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Current Licensure Review Process

Introduction

The Board of Teaching launched an initiative during the fall of 2008 to review the entire special education licensure structure.  Two objectives guided the work, which was done in three phases with a heavy reliance on stakeholders:
  1. To conduct a comprehensive review of Minnesota's licensure structure for serving students with exceptionalities, including both disabilities and gifts.
  2. To make recommendations to the Minnesota Board of Teaching regarding the preparation of special education teachers and all teachers serving students with exceptionalities.
A Technical Writing Team worked to finalize the proposed rule language based on the work of committee members of different phase groups that discussed competencies and requirements for all special education teachers including teachers of deaf and hard of hearing students.  There was also the opportunity for people to participate in a focus group through WebEx (webinars).

History of the Process

Several different committees and groups met to review and amend the licensure requirements for teachers of deaf and hard of hearing, as well as other special education licensure fields.  
 

Phase I (October - December 2008)

Process Overview

Phase I convened from October - December of 2008.  Representatives from stakeholder organizations reviewed whether Minnesota's current licensure standards and structure were appropriate or whether different standards or models should be considered. During the process the team analyzed data regarding students, licensure, etc.  They looked at child count numbers, districts that struggled with finding teachers, and promising practices and models from other states.

Recommendations

Phase I recommended revising Minnesota's licensure structure to better serve special education students by preparing teachers in a hybrid model of disability-specific and cross-categorical system.

Specific to deaf and hard of hearing licensure, there were two licenses to review:
  • Deaf or hard of hearing license
  • Oral/aural license

Committee Members

MN Administrators for Special Education, MN Association of School Administrators, Education Minnesota, MN Department of Education - Educator Licensing division, MN Department of Education - Special Education Policy division, ARC of Minnesota, PACER Center, Special Education Advisory Panel, MN Association of Secondary School Principals, MN Elementary School Principals Association, MN School Boards Association, Association of Metropolitan School Districts, MN Association of Alternative Programs, MN Rural Education Association, MN Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, MN Association of Charter Schools, Regional Low-Incidence Facilitator, MN Council for Gifted & Talented/ MN Educators of Gifted & Talented, MN Association of School Psychologists, Autism Society of Minnesota, MN Department of Education - Gifted & Talented 

Phase II (February - April 2009)

Process Overview

Phase II took place from February - April of 2009.  This phase expanded the work of Phase I to include additional stakeholders representing more specific targeted expertise, such as experience working with deaf and hard of hearing students.

Eleven sub-groups (one of these was specific to D/HH work) worked to flesh out the work of the Phase I group and to provide draft recommendations back to the Phase I group (which reconvened as the Phase III group).  Focus groups took place through webinars to solicit additional stakeholder input.

Recommendations

The committee members for the D/HH subgroup represented experienced leaders in the field including those specialized in auditory/oral education, bilingual-bicultural education, and administration.  The members unanimously supported the following recommendations to:

Committee Members

Ann Vaubel, Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Joan Breslin-Larson, Minnesota Department of Education (Liaison)
Kathy Arnoldi, Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Administrator
Kim Kause, Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Administrator
Linda Mitchell, Superintendent of Minnesota State Academy of the Deaf
Mary Cashman-Bakken, Minnesota Department of Education (Liaison)
Dr. Susan Rose, University of Minnesota

Phase III (April - June 2009)

Process Overview

From April - June of 2009 the Phase I group reconvened as the Phase III group and reviewed the Phase II recommendations.  They looked at the rule language and examined:
  • Student impact
  • Local impact, including size of district, capacity for various programs and settings, etc.
  • Capacity in higher education to offer programs, recruit candidates, sustain programs
  • Transition planning

Recommendations

In August 2009, Phase III presented the following recommendations to the Board of Teaching:
  • Revise deaf and hard of hearing license.
  • Maintain the oral/aural license.
  • Add standards specific to deaf-blind students.
In the fall of 2009, the Technical Writing Team (TWT) worked on the draft licenses.  However, due to the content changes recommended for the deaf and hard of hearing license, the TWT waited until after Phase 2.5 before addressing the licenses related to deaf and hard of hearing education.

