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Education Standards and Practices Board

Assuring highly qualified professional educators for North Dakota students
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2718 Gateway Avenue
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Bismarck, ND 58503-0585
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ESPB square logo About ESPB

Annual Report 1999
Vol. 4 Issue 1

New Laws and Rules Effecting Education Licensure

Several new statutes passed during the 1999 Legislative session will impact licenses issued by the ESPB.

Licensure Terminology: Effective August 1, 1999, the Educator's Professional Certificate became the Educator's Professional License. This language reflects the fact that all P-12 professional educators must hold a (certificate) license to practice in North Dakota schools. It also brings the state in line with other states' and national board certification language.

Provisional License: A forty-day renewable license can now be issued to individuals who have met all of the requirements for licensure except for final clearance on the background check. The provisional license may be requested after August 15 and will be dated from the first day of school. The provisional must be requested by the school administration, it is not issued automatically to all applicants.

Interim Reciprocal License: A two-year license may now be issued to individuals who hold a valid license from another state but still need to complete additional requirements to meet North Dakota standards and rules. Individuals issued the interim reciprocal license may teach or substitute while they complete the ND requirements. Schools should be aware that individuals may not begin practice in North Dakota using the other state';s license, but must display the North Dakota Interim Reciprocal License to the business manager before being employed. The interim reciprocal license may be renewed once for an additional two years provided satisfactory service and progress can be documented.

Minor Equivalency Endorsements: Effective June 1,1999, the Education Standards and Practices Board began issuing Minor Equivalency Endorsements. Previously, DPI issued equivalencies. A minor equivalency endorsement may be issued to individuals who have completed 16 or 24 semester hours of ESPB specified content area coursework. The ME16 or ME24 is a reeducation option for those already licensed in other areas. All coursework will not have to be completed at the same college. The ME16 carries a sunset clause of five years. Individuals will need to complete additional coursework to move up to the full equivalency of the ME24 within that time period.

Early Childhood License: The Education Standards and Practices Board may now issue stand-alone early childhood licenses to those people who have completed four-year degrees in early childhood education. This license will cover birth to age 8 children. Previously, the early childhood degree had to be attached to an elementary education license.

National Board Certification: The legislature funded $20,000 for national board certification for the biennium. This $20,000 will be used to pay for one-half of the application process for 20 teachers.

The other half of the process will be funded by federal funds through the Department of Public Instruction.

Licensure Fines: Effective August 1, 1999 the Education Standards and Practices Board will be issuing fines to those educators who practice without a valid North Dakota license. This includes those who began practicing prior to obtaining their license and those who let their license lapse while under contract. The fine is $50.00 per day with a $1,000 maximum. Prior to the implementation of the fines, individuals had to be pulled from the classroom without pay until the licensure issues were resolved.

Crimes Against Children or Sexual Offense: New statutes require the Education Standards and Practices Board to immediately revoke a license to any individual (teacher or administrator) who has been found guilty of a crime against children or a sexual offense. The individual may file a request for a hearing within 10 days but may be assessed a fee to cover the costs of the administrative actions that result in disciplinary action.

Number of Licenses and Endorsements Issued

The ESPB has kept a database of licenses issued and actions taken since the implementation of the new 1999 session laws. The following data show the number of licenses and endorsements issued by the ESPB during the primary hiring season July 1-September 30, 1999.


In addition, the ESPB issued:

Requests for 15 content area minor equivalencies have been reviewed and 12 have been issued; one each in art, biology, business education, computer science, health, library, math, vocal music, physics, physical education, tech. ed., and Spanish. Two (2) bilingual/ESL endorsements were issued, and the remaining 33 endorsements were kindergarten, elementary, middle level, or secondary endorsements.

Other New Laws

Professional Teacher Competencies and ESPB Standards

As the ESPB seeks to support professionalism in teaching, one of the tasks we undertake is to set quality standards for the college and university education programs. North Dakota's standards require educators to be prepared in the areas research has proven to be critical to successful teaching and learning. The following professional competencies, reprinted here from our 1998 annual report, continue to be the focal points of our standards revision process.

Glatthorn, A. A. (1997). Graduate study and teacher effectiveness: A synthesis of the literature. An issue analysis report prepared for the deans' council on teacher education. School of Education, East Carolina University. [Online]. Available: http://www.ga.unc.edu/21century schools/reports/graduatestudy.html

Shulman, L.S. (1987) Knowledge and teaching: Foundations of the new reform. Harvard Educational Review, 57. 1-22.

