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Letter from the Secretary
SD Department of Education Nov. 2016  
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Proposed certification rule changes to get first reading Nov. 15

Proposed changes to certification rules will get a first reading at the state Board of Education’s Nov. 15 meeting in Sioux Falls. The intent is to streamline rules and make them easier to understand. New rules are scheduled to be phased in, beginning in July 2017.

Proposed changes are extensive. Here are several highlights:

  • School structure would no longer dictate whether a teacher is certified to teach a subject. Endorsements would be tied to assignments, rather than school structure.

  • A teacher could earn an intermediate endorsement by passing a composite test in math, English language arts, science or social science. (i.e. Instead of being required to take separate tests in history, political science and geography, a teacher could take a composite social studies test to qualify to teach all three subjects in middle school and high school.)

  • Currently, if an educator’s certificate lapses, the transcripted credit requirement increases from three to six. Under proposed changes, the requirement would remain at three, and the applicant would instead be required to pay a fee/fine.

  • A new category of certificates, called Educator Permits, would be created. Several of these permits could help small schools that struggle to find certified teachers in certain areas.
    • The Performing Artist Permit is designed for individuals who qualify to teach in specific fine arts areas. This would be a five-year non-renewable permit issued to performing artists in the fields of art, dance, drama and music. The permit would require five years of occupational experience in the performing arts field.
    • The Expert Lecturer Permit would be issued at the request of a school district for individuals with distinctive qualifications. It would be a one-year renewable permit, limited to the area of specialty, and would require a master’s degree or higher.
    • The International Teacher Permit would be a five-year non-renewable permit that would require a J1 or H1B Visa.

  • A teacher with an early childhood special education preparation could add a K-12 special education endorsement by passing the secondary pedagogy test and the state special education content test.

  • A teacher with a K-12 special education preparation could add an early childhood special education endorsement by passing the early childhood pedagogy test and the early childhood special education test.

The South Dakota Department of Education will be sharing detailed information through a variety of avenues over coming months in an effort to reach all who will be affected. It is important to note that whatever educators are currently qualified to teach will not be affected by the rule changes. The department’s certification webpage will be continually updated as rules are rolled out.

 
     
 

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