RETELL


Introduction
This guidance document addresses some of the questions that have been raised regarding the Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) Endorsement and other requirements under the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE’s) Rethinking Equity and Teaching for English Language Learners (RETELL) initiative. The MTA Center for Education Policy and Practice (CEPP) will continue to review materials developed by DESE, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), the Executive Office of Education and other professional education associations in order to inform local leaders about this initiative. However, the guidance for districts is not yet complete and locals should keep in contact with their field representatives for the latest information and advice. Additional information is available at www.massteacher.org/ELL.
What do educators need to know?
Teachers need to be aware of the issues as this may affect licensure and employment. Districts have a responsibility to identify and schedule training for educators.
 
As part of RETELL, new regulations have been approved that will require an estimated 26,000 teachers to obtain additional training in sheltering content area instruction for English Language Learners (ELLs) in order to qualify for a SEI Endorsement. For those required to take a course, the training is equivalent to a 3-credit graduate course and includes 16 sessions, 6 of which are on line, for a total of 45 hours. Some educators may partially qualify for the SEI Endorsement based on prior training.
 
DESE-designated Core Academic Teachers who teach ELLs will be required to qualify for the SEI Endorsement. All other licensed educators will need to complete 15 PDPs in SEI and 15 PDPs in special education instruction in order to renew a Professional License after July 1, 2016. Fulfilling these mandates will affect your ability to maintain an active teaching license in Massachusetts.
 
Who are “Core Academic Teachers”?
Core Academic Teachers for the purposes of SEI instruction include those who teach:
 
v  Civics and Government
v  Early Childhood                                        
v  Economics                                                 
v  Elementary
v  English                                                      
v  History and Geography
v  Language Arts                                         
v  Mathematics
v  Reading
v  Science
v  Special Education– Moderate
Disabilities & Severe Disabilities                                                  

 
When are educators required to earn a SEI Endorsement?
Core Academic Teachers who teach ELLs will be required to earn the SEI Endorsement no later than July 1, 2016. This includes district public school teachers and charter school teachers – even charter school teachers who are not licensed. 
 
Teachers in districts with ELLs will be assigned to different cohorts by DESE and their districts. During their assigned cohort’s training period, teachers will be able to take part in the SEI Endorsement training at no cost to the educator, according to DESE. At this time, it is unknown what action will be taken regarding licensure or employment if a teacher fails to complete the endorsement by the end of the assigned cohort period.
 
Table 1: Teachers with English Language Learners
 
Preliminary License
Initial License
Professional License
Core Academic Teachers
 
Required by the end of assigned cohort
or
Within 1 year of being assigned an ELL after 2016
or
Required to advance to Initial License after July 1, 2014
 
Required by the end of assigned cohort
or
Within 1 year of being assigned an ELL after 2016
 
Note: SEI Endorsement will be included in approved teacher preparation programs for teachers seeking Initial Licensure after July 1, 2014
Required by the end of assigned cohort
or
Within 1 year of being assigned an ELL after 2016
 
Note: All teachers must obtain 15 PDPs in ELL and 15 PDPs in SPED for Professional License renewal after July 1, 2016
Non-Core Academic Teachers
Not required by regulations.
Not required by regulations.
Earn 15 PDPs in teaching ELLs and 15 PDPs in SPED for license renewal after July 1, 2016
Administrators
By June 30, 2016, administrators who supervise Core Academic Teachers will be assigned to a cohort and must complete the SEI Teacher or SEI Administrator Endorsement.
After July 1, 2014, the SEI Endorsement will be required as a condition of licensure for all who have principal/assistant principal and supervisor/director licenses.
 
All approved educator preparation programs for Core Academic Teachers and administrators will be required to submit documentation to DESE by June 1, 2013, on how they will include the SEI Endorsement in their programs. Students who complete an approved program and apply for an Initial license prior to June 30, 2014, will not be required to have completed the SEI Endorsement to be granted a license.
 
Table 2: Teachers with no English language learners & NOT assigned to a cohort
 
Preliminary License
Initial License
Professional License
Core Academic Teachers
 
Required to advance to Initial License after July 1, 2014
and/or
Within 1 year of being assigned an ELL after 2016
 
Within one year of being assigned an ELL after 2016
and/or
Hold an SEI Endorsement to be granted an Initial License after July 1, 2014
 
Within 1 year of being assigned an ELL after 2016
and
Earn 15 PDPs in teaching ELLs  & 15 PDPs in SPED for license renewal after July 1, 2016
Non-Core Academic Teachers
Not required by regulations.
Not required by regulations.
Earn 15 PDPs in teaching ELLs and 15 PDPs in SPED for license renewal after July 1, 2016
Administrators
By June 30, 2016, administrators who supervise Core Academic Teachers will be assigned to a must complete the SEI Teacher or SEI Administrator Endorsement.
After July 1, 2014, the SEI Endorsement will be required as a condition of licensure for all who have principal/assistant principal and all supervisor/director licenses.
 
