January 9, 2014

 

Educator testimony is needed immediately for the upcoming teacher licensure rule changes known as REPA III.

 

Background
Former Superintendent Tony Bennett forced REPA II through the State Board of Education in his last days in office (January 2013). The new rules were hurried through the approval process before then Superintendent-elect Glenda Ritz could take office.

 

REPA II was a major step in de-professionalizing teaching by “ed reformers”.

 

REPA III
REPA III is basically the final version of REPA II that was adopted by the State Board of Education in January 2013. Some technical revisions have been made at the request of the Attorney General and Legislative Services Agency. But, the starting version of REPA III is to a significant degree the end version of REPA II.  

 

So….REPA III is essentially REPA II.

 

The full REPA III proposal can be read here: http://www.in.gov/legislative/iac/20131218-IR-511130399PRA.xml.pdf

 

Offering your testimony
When preparing your testimony, consider at least these points:

 

  • REPA II was forced on teachers and serves to de-professionalize teaching—teacher input in some fundamental areas has not been incorporated in REPA III:
    • ARTICLE 16: ADJUNCT TEACHER PERMIT (511 IAC 16-4-6): REPA III enables a person with a BA who passes a content exam to become fully-licensed on a five-year cycle to teach in Hoosier classrooms. In essence, it enables a person to become a teacher without demonstrating an understanding of teaching. Understanding methods, manners of student learning, and strategies for special needs should be minimal qualifications. REPA III provides an avenue into the classroom based solely on a BA and content knowledge testing. Passing a content examination certainly does not guarantee quality of instructional ability nor demonstrate the art and science of teaching. Pedagogical ability is left out of the equation.
      • Special education students could end up having teachers who lack the appropriate training.
      • REPA 2 sets the bar too low to enter the profession.
      • There has been a complete lack of evidence to merit these major changes.
    • ARTICLE 13: ACCREDITATION OF TEACHER PREPARATION PROGRAMS (511 IAC 13-1-1): REPA III refers to an accredited teacher preparation program as being “an organization recognized by the state board of education to prepare educators to meet requirements for licensure.” This doesn’t offer any real or meaningful definition and is far too open-ended. An accredited teacher preparation program is not “an organization” but is a university-based, rigorous course of study—as is the case with any other profession.
    • Article 15: SCHOOL SETTINGS AND LICENSE CONTENT AREAS (511 IAC 15): Please review your individual licensure school setting and content area and make appropriate comments thereon.

Submitting your testimony
Educators have two options for submitting feedback and testimony.

 

In person
Educators have the opportunity to testify in person at three hearings being held around the state. While it would have been nice if those hearings concerning teachers and teaching could have been convened in the evenings when teachers might be able to attend, it is our understanding that the hearing dates and times were set by the non-partisan Legislative Services Agency. At any rate, members can attend in person and personally present testimony likely limited to five minutes. The hearings will be held at the following locations and times:

 

January 13, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.
St. Joseph County Public Library, Main Branch, Colfax Auditorium
304 South Main Street
South Bend

 

January 14, 2014 at 9:00 a.m.
Indiana Government Center South
402 West Washington Street, Conference Center Room A
Indianapolis

 

January 16, 2014 at 9:30 a.m.
Evansville Public Library, McCullough Branch Meeting Room
5115 Washington Avenue
Evansville

 

Written

Written testimony should be submitted to the State Board of Education here: http://www.in.gov/sboe/REPAIIIcomment.htm

 

If submitting written testimony, we ask that you please copy and paste your testimony into an email to each State Board of Education member. This will ensure that they receive your full and complete testimony rather than risk having it be summarized by CECI staff (the Governor’s Education Agency).The State Board members are:

 

Supt. Glenda Ritz - gritz@doe.in.gov

Tony Walker - tony@walkerlawgroup.biz

Dr. David Freitas - drdavidfreitas@comcast.net

Cari Whicker - cwhicker@hccsc.k12.in.us

Sarah O’Brien - sobrien4cd@yahoo.com

Andrea Neal - aneal@inpolicy.org

Dr. Brad Oliver - brad4education@gmail.com

Daniel Elsener - delsener@marian.edu

B.J. Watts - bj.watts@evsc.k12.in.us

Troy Albert - talbert@wclark.k12.in.us

Gordon Hendry - education@gordonhendry.com

 

If you are a public school educator or support professional, please email the board members from home and on your own personal time.