This article appeared in the 2017 summer issue of The Classroom Teacher.

TEA has begun examining a possible redesign of the teacher certification structure and is seeking input on several issues, including whether to maintain the current certification grade bands (EC-6, 4-8, and 7-12). Also, legislation recently passed requiring SBEC to develop an EC-3 certificate; the intent is for the new certificate to be in addition to, not instead of, the current EC-6 Core Subjects certificate. 

In TEA’s plan for certification structure redesign, Phase 1 includes developing Pedagogy and Professional Responsibility (PPR) standards, certificates, and exams for particular grade level bands, including EC-3, 4-8, and 7-12. Currently, there is the EC-12 PPR exam and a 6-12 Trade/Industrial PPR exam. 

For now, TEA plans to maintain the EC-12 PPR for the EC-6 Core Subjects test, but may revisit that at a later time. Finally, whether to maintain the 4-8 Core Subjects certificate also will be explored.

TEA convened stakeholder groups of educators to inform development of these new PPR standards, and TCTA members Sherry Miller, Curriculum & Instruction Committee chair, and Liz Pirtle, District 20 director, are serving on those committees.

In a separate initiative, TEA also formed stakeholder committees to inform any needed changes to the Counselor certificate, and TCTA member Twila Read, Legislation Committee chair, served on the committee. The committee recommended numerous revisions to the existing counselor standards. One revision, for which no consensus was reached, would provide that the master’s degree required for a counseling certificate should be a 48-hour master’s degree in counseling. The recommendations were presented to SBEC at its June meeting for discussion only.