|Action||Comprehensive Revision of the Licensure Regulations for School Personnel|
|Comment Period||Ends 11/6/2015|
Goochland County Public Schools implemented our first Marine Corps JROTC program
last school year. The program has been very successful and continues to set paramount
standards of leadership and excellence for the students enrolled. The JROTC curriculum
is unique and created exclusively by the United States Marine Corp. Likewise, JROTC
instructors matriculate through an intense Marine Corp training program focused on
teaching young people leadership, citizenship, personal growth and responsibility, public
service, and career exploration. To require these men and women to complete
professional studies courses in areas such as Classroom Management and Curriculum and
Instruction seems to add little value to the overall impact the program and curriculum has
on our students. Since the JROTC curriculum and standards are created and maintained
by the United States Marine Corp with very little to no input from state and federal
education departments we are requesting that the Commonwealth consider removing the
required professional studies requirements for individuals seeking a license to provide
JROTC Instruction since they already receive training in this area instead.
Special Education teachers have both formal education and training on how to effectively
teach, assess, and manage the needs of students with a variety of learning impairments.
This specialized training allows these teachers to meet the various educational needs of
exceptional learners. However, in order for special educators to be considered highly
qualified to teach a core subject ie. math, science, history, or English to the students on
their caseload, the individual must also be endorsed in the corresponding subject matter.
To add the additional endorsement the teacher must either pass the content area Praxis or
complete additional coursework. In some cases this requirement creates a hardship for
the school division and it’s efforts in achieving highly qualified status for their staff. We
would like for the Department of Education to consider changing the highly qualified
requirements for Special Educators and allow for a general license to teach courses.
The current legislation proposed to create an elementary and secondary Math Specialist
endorsement has the potential to cause staffing issues for smaller, rural school divisions.
Rural school divisions like Goochland would benefit more from a pool of licensed K-12
Math Specialists due to the way the role of Math Specialists are structured in these
divisions. Often times their focus is on multiple areas of instruction across both the
elementary and secondary curriculum that includes direct math instruction to students,
(especially at the secondary level), developing and maintaining the district wide math
curriculum, and providing instructional math support to staff. By creating two separate
endorsements the benefit to smaller school divisions diminishes greatly along with the
employment outlook for individuals with this elementary and secondary endorsement.
Goochland County Public Schools are currently offering at least two engineering courses
being taught by current Career and Technical Education teachers; at least one of them is a
dual enrollment course being offered through James Madison University. The purpose of
these classes is to help expose students to engineering, while at the same time providing
the necessary pre-requisite engineering courses. The Commonwealth of Virginia offering
an engineering teaching endorsement could potentially create a problem in that most Engineering teachers also teach other courses. Whereas we have an excellent Engineering program now, we could not sustain a full time teacher without them teaching other courses. We would be comfortable if the Tech Ed endorsement could also continue to teach engineering. The role of secondary
education is to expose students to a variety of interests in an effort to help the student
identify their passions.
CTE Technical Professional Licenses
Please take a look at the technical professional license for Building Trades. It is not feasible to find a person with the number of hours in electricity, plumbing, HVAC, and carpentry. We would like to see a specialty in any one of these areas count toward licensure. Literally, no person has all four.
Also, please consider a longer time period for completing the three required courses. Since many of these professionals do not even have a college degree, taking three courses is a hardship in an area that is already difficult to recruit. Frankly, we would like to see the option in CTE (and JROTC) to hire these indviduals based on their experience expertise and require divisions to train them in Human Growth and Development, Curriculum, Discipline, and Technology.
We feel that CTE and JROTC licenses would be easier to recruit if we provided these skills in training rather than a required course paid by the teacher without flexible scheduling options.