Grossman, P. (1991). Mapping the terrain: Knowledge growth in teaching. In H. C. Waxman & H. J. Walberg (Eds.), Effective teaching: Current research (pp. 203-216). Berkeley, CA: McCutchan.

The standards by which the ESPB reviews and approves the colleges of teacher education are revised every five years. Groundwork was begun in January 1996 to revise the 1992 standards. Significant format changes were necessary to reflect the increasing emphasis of the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) on performance assessment and accountability. Our North Dakota unit standards (for those institutions that do not choose to seek the voluntary national recognition of NCATE) will reflect the same emphasis on performance assessment.

Both the standards by which the education unit is reviewed and the individual content area program standards came under revision. Joint meetings were held with the ESPB Program Approval Advisory Committee (PAAC) and the North Dakota Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (NDACTE) to develop a new format. The standards revision process is participatory, and we extend special thanks to all those individuals in P-12 education, and teacher education who have assisted in that process.

The program area standards for visual arts, early childhood, English, health, mathematics, science, social science, reading, and educational leadership were revised so far during 1997-2000.

Fee Changes

Effective June 1,1999 the fees for licensure changed from $15.00 per year to $20.00 per year. The ESPB continues to issue licenses for two or five year periods, which puts the actual out of pocket expenditure at $40.00 for the two year or $100.00 for the five year renewal license. The ESPB can now accept credit card payment of licensure fees.

Other fees which may apply include:

Licensure Fee History:

The $5.00 fee for teacher certification was first implemented in 1907. Five dollars in 1907 adjusted for inflation would be the same as $88.63 in 1998. The cost of providing licensing was subsidized with additional tax revenues until 1995. All costs of licensing are now supported through professional fees alone.

Professional Development

Statewide Evaluation

The ESPB has been involved for the past four years in a collaborative project with the Greater Barnes County Consortium of schools and the ND Teacher Center Network to provide models and training on effective professional development practices.

During 1998-99, a statewide interview evaluation of the project was conducted and the findings published. The majority of respondents in all interviewed groups indicated that the Professional Development Guidelines developed in the first year of the grant project were or could be a useful planning and evaluation tool and that the Guidelines and related interview questions made them reflect more deeply and purposefully on their practices. There was a great deal of interest in developing coaching and mentoring relationships between schools using the Guidelines and those just beginning the process.

The school communities who expressed a strong history of success showed positive use of communication and participatory process. They had clearly identified visions of what education should achieve and set common goals and collaborated with others sharing those goals to provide necessary resources.

Participants felt more training was needed on the use of a variety of assessments to identify professional development goals and to use pre-planned follow-up evaluations to see how the goals were impacted. Most interview participants still indicated a teacher-centered or school-centered emphasis on professional development. Eighteen percent (18%) of those beginning to use the Guidelines and 40% of those four years into the study indicated that student achievement related to new teacher practices was followed over time and related to the original baseline.

Those who were most successful in tracking student improvement over time had a well established self-study process, with support from their school boards or consortia, or had individuals or standing committees who provided consistent professional development leadership over a continuing period of time.

Perhaps the most encouraging and humbling aspect of the evaluation was that educators in North Dakota continue to unflaggingly seek to improve themselves and the education of the students in their charge in spite of continuing barriers. Constant frustration was expressed over lack of funding, time and support. Rather than succumbing to battle fatigue, educators in the interviews and professional development training sessions continued to hold an inspiring vision for the future of education in general and continued to make progress using whatever creative means were available. It is hoped that in the future this dedication to the students of North Dakota can be more positively recognized and supported. The full evaluation report is available on the ESPB website.

National Board

Six applicants have so far requested the assistance of the legislated funding to seek National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) advanced certification. These individuals are in addition to the seven funded by the original grant pilot through NDEA.

Professional Practices

The Education Standards and Practices Board heard 79 cases during the 1998-99 school year. The cases heard were violations of the code of professional conduct or criminal cases. Twenty-three cases were heard involving teaching without a license; 3 cases were heard involving breach of contract; and 18 cases were heard involving hiring personnel without proper licensure and education; misrepresentation of facts; unfair treatment of students; insufficient hours of professional education; and unfair practices. A total of 35 cases were heard involving criminal action. There were 17 cases involving crimes against children or sex crimes; 6 drug related cases; and 12 crimes involving vandalism; theft; obtaining property without paying; NSF checks; criminal conspiracy; obstruction of law enforcement; obstructing the legal process; disorderly conduct; criminal mischief; hunting without a deer license; and possession of stolen property.

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