Committee Members

MN Administrators for Special Education, MN Association of School Administrators, Education Minnesota, MN Department of Education - Educator Licensing division, MN Department of Education - Special Education Policy division, ARC of Minnesota, PACER Center, Special Education Advisory Panel, MN Association of Secondary School Principals, MN Elementary School Principals Association, MN School Boards Association, Association of Metropolitan School Districts, MN Association of Alternative Programs, MN Rural Education Association, MN Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, MN Association of Charter Schools, Regional Low-Incidence Facilitator, MN Council for Gifted & Talented/ MN Educators of Gifted & Talented, MN Association of School Psychologists, Autism Society of Minnesota, MN Department of Education - Gifted & Talented 

(Same as Phase I committee members) 

Phase 2.5 (Spring 2010)

Process Overview

In August 2009, the licensure drafts were presented to the Board of Teaching.  During the fall of 2009, the Technical Writing Team (TWT) reviewed and revised individual licensure fields, while also aligning all licensure fields by subpart.  See specifics about the TWT work for details.

The TWT did not work specifically on the deaf and hard of hearing license during fall of 2009 because of different opinions about how to proceed with content.  Therefore, Phase 2.5 convened in spring of 2010 (after Phase III).  The goals of Phase 2.5 were to:
  • Articulate additional standards within the D/HH license to address the full spectrum of hearing loss, with particular attention to standards for students who are hard of hearing (i.e.; cued speech).
  • Articulate additional standards within the D/HH license to address students who are both deaf and blind.
  • Clarify the requirements of the sign language proficiency skills examination.

Recommendations

The Phase 2.5 team unanimously recommended the following:
  • Revisit statutory obligations within Minnesota Statute 122A.28.
  • Revise D/HH license to reflect the full spectrum of hearing loss.
  • Revise D/HH license to reflect the needs of deaf-blind students.
  • Allow Oral/Aural license to remain an option for now because the Board of Teaching does not have the authority to change state statute.
    • Since the oral/aural license is required within Minnesota Statute 122A.28, the Board of Teaching does not have the authority to eliminate the separate license even though it was recommended by the group. 
    • Phase 2.5 recommended that MCDHH lead advocates to change the statute and move towards one comprehensive license during the legislative session. 
    • The statutory language does require the Board of Teaching to outline "advanced competencies" for the oral/aural license.

Committee Members

Linda Mitchell, MN State Academies
Billie Ward, MN State Academies
Dr. Susan Rose, University of Minnesota
Joyce Daugaard, University of Minnesota
Anna Paulson, University of Minnesota
Sally Prouty, MN Hands & Voices
Candace Lindow-Davies, MN Hands & Voices
Kathy Anderson, MN Low-Incidence Projects
Mary Cashman-Bakken, MN Department of Education
Joan Breslin-Larson, MN Department of Education/BOT Technical Writing Team
Ann Vaubel, Mankato Area Public Schools
Kathy Arnoldi, St. Paul Public Schools
Cathy Lyle, District 916/ MN DeafBlind Project
Kitri Kyllo, District 917 
Kim Kause/Susan Lane-Outlaw, Metro Deaf School - Minnesota North Star Academy
Clay Keller, BOT Technical Writing Team
Karen Balmer, BOT

Post Phase 2.5 (Spring/Summer 2010)

After Phase 2.5 made their recommendations, the Technical Writing Team met to work on finalizing the deaf and hard of hearing license and oral/aural license drafts.  See specifics about the TWT's work for details about their work.

The Technical Writing Team presented their recommendations to the Board of Teaching in June 2010.
 
Technical Writing Team Members
Karen Balmer, Board of Teaching
Joan Breslin-Larson, Minnesota Department of Education
Clay Keller, Metro ECSU
Karen Kennedy, MN Association of Charter Schools
Eric Kloos, Minnesota Department of Education
Carol Knicker, Board of Teaching
Erin Magnus, Minnesota Department of Education
Lynn Stansberry Brusnahan, University of St. Thomas
Jody Tschetter, Minnesota Department of Education
Kathleen Wilder, Education Minnesota 

Recent History

June 2010:  Board of Teaching received drafts of licensure changes to review.  These revisions reflected the recommendations from Phase 2.5 members and the Technical Writing Team.  

