We won’t know what the proposal for a professional standards board for educators will look like until December — that’s the estimated release date for a final report from the Legislative Program Review and Investigations (PRI) Committee. The PRI Committee moved a step closer toward its final recommendations today, however, when it released the results of a study of professional standards boards for educators in other states and for other professions in Connecticut.
In Connecticut, educator standards and certification are currently set and overseen by the State Board and Department of Education. Educators serve on two advisory councils — one for teachers and one for administrators. However, the role of these councils is limited to developing codes of professional responsibility (i.e., ethics) and making recommendations on proposals affecting educators.
To continue to attract and retain highly effective teachers, Connecticut needs to give educators the same level of respect afforded teachers in other states. CEA hears regularly from members that they want a voice in decision-making. A standards board with a significant educator presence would know firsthand what it takes to deliver excellent teaching and learning.
The PRI Committee’s study identified model states which have similar characteristics with regard to student demographics and performance, and teacher and education system features. The seven states whose educator professional standards boards will serve as case studies are: Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington.
CEA appreciates that the PRI has undertaken its current study of educator professional standards boards. Today’s initial study indicates that the committee is being comprehensive in its investigation — a necessary prerequisite to ensure that the potential of a new board for educators is thoroughly explored.
The study identified the following as next steps for committee staff.
- Include an expanded description of the current system for regulating educators in the next report.
- Learn more about Connecticut’s advisory councils through conversations with council members, education-related associations, and the State Department of Education.
- Take a closer look at the professional standards boards in each of the seven states identified as case studies, and assess their potential fit into Connecticut’s education system.
- Finalize information on board powers, composition, and resources, for those licensed professions in Connecticut that require at least a bachelor’s degree and are overseen by a board.
- Present information on the composition and scope of the state’s fire commission and police council.
Representative T.R. Rowe, the committee co-chair, said that the PRI will most likely hold a public hearing for comment on a Connecticut educator standards board November 14. Stay tuned to BlogCEA for more information.