out phase, which ultimately benefits candidates and past finishers.

The proposed new rule text in §228.21(a)(3) would expand the EPP's obligation to notify candidates of its closure to include candidates who have been enrolled within the last five years and completers within the last five years. This proposed new requirement would ensure that candidates who may still need support or paperwork from the closing EPP are able to learn what options are available.

Proposed new §228.21(a)(5) would require closing EPPs to identify other EPPs to provide test approval and standard certification recommendations for completers at the closing EPP and to provide candidates with all necessary documentation to expedite the candidates' transfer. This would allow candidates in a closing EPP an easier transition to another EPP and certification.

§228.23, Change of Ownership and Name Change

Proposed new §228.23(d) would set an exception to the general rule that EPPs cannot change their names without a change in ownership to allow colleges and universities to change their names when the entire college or university changes its name. The purpose of the original prohibition on EPP name changes was to prevent EPPs from changing names frequently to confuse or mislead the public.

Proposed new §228.23(e) would require EPPs to report to the SBEC annually any names that the EPP had used "doing business as" during the previous year so that the SBEC can make that information available to the public. By providing this information to consumers, the SBEC allows the public to better understand the true identity and performance history of an EPP.

§228.25, Governance of Educator Preparation Programs

Proposed new §228.25 would establish expectations of how EPPs should govern themselves and collaborate with other entities (i.e., education service centers or local education agencies) to effectively support the preparation and certification of candidates.

Proposed new §228.25(b) would include a specific requirement for the membership of EPP advisory committees that the committee include at least three of the types of interest groups listed in proposed new §228.25(a).

Proposed new §228.25(d) would set out requirements for EPPs approved to offer a residency program to convene key personnel quarterly to review teacher residency implementation data, including candidate performance, to make shared programmatic decisions and inform the continuous improvement of the residency program.

Subchapter D. Required Educator Coursework and Training

§228.31, Minimum Educator Preparation Program Obligations to All Candidates

Proposed new §228.31 would establish general guidelines around expectations of services and supports that EPPs shall provide to all candidates.

Proposed new §228.31(a) would specify by when late hires need to complete admission, coursework, training, and field-based experience requirements.

Proposed new §228.31(b) would require EPPs to identify a dismissal point in their exit policy at which inactive candidates are removed from the EPP and allow a university-based EPP to adopt the university policy for inactive students that must reapply for admission.

Proposed new §228.31(c) would require an EPP to use benchmarks and formal and informal assessment data to design and implement appropriate interventions when needed to ensure continued, effective preparation for certification and teacher candidate support.

Proposed new §228.31(d) would require that an EPP must ensure candidates are adequately prepared to take all certification exams and not just the content pedagogy exams. This additional clarification was inadvertently left off during the initial reorganization of the chapter.

Proposed new §228.31(e) would require an EPP to grant test approval for a completer. If a candidate has returned to the EPP five or more years after completing the program requirements, the EPP may require the candidate to complete additional coursework or training.

Proposed new §228.31(f) would limit when an EPP can prepare a candidate and grant test approval for a certificate category other than the one for which the candidate was initially admitted to the program. The candidate must meet the requirements for admission in the new certificate category, the EPP must provide coursework and training to the candidate in the new certificate category, and the EPP must ensure that the candidate is adequately prepared for the certification examination in the new certificate category. This would prevent programs from admitting a candidate in one certificate category and switching them to another category for which the candidate is unqualified or unprepared.


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