DESE sent the cohort schedule to districts this summer.  DESE states that guidance on how individual educators will be assigned to complete the endorsement requirements will be available in mid-September 2012. The MTA will provide additional advice to members as it becomes available.
How do educators qualify for an SEI endorsement?
Under the proposed regulations, teachers may qualify for an SEI Endorsement by one of the following:
1.    Completing a DESE-approved course of study specific to SEI.
2.    Passing a DESE-approved assessment (not yet available).
3.    Holding a bachelor’s degree in a major approved by DESE or completing other graduate level training approved by the department that embodies the required standards. 
4.    Holding an English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) or an ELL license.
What if an educator has completed the “Category” Trainings?
According to a memo released by Commissioner Mitchell Chester in August 2012, teachers who completed a minimum of two of Categories 1, 2 or 4 will be credited for work already completed towards the SEI Endorsement. Category 3 will not be credited as the MELA-O tool will no longer be used as of the 2012-2013 school year. DESE has stated that an abbreviated version of the SEI Endorsement course will be available in 2013 for educators who have complete two or three of Categories 1, 2 or 4 courses. 
What is the SEI Endorsement timeline?
Based on the new regulations and conversations with staff at DESE, the following timeline has been determined for the SEI Endorsement implementation:
 
August 2012: DESE has published a schedule of cohorts of educators who are on an “accelerated schedule” to earn the endorsement between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2016. Districts will be responsible for identifying educators who are required to take the course, assigning educators to course sections and determining the schedule and location for each course.
January 2013: DESE will provide prequalified course instructors for approximately 3000 educators in year one. Funding for the course instructors will be secured by DESE.
 
June 1, 2013: Educator preparation programs must submit documentation to DESE regarding changes to preparation programs to include required SEI training.
 
After July 1, 2014: All Core Academic Teachers must qualify for the SEI Endorsement to earn an Initial Teacher License.
 
July 1, 2016: All teachers with Professional Licenses will be required to obtain 150 PDPs within five years in order to renew a professional license, as under current regulations. Under the new regulations, the breakdown of how those must be allocated will be as follows:
 
15 PDPs in ESL and/or SEI.
15 PDPs in SPED.
90 PDPs in educator’s content or content-based pedagogy,  with a minimum of  60 in the content.
30 elective PDPs.
 
Can a teacher earn an ESL License to qualify for the endorsement?
Yes. Teachers who wish to add an ESL license must pass the ESL MTEL test and complete a 150-hour practicum in the role of the license. The 150-hour practicum requirement is a new requirement as of June 2012.  Teachers who hold an ESL license are already qualified for the SEI Endorsement.
How do the new regulations affect districts?
Districts are responsible for identifying educators, assigning educators to class sections, determining the course schedule and reporting information back to DESE. Additional guidance on information submission and “Guidelines for Qualifying Educators for the Sheltered English Immersion Teacher or Administrator Endorsement” will be coming in September 2012. After August 1, 2016, ELL students may be assigned only to Core Academic Teachers who have qualified for an SEI Endorsement or will earn an SEI endorsement within one year.
 
What changes affect students?
At the end of the 2011-2012 school year, the English Language Proficiency Benchmarks and Objectives (ELPBO) and Massachusetts English Proficiency Assessment (MEPA) tests will no longer be used. Teachers will begin to use the World Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) standards and the Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners (ACCESS) test will be given to ELLs each year in January. Additional information regarding WIDA administration will be covered in the next RETELL Advisory. More information about WIDA and ACCESS can be found at www.wida.us.
How did RETELL come about?
 
The urgency for the proposed regulations is rooted in the recent notification by the U.S. DOJ that Massachusetts was not adequately preparing teachers to deliver SEI to ELLs. All ESL programs were overhauled following the passage of a 2002 ballot question in Massachusetts that mandated the creation of SEI programs for all ELLs, with few exceptions.  The new law eliminated most bilingual education programs; most ELLs are now placed in classrooms with native English speakers and are given English-only instruction.
 
In July of 2011, DESE received notice from the DOJ that the state’s current program for ELLs was out of compliance with the Equal Educational Opportunities Act. The DOJ cited inadequate training for teachers of ELLs across the state and therefore concern that ELLs were not receiving the education to which they are entitled under federal law. A copy of the DOJ letter can be viewed at www.massteacher.org/ELL.  
 
Proposed regulations were presented at the February 28th meeting of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. These regulations are intended to improve the training of teachers and to ensure that all ELLs are assigned only to teachers who have received approved training in SEI. The regulations were adopted on June 22. In the coming years, additional components of RETELL may include instructional coaching for teachers of ELLs and Professional Learning Communities to further assist teachers who are working with ELLs.
 
Resources
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Regulations, FAQ and memos from Commissioner Mitchell Chester at www.doe.mass.edu/retell/
          Massachusetts Teachers Association ELL Toolkit at www.massteacher.org/ell