Indiana

Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

State Board Of Education Votes To Pursue Adjunct Teacher Permit

Teacher Wes Upton helps a student with an assignment in his social studies class at Ben Davis Ninth Grade Center in Indianapolis.

Teacher Wes Upton helps a student with an assignment in his social studies class at Ben Davis Ninth Grade Center in Indianapolis.

Updated 3:30 p.m.: 

The Indiana State Board of Education is still considering changes to the way Indiana certifies its teachers, despite a push from state superintendent Glenda Ritz to abandon the proposal.

As we’ve reported, proposed changes would have allowed non-education majors who passed content test to teach in Indiana classrooms with an adjunct permit.

Chalkbeat Indiana’s Scott Elliott reports on the division among the board members on that issue at today’s meeting:

Ritz and other educators on the board — college professor Brad Oliver, principal Troy Albert and teachers Cari Whicker and Sarah O’Brien — opposed the idea as unneeded, arguing existing rules already allow people who change careers to easily become teachers.

But their criticism wasn’t enough. The other six board members voted to pursue the proposal, which will face a vote at a future board meeting as part of the third iteration of the Rules for Education Preparation and Accountability, or REPA III.

Education school leaders at Indiana University, Butler University and other universities that instruct future educators have also opposed the changes.

Original post: 

The State Board of Education meets again today for its regularly scheduled monthly meeting.

The board met yesterday in a special meeting to discuss the Indiana Department of Education’s plan to comply with federal requirements to keep the state’s No Child Left Behind waiver.

Today’s meeting is about general business.

One agenda item the board is expected to vote on addresses REPA (Rules for Education Preparation and Accountability) III language for adjunct and superintendent license requirements.

Former state superintendent Tony Bennett passed REPA II at his last board meeting after losing re-election to Glenda Ritz. But the attorney general would not sign off on the rules–thus, REPA III, a dramatically different version from Bennet’s original proposal.

Here are the three main takeaways from this new set of teacher licensure rules:

  • The rules create “adjunct” licenses for teachers, meaning an education degree is not necessary. Instead anyone with a four year degree who passes an exam is qualified. They still receive training while they teach.
  • Specialized teaching in the arts will not require an area-specific degree (music, art, fine arts, etc.). Instead, they have to pass a test to be licensed in a fine arts field.
  • Qualifications for superintendents would change. A master’s degree and two years of teaching would qualify someone for this position.

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