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Emergency and Proposed Educator Credential Regulations

Teacher and Administrator Credentials

OSSE is updating teacher and administrator credential requirements in order to address current challenges that have been identified by educators and by the District of Columbia Public Schools (CPS), and to create additional pathways to licensure so that we can recruit and retain the highest quality educator workforce and ensure that every child succeeds.  In DC, these credentials are required only for DCPS teachers. 

Emergency regulations were published in the DC Register on Friday, March 25 and proposed regulations will be forthcoming.  OSSE promulgated emergency regulations given the school year hiring cycle, to ensure that teachers with a track record of effective teaching can be retained for the upcoming school year.

Adding New Pathways

  • The emergency and proposed regulations do not make changes to the existing pathways for licensure; rather, they add new pathways for credentials based on effectiveness.
  • Initial Teaching Credential Pathways
    • Option A (Existing): Teacher enrolled at alternative route certification program
    • Option B (New): Experienced teacher from another state
    • Option C (New) LEA request – Novice teacher not enrolled in an alternative certification program recruited by a DC LEA
  • Standard Teaching Credential Pathways
    • Option A (Existing): Completion of a state-approved teacher preparation program
    • Option B (Existing): Upgrade from  a Regular 1 teaching credential
    • Option C: (New): Experienced teacher from another state
    • Option D (New): LEA request – Experienced teacher recruited by a DC LEA with two years of demonstrated effectiveness in the prior LEA’s evaluation system
  • Administrative Services Credential Pathways
    • Option A (Existing): Completion of a state-approved administrator preparation program or graduate degree, and four years of full-time teaching, instructional leadership, or other related experience
    • Option B (New): Completion of a state-approved administrator preparation program or graduate degree, and two years of demonstrated effectiveness in teaching, instructional leadership, or other related experience

Sample Scenarios

  • A teacher who has been rated effective or highly effective for the past two years, but has not completed a state-approved teacher preparation program, could be retained so that he/she can continue to deliver high-quality instruction to DC students.
  • A teacher who has a credential from another state and has proven to be effective in the classroom could receive a Standard Teaching Credential, rather than needing to enroll in a state-approved teacher preparation program.
  • Additional scenarios and details regarding the pathways for the Initial Teaching Credential and the Standard Teaching Credential can be found in the Teacher Credential Regulation Revision overview found at: http://1.usa.gov/1TRzG8k.

Stakeholder Engagement

OSSE has engaged with key stakeholders regarding potential revisions to the credential regulations over the past year, and also described educator credential reform in alignment with emergency and proposed regulations in the Equitable Access Plan[1] submitted to the U.S. Department of Education.  OSSE will elicit formal public comment when the proposed regulations are published in the DC Register.  The proposed regulations mirror the emergency regulations, with the exception of adding a new advanced teaching credential and advanced administrative services credential. OSSE looks forward to receiving public comments and using those to finalize regulations moving forward.

Streamlining the Application Process

In addition to these changes, OSSE has also streamlined the process for teacher and administrator credentials. In January 2016, OSSE launched a new online credential application process, called the Educator Credential Information System.  The new system provides a more convenient experience for teachers and administrators seeking to obtain or renew their credentials, with options such as online payment of fees.  More information about applying for teacher and administrator credentials can be found on the Educator Credentialing and Certification site: http://osse.dc.gov/ed-credentials.