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Education Commissioner Presents Proposed Standards
Based Certification System Statewide


February 07, 2005

Alaska Education & Early Development Commissioner Roger Sampson has been touring the state to bring greater understanding of a new standards-based certification proposal to key education stakeholders. Sampson has been in Kenai, Juneau, Anchorage, Fairbanks and Mat-Su, in addition to meeting with legislators and leaders of education organizations explaining the new system.

The system would replace Alaska's current method of certification with a three-tiered standards-based system. In 1994 and 1997, the State Board of Education & Early Development adopted and amended in regulation professional teacher content and performance standards. The new system would require new teachers to pass a content knowledge exam and demonstrate their ability to deliver instruction as measured against those standards. A panel will measure whether new teachers proficiently meet those standards.

Current Alaska teachers who hold a Type A certificate will be grandfathered into the new system and will not have to meet the performance standards. "As an added benefit, the new system will provide an avenue for teachers to meet the the No Child Left Behind Act's Highly Qualified Teacher requirements," Sampson stressed.

The State Board of Education & Early Development set a goal in September 2003 to "develop and implement a standards-and performance-based initial and continuing licensure system..." According to Commissioner Sampson, the new certification system was developed because the State of Alaska has the responsibility to children and parents to ensure that teachers who work in our schools have the knowledge to teach their subject matter and the ability to effectively deliver that knowledge. In turn, school districts have the
responsibility to monitor how well teachers deliver content on a daily basis.

Sampson plans to take a proposed regulation to the State Board of Education & Early Development that would implement the new certification system at a March 10-11 meeting in Juneau. The commissioner will ask the board to open a period of public comment on the proposed regulation. The public then will be given opportunities to offer oral and written testimony. The board could adopt the proposal as early as June.

"We have worked with a cross section of Alaskans to develop a system that meets the goal the state board of education has set," said Sampson. "I am looking forward to listening further to Alaska educators, parents and others as we put our proposal forward for public comment. Establishing a standards based teacher certification system is the next logical step in our long term plan of building a system of public schools that is able to provide a good education for all of our children."


On the Web:

Alaska Education & Early Development's Fact sheet (doc)


Source of News:

Alaska Department of Education
Web Site



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