Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Interesting Email From Human Resources Today

I had heard nothing about this until a friend at another school forwarded it to me today--and a few minutes later, my principal forwarded it to our staff:

Teachers and Other Certificated Employees,

On September 28, 2006, the Governor signed SB 1209, an omnibus education bill with impact in thirty different provisions of the Education Code. The bill takes effect January 1, 2007. The item of interest to most teachers is the elimination of the requirement for 150 hours of professional development for credential renewal. If your credential expires after December 31, 2006, you are no longer required to attend the 150 hours before you can renew the credential. Following is the text from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing:

Professional Growth Requirements
Beginning January 1, 2007, the renewal of professional clear credentials will no longer be linked to professional growth requirements. This new development affects teaching and service credentials including Designated Subjects Credentials. The removal of professional growth as a credential requirement includes both the 150 hours of activities and the experience requirement. Child Development Permits will maintain a professional growth requirement for renewal.” (boldface mine--Darren)

Another change as of January 1, 2007, all credential renewals must be completed on line through the Commission’s web site at http://www.ctc.ca.gov. The District will no longer be able to assist you in renewing your credentials by submitting your renewal application.

This information will also be included in the letters we send to certificated staff to remind you to renew your credential. For further information on credentials, you are encouraged to view the Commission’s web site at http://www.ctc.ca.gov.

xxxxxx, Director

Human Resources

I always thought the 150 hours to be nothing more than another administrative hoop to jump through, nothing more than a haze. I shed no tears over its departure, and I don't think it will affect the professionalism of California's teaching corps one iota.

Update, 11/08/06: One teacher today brought up an interesting point--if we now don't have to do anything other than teach for 6 months out of 5 years in order to renew our credential, for what are we paying the $75 renewal fee? Before, paying a fee and renewing in person at least gave the Commission an opportunity to see that we've done *something*. Now that we really don't have to do anything and must renew online, what's the purpose of the renewal and the fee? I know, it's to keep people at the CTC employed.


Nic said...

I hope our state sees the light about this issue, too.


Miller's Time said...

Too bad it won't get me out of BTSA. What a waste of time that is...

Darren said...

You don't say!

Anonymous said...

This sounds great, but what new hurdle will replace this?

Lillian said...

Trust me Darren, those 150 employees at the Commission earn their salaries. They have to examine each and every credential application, not only for the 350,000 plus teachers already employed in our State, but also for those coming in from other states, and those in the process of becoming teachers. It's quite impressive.
The return to 'life' credentials is good, since so many districts have their own continuing ed requirements for their teachers. I have a clear credential, one of the old ones, and all I do is renew every 5 years for the $75, which is basically processing fees to help the Commission do it's job. However, I have always taken classes through the years, and no district had to make me do it. Of course, there are still teachers who do not know what differentiation, compacting, or authentic assessments are? Salary advancement has always been an incentive to keep going to school, but teachers should want to stay up on the new strategies and research based techniques, just as other fields, and not fall into a pattern of educational complacency. But 1209 is a welcomed reprieve for our teachers, and the Commission will be doing much to streamline the credentialing process.
Those are some good people in that office. You should go over there and take a visit!

Darren said...

I've been there. In fact, I'm on a review panel for evaluating the credential program for prospective math teachers at a state university.

My point, though, is after a teacher gets an initial certification--what's there to do after that besides pay a renewal fee? If they're going to do this, they may as well go back to lifetime credentials.

Lillian said...

What is left to do is to continue learning the craft, and improving on the skills and as that is done throughout the years (hopefully), the credential is redesignated, upgraded, possibly downgraded, etc.
When you renew your drivers license, you pay a fee to renew every three or four years. All professionals pay a fee to renew their credentials within a designated time (doctors, lawyers, probably even Indian Chiefs). I actually feel that $75 is a deal for a five year renewal. Each time I renewed my 'life' credential, I was upgraded, and able to teach in new areas I had prepared for with classes I had taken.
In a sense, this will cause all credentials to become 'life' credentials, even though many, like mine, are actually 'clear'.
But clear is a lot better than the old clear professional, which required the 150 hours, wouldn't you agree?
Are you suggesting that teaching credentials should be renewed for FREE?

Darren said...

What I'm suggesting is now that there's no official requirement to do anything except pay a fee for our credentials, that renewing them is a useless exercise in bureaucracy. The only difference between a what we have now and a lifetime credential is a $75 fee every five years.

Lillian said...

If only to monitor WHO is teaching or counseling or admininstrating in our public schools, colleges, universities, and keep track of what they are doing, I think that the renewal process is a great tracking tool. I do not speak for the Commission, but rather as a teacher who has renewed her Clear credential nearly six times (it's due again next year).
It would be quite a fiasco to track all of these educators from district to district, as they are hired, fired, laid off due to disabilities, or quit one district to move to one closer, or one that pays more. How would we keep up with this mobility and change? The districts have their own requirements for employment, right? The Commission works as a dispatcher that districts can look to for those details.
Teachers, principals, counselors, and others will be required to continuing learning, in some way or another on the district level.
I truly thought that teachers would be happy about the elimination of the 150 hours. However, many teachers don't seem to view themselves as the professionals that they are, and many seem to think that when they get the credential, It Is Finished. I hope that dropping the extra 150 hour requirement does not lead to a drop in motivation among teachers to continue on as lifelong learners.

I'm happy to hear that you are on the Math team. You are a brilliant man and represent the best among our teachers!