|Action||Comprehensive Revision of the Licensure Regulations for School Personnel|
|Comment Period||Ends 11/6/2015|
Technology Education Teacher
I am a Technology and Engineering Education teacher at Blacksburg Middle School. I teach 6th-8th grade Introduction to Technology and Inventions and Innovations classes. I am also a FIRST Lego Legue coach for two robotics teams and the Technology Student Association advisor for both Blacksburg Middle and Blacksburg High School. As a Virginia K-12 educator for the past 11 years, and a member of both the Virginia Technology and Engineering Education Association (VTEEA) and International Technology and Engineering Educators Association
, (ITEEA), I am writing to express my deep concern regarding proposed changes to the Regulations Governing the Review and Approval of Education Programs in Virginia. Specifically, my concerns target the proposed 8VAC20-543-280, Engineering as a new program of study and 8VAC20-23-330, the addition of an engineering teaching license. If passed, this will affect the current high school pre- engineering programs and teachers. The addition of a new subject area is not needed in the already overcrowded education system. Many of our career and technical education classes here at the middle school level have already been cut due to funding issues.
Virginia led the Nation in 1988 in developing the first high school engineering courses within the subject area of Technology Education, and later incorporated nationally recognized engineering courses developed by Project Lead The Way (PLTW) that align with post-secondary engineering programs. As a result the Virginia Technology Education programs have produced students who successfully completed post-secondary 4-year Engineering programs not only through Virginia universities, but others across our nation.
The Technology Education curriculum is nationally recognized by the NSF, NASA, NAE, and other credible organizations as addressing the K-12 technology and engineering content and practices. My associations and their members have advocated for STEM partnerships for many decades. At the K-12 level in Virginia that partnership was specified in 2011 with the passing of Senate Joint Resolution 308, which established a shared responsibility among the existing science, technology, and mathematics subjects.
Rationale for NOT endorsing a new engineering program includes the following:
1. As submitted to the VA DOE in 2013 the proposed revisions to the Virginia Technology Education Regulations infuses engineering in a manner that aligns with the ITEEA national Standards for Technological Literacy and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) for Technology and Engineering Literacy.
2. K-12 engineering education nationally, and in Virginia, is focused on the engineering design process, as specified by the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE), ITEEA, and the Next Generation Science Standards.
3. Technology Education is an approved subject area in Virginia K-12 education that teaches the engineering design process.
4. Engineering courses, including Project Lead the Way, are currently taught in Technology Education.
I ask that the infrastructure for STEM education, inclusive of program regulations, funding, and professional development, remain directed at the existing science, technology, and mathematics education programs in Virginia.