BESE put out a set of revisions and proposed changes to educator licensure and Provisional licenses for administrators, a military spouse license and an elementary Digital Literacy/Computer Science licenses are among the proposals. Take a look at our summary and get your public-comment muscles ready.

At the October 25, 2022 Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meeting, a set of proposed amendments to the educator licensure regulations was voted to be sent out for public comment. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education staff gave an update on the MTEL Alternatives Pilot Program and overview of the proposed changes.

Watch for more information on how to submit public comment in this space!

Public comment are due by January 3, 2023 and can be submitted to DESE via

  • Using the DESE survey tool here
  • Mail to: Educator Effectiveness, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148
  • Fax to: 781-338-3395
  • E-mail to: (please include “Public Comment” in the subject line). 

We would also love to hear your thoughts and questions on the proposals in the comment section.

The Center for Education Policy and Practice has identified 11 changes of note in the proposed amendments to the licensure regulations. Some, but not all, of the new proposals were covered in the presentation shared by the DESE staff to the BESE.

Here is the run down:

  • Creation of a Military Spouse License to allow the spouse of an active-duty military member who is licensed out-of-state to be employed for up to three years while completing the requirements for an unencumbered Massachusetts license.
  • Expand the definition of the eligible coursework for the 12-credit option to obtain a Professional license. The proposed change will allow graduate courses that INCLUDE the subject matter knowledge of the license – not just ONLY the content area of the license.
  • Extend MTEL Pilot – The proposed  language will add one more year to the alternative options for the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTELs). Any eligible pilot assessment taken prior to July 1, 2025 may be used towards the license requirement under the MTEL pilot program.
  • Create a Digital Literacy/Computer Science PreK-6 license.
  • Change the name of Foreign Language license to World Languages for all new licenses going forward.
  • Combine the History and Social Science license to a single History/Social Science license.
  • Create School Counselor License for All grade levels and no longer issue PreK-8 and 5-12 levels.
  • Eliminate the Performance Assessment for Leadership (PAL) as a standalone requirement for the Superintendent/Assistant Superintendent, Supervisor/Director, Special Education Administrator and School Business Administrator licenses.
  • Create a Provisional School Principal/Assistant Principal license that will allow eligible applicants to work up to five years before completing the Performance Assessment for Leadership (PAL) to advance to the Initial license.
  • Increase to three years of experience for out-of-state candidates for the Principal/Assistant Principal license before they are exempt from the Performance Assessment for Leadership (PAL).
  • Create a new path to the SEI Endorsement for educators who hold an out-of-state license or credential

In the same meeting, an updated was shared on research related to the alternative options to the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTELs). DESE recommended extending the Pilot options for an additional year and shared updated research on the educators who have taken advantage of the alternative options so far.

The Massachusetts Teachers Association has not only supported the extension of the original 2020 MTEL Alternative options in the first round; we also supported legislation that would permanently allow DESE to adopt alternative assessments – including non-testing options to satisfy the requirements for teacher licensure.

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