Tuesday, March 7, 2017

State seeks comments on educator licensing, KIDS rules

ISBE announced new rule-making
on teacher licensing and KIDS data.
The Illinois State Board of Education recently announced public comment is being sought on pending new regulations incorporating tougher rules on educator licensure. In particular, the proposed new rules would clarify that:
  • State officials may access the Educator Licensure Information Service to ensure educators are properly credentialed or qualified for a particular teaching assignment. 
  • Individuals working as paraprofessionals can’t discipline students. 
  • Head teachers must hold a professional educator license endorsed for supervision if they are serving in place of a principal in more than 50 percent of their full-time employment. 
  • Any individual who will serve as a substitute driver's education teacher must be endorsed for driver’s education. 
  • Certain teachers do not need to meet the requirements for middle-grades endorsements for teaching certain specialized subjects, such as agricultural education; and business, marketing, and computer education. This change, which takes effect on Feb. 1, 2018, covers only middle-grades teachers first assigned to grades 7 or 8 or departmentalized sixth-grade teachers first endorsed on or after Feb. 1, 2018.  
These rules, and others that concern the Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS), will be published in the Illinois Register to elicit comment from educators and the public. The pending regulations to update KIDS would require public school districts and charter schools to report specific data annually to ISBE on each student enrolled in a kindergarten program.

As has previously been announced, public school districts and charter schools will need to fully implement KIDS during the 2017-18 school year. The proposed new rules say school districts will be required to report on 14 school readiness measures for incoming kindergarteners in areas ranging from language and literacy development, to understanding math, to social and emotional learning.

The same school readiness measures also would need to be reported for kindergarteners in self-contained special education classrooms or alternative settings, unless the special education team deems it inappropriate.

An explanation of each student’s readiness would need to be included in the student's Individual Education Program. Similarly, the KIDS school readiness measures would be reported for kindergarteners who are English Learners, unless the language and literacy development measures are deemed inappropriate and need to be substituted with more appropriate, non-required measures.

Reporting would be completed once a school year and accomplished electronically through the KIDSTech rating system. The state has previously determined that all kindergarten teachers in public or charter schools will need to have completed ISBE’s KIDS teacher training by the end of the 2016-17 school year.

Watch the Superintendent’s Weekly Message and the ISBE website for announcement of the opportunity to comment on this rulemaking on teacher licensing and on KIDS.