 
August 2010:  Karen Balmer, Board of Teaching Executive Director, recommended to the Board of Teaching that the Oral/Aural license be left as it is without the additional language proposed by the Technical Writing Team (TWT).
 
Rationale:  
  • The proposed clarifying language added to Subpart 1 of the Oral/Aural license by the TWT had good intentions (see bullet below for language) but was not supported by the stakeholders that were brought together.  The intent of the TWT is not disagreed with since they sought to bring clarity to the use of the license in the field and ensure that all students are served as best as possible.  However, since there is a great deal of interest among stakeholders to eliminate the statutory language that requires this license during the next legislative session, efforts to revise the language may be unnecessary.
    • "This teacher will collaborate and consult with licensed D/HH teachers in conducting all educational evaluations in the individualized education planning and programming process in order to ensure that a full range of educational communication options will be considered for children and youth with hearing loss."
August 6, 2010:  The Board of Teaching voted to launch rulemaking to enact recommended changes for licensure.  The current drafts for the deaf and hard of hearing and oral/aural licensure rules are below:
 
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Licensure Draft (Administrative Rule 8710.5200)
Oral/Aural Licensure Draft (Administrative Rule 8710.5250)
 
The drafts are available as Word documents at the end of this webpage.
 
November 15, 2010:  Karen Balmer met with a group to strengthen and edit the deaf and hard of hearing license.  Revised drafts will be posted when available. 
 
Group members included:  Billie Ward, Joyce Daugaard, Anna Paulson, Kathy Anderson, Kitri Kyllo, Julie Storck, Michelle Isham, Mary Cashman-Bakken, Joan Breslin-Larson, and Mary Hartnett. 
 
  
 

Changes Overview

For a comparison chart of the current rule language compared to the proposed rule language, see the document "Licensure.Comparison.2010" at the end of this page.  The document also highlights the major changes in the rules.
 
Recent History

Fall 2010:  Stakeholder feedback:October 25-November 26:  Public Comment Period
  • End of November:  Technical Writing Team review of comments
  • November:  SONAR development
August 16, 2011:  Hearing Notice sent from the Board of Teaching with a final copy of the proposed special education changes.
  
September 19th, 2011: Date that is scheduled for hearing by Administrative Law Judge at the Minnesota Department of Education at the MN Dept. of Ed, Conf. Center A, Rooms 13-14, 1500 Highway 36 W, Roseville, MN.  The hearing is scheduled to begin at 8:30 and is expected to continue until 2:00 p.m.  Deaf and Hard of Hearing Licensure will be considered as will Blind and Visually Impaired and a proposed General Special Education License. 
 
The proposed changes are in an accessible PDF format at bottom of this page. 

 
Please contact Karen Balmer at board.teaching@state.mn.us with questions specific to the Minnesota Board of Teaching or licensure rulemaking process.  If you would like to be added to the Board's notification list to receive updates and information about the rulemaking process, please submit your name and contact information to Board.teaching@state.mn.us.    
 

MCDHH's Role

MCDHH has been active throughout the process to ensure that all perspectives were included in the rulemaking process. 
 
MCDHH advocates for the rights of all children who are deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing and believes that teachers should be prepared to meet the needs of all children, regardless of communication modality. 
 
Join MCDHH in ensuring that all children with hearing loss are provided options from a highly qualified teacher knowledgeable in all communication modalities.  The Phase 2.5 group wants to move towards one comprehensive license so that teachers are prepared to meet the needs of all students.  However, Minnesota Statute, section 122A.28 requires two separate licensure options.  The discussion continues.  Take action and participate in Making Your Case to learn how you can advocate for children with hearing loss by ensuring appropriate teacher licensure requirements.  Making Your Case is now available on the You Tube Channel "MNCDHH".
 
Watch the MCDHH website for postings about the upcoming opportunities for public comment.
 
Subpages (1): Technical Writing Team
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Julie Storck,
Nov 4, 2010, 9:44 AM
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Julie Storck,
Aug 27, 2010, 12:59 PM
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Julie Storck,
Sep 1, 2010, 2:37 PM
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DHH Education,
Sep 12, 2011, 1:21 PM
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