A license with no required coursework? DESE wants your comment on proposed “Structured Guidance and Supports” pathway for some teacher licenses.

DESE proposing a NEW “Structured Guidance and Supports” or SG&S for certain licenses that do not have MTELs.

Licenses that do not have a matching Massachusetts Test for Educator License (MTEL) require educators to demonstrate knowledge of content and pedagogy through the competency review. You many know this as “coverage of” the subject matter knowledge requirements.

The SG&S model proposes an alternative to college coursework, professional experiences or other evidence of knowledge of the field with artifacts such as observations, measures of student learning and signatures from cooperating colleagues and administrators. There is no requirement that the candidate for license demonstrate any coursework or professional learning related to the SMKs.

PROPOSED Structured Guidance and Supports Process

  1. 150 Hour internship, field experience or employment in a school-based setting
  2. Coordination with a Supervising Educator who holds
    1. an Initial or Professional license in same field and level.
    2. Three or more years of experience
    3. Proficient or Exemplary evaluation
    4. Trained as a mentor
  3. Participation of a Supervising Administrator
  4. Three separate meetings with Supervising Educator and Supervising Administrator
  5. Portfolio of artifacts of professional practice including classroom observations, artifacts of practice, student feedback and measures of student learning to demonstrate subject matter knowledge (coursework, prior professional experience, or other demonstrations of content knowledge are not included).
  6. Ratings issued by the Supervising Educator and Supervising Administrator of Exemplary, Proficient, Needs Improvement or Unsatisfactory on rubric that matches the Subject Matter Knowledge Requirements of the license. Note that the rubric ratings are Exemplary = “demonstrates expertise”, Proficient = “demonstrates sound knowledge”, Needs Improvement = “Demonstrates factual knowledge”, and Unsatisfactory = “Demonstrates limited knowledge.”
  7. “The ultimate determination of competency is to be made by the supervising educator based on a holistic evaluation of the candidate’s demonstrated skills across the indicators.”
  8. Submission of completed SG&S forms only to DESE as part of the license application

While it is not entirely clear how this entire process will work in practice, it seems that DESE could allow educators to use this proposed SG&S observation process to supplement areas where an educator does not have coursework that would otherwise meet the “competency review” or subject matter knowledge requirements.

Take a look at the draft documents and submit your comments to DESE  or send email to EducatorDevelopment@doe.mass.edu with “Competency Review Public Comment” in the subject line by April 1, 2018.

DRAFT DRAFT Structured Guidance & Supports Guidelines
DRAFT Potential Sources of Evidence
DRAFT Portfolio Resources

DRAFT Performance Rubrics and Required Forms:

Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities
Teacher of Students with Severe Disabilities
Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing: Aural/Oral
Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing: American Sign Language/Total Communication
Teacher of the Visually Impaired
Digital Literacy and Computer Science

To get to the public comment survey  – see link here or send email to EducatorDevelopment@doe.mass.edu with “Competency Review Public Comment” in the subject line.




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