§ 403.4. Highly qualified teachers.
(a) Requirements of NCLB. With the exception of teachers teaching in a public charter school who are exempt from certification under section 1724-A of the Public School Code of 1949 (Public School Code) (24 P. S. § 17-1724-A):
(1) Section 1119(a) of Title I (20 U.S.C.A. § 6319(a) (relating to teacher qualifications and measurable objectives)), added by the NCLB, requires LEAs receiving assistance under the NCLB to ensure that, beginning with the 2002-2003 school year, all newly hired teachers supported with Title I funds are highly qualified.
(2) Section 1119(a) of Title I, added by NCLB, requires each state to ensure that all teachers teaching in core academic subjects within the state are highly qualified by the end of the 2005-2006 school year.
(b) Current certification system.
(1) The Department may continue to utilize the intern certification program described in Chapters 49 and 354 (relating to certification of professional personnel; and preparation of professional educators), which culminates in the issuance of an Instructional I Certificate (see § § 49.91, 49.92 and 354.24(5) and (6) (relating to criteria for eligibility; term of validity; and academic performance)) to provide flexible and accelerated pedagogical training to teachers who have demonstrated competency in a subject area, provided that the first year of teaching includes intensive supervision by an approved institution.
(2) In accordance with Chapter 49, the student teaching semester is structured to include assessment of the pedagogical skills of teacher candidates.
(c) Additional certification avenues. Provided that at the time of application for Pennsylvania instructional certification, the applicant satisfies the basic certification requirements of the Public School Code (see 24 P. S. § § 11-1109, 12-1202 and 12-1209 (relating to qualifications; State certificates; and disqualifications)), and all other requirements in Chapters 49 and 354 which are not contrary to paragraphs (1)(3):
(1) Teachers holding an Instructional certificate issued under the Public School Code (24 P. S. § § 1-10114-1411) may add an instructional area to the certificate by passing an appropriate content area test in the area to be certified without meeting further academic and testing requirements.
(2) Candidates holding a valid and current instructional certificate issued by one of the states party to the Interstate Certification Agreement with Pennsylvania may be eligible for certification if they meet the requirements outlined in § 49.65 (relating to out-of-state and Nationally-certified applicants).
(3) Teachers successfully completing a National teacher-training program approved by the State Board that requires a candidate to demonstrate mastery of the subject area to be taught and professional knowledge needed for classroom effectiveness may be certified to teach in this Commonwealth without meeting further academic and testing requirements.
(i) To the extent that the approved National teacher-training program involves a classroom teaching component requiring certification, the Department may issue an intern certificate to the teacher for use during the program.
(ii) The American Board for Certification for Teacher Excellence and Teach for America were approved by the State Board by means of resolution on November 14, 2002. See 32 Pa.B. 6030 (December 7, 2002).
(iii) National teacher-training programs identified for State Board consideration after December 28, 2002, may be approved by State Board resolution without the need to amend this chapter.
(d) NCLB Bridge Certificates.
(1) Teachers holding a level I or II certificate issued prior to July 1, 2004, and who are employed in one of the following listed circumstances may be awarded an NCLB Bridge Certificate if qualified therefore under paragraph (4):
(i) Teaching in grades seven, eight or nine in a middle/junior high school.
(ii) Teaching in a Department-approved Alternative Education Program.
(iii) Teaching direct core academic content on the secondary level and possess either an English as a Second Language or Special Education certificate.
(2) NCLB Bridge Certificates will not be issued to applicants after July 1, 2005. The Secretary of Education may extend this deadline on an individual, case-by-case basis, when exceptional situations warrant.
(3) The NCLB Bridge Certificate is valid for 3 years or until an earlier time at which the individual is awarded an Instructional I Certificate under paragraph (5). The NCLB Bridge Certificate cannot be renewed.
(4) Qualification for issuance of an NCLB Bridge Certificate shall be based on an evaluation system developed by the Department. The evaluation system shall be used to determine whether the applicant is highly qualified in the academic discipline or disciplines in which the applicant is teaching using the following criteria:
(i) Satisfactory teaching experience in delivering instruction in the academic content area at the appropriate level.
(ii) Professional education activities credited under section 2603-B(d) of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. § 2603-B(d)) (Act 2003-48) in the direct academic content area in which the applicant teaches. This may include college credit, postsecondary degrees and approved continuing professional education hours.
(iii) College credits earned in the academic subject area in which the applicant teaches.
(iv) Academic scholarship in the academic content area in which the applicant teaches, including the following:
(A) Recognition as school district or State teacher-of-the year.
(B) Recipient of a State or National teaching award.
(C) Authorship of an article in a peer review journal.
(D) Authorship of a published textbook.
(E) Teaching a credit-based course at an approved postsecondary institution.
(v) Tutoring students in the academic content area in which the NCLB Bridge certificateholder seeks full certification in a satisfactory manner on a sustained basis in a structured, Department-approved tutoring program.
(5) An individual who holds an NCLB Bridge Certificate, awarded through the procedure outlined in paragraph (1), may be awarded an Instructional I Certificate based on evaluation of the applicants experience, professional education and related professional criteria while engaged in teaching under the NCLB Bridge Certificate. The evaluation shall include the following:
(i) Satisfactory teaching experience in delivering instruction in the content area or areas at the appropriate level since receipt of their NCLB Bridge Certificate.
(ii) Professional education activities credited under sections 1205.1 and 1205.2 of the Public School Code of 1929 (24 P. S. § § 12-1205.1 and 12-1205.2) in the direct content area or areas since receipt of their NCLB Bridge Certificate. This may include college credit, postsecondary degrees and approved continuing professional education hours directly in the content area or areas in which the applicant seeks certification.
(iii) College credits achieved in the academic subject area being taught or assessed.
(iv) Academic scholarship in the academic content area that one teaches including:
(A) School district or State teacher-of-the-year.
(B) Recipient of a State or National teaching award.
(C) Authorship of a published textbook in the content area.
(D) Authorship of an article within the academic field the individual instructs published in a peer review journal.
(E) Teaching the content area in a credit-based postsecondary institution.
(F) National board certification during the period in which the individual held the NCLB Bridge Certificate.
(6) The Department will develop and submit for the approval of the State Board the applicant evaluation and NCLB Bridge Certificateholder evaluation systems described in paragraphs (3) and (4) prior to November 1, 2004.
(7) Notwithstanding the timelines in paragraphs (1) and (2), teachers holding a level I or II certificate issued prior to July 1, 2005, and who are employed in one of the following circumstances may apply for an NCLB Bridge Certificate no later than July 30, 2006, if qualified therefore under paragraph (4):
(i) A teacher who is certified in and teaching special education.
(ii) A teacher who is only certified in elementary education and is teaching two or more subjects in grades seven, eight or nine in a middle/junior high school, provided that the following conditions are also met:
(A) The teacher is required to become highly qualified for the position held.
(B) If teaching Math or English, or both, the teacher uses the Bridge I process to become highly qualified in those areas.
The provisions of this § 403.4 adopted December 27, 2002, effective December 28, 2002, 32 Pa.B. 6359; amended June 25, 2004, effective June 26, 2004, 34 Pa.B. 3355 and 3358; amended July 1, 2005, effective July 2, 2005, 35 Pa.B. 3662. Immediately preceeding text appears at serial pages (304364) to (304367).
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