The Licensure and Certification Criteria Committee is charged with implementing a three-tiered licensure system which helps to ensure that all teachers and administrators are well-qualified to fill the roles to which they are assigned, and that they meet high standards of professional competence in order to meet requirements for continuing licensure. All educators will also be required to participate in a minimum of ninety clock hours of high quality professional development over a period of five years in order to be eligible for continuing licensure.
The Licensure and Certification Criteria Committee is one of two standing committees of the Delaware Professional Standards Board. Created by the Delaware General Assembly through SB 260 (2000), the Professional Standards Board, working through the two standing committees and in collaboration with the Department of Education, is charged with helping to establish a system of professional development, professional standards, licensure, and certification designed to continually improve the quality of instruction for Delaware’s school children. This committee is charged with reviewing current practice, both in Delaware and in other states, analyzing work done by predecessor committees in areas related to licensure and certification criteria, identifying national and regional trends which impact on these issues, and recommending to the Professional Standards Board the following:
- Criteria for a three-tiered licensure system which consists of an initial license, a continuing license, and advanced licensure.
- Criteria for an initial licensure, including, but not limited to, reciprocity with other state, regional, and national licensure boards, successful completion of a nationally-certified or approved teacher education program, or participation in the Alternative Routes to Teacher Licensure and Certification program.
- Criteria for movement from initial licensure to continuing licensure, including, but not limited to, description of an initial induction period, professional development requirements, mentoring requirements, and other such demonstrations of quality, as well as criteria for certification. Included in the criteria should be a differentiation between the consequences for poor evaluations which lead to loss of a position and loss of license for cause (i.e., felony conviction).
- Renewal requirements, which must include ninety clock-hours of approved professional development, as well as other requirements as may be recommended by this committee.
- Recommendations on applicability of professional development activities for movement on the salary schedule and renewal of license.
- Advanced licensure recommendations for teachers holding National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification, and alternative certifications as may be recommended by this committee.
- Rules (legislation) for leaves of absence.
- Rules for the issuance of an emergency certificate.
- Rules for denial and/or revocation of license for legal (felony) reasons.
The Committee may form sub-committees or work groups with existing members of the committee, may, with the mutual agreement of the Chair of the Professional Standards Board and the Secretary of Education, form other sub-committees with expanded membership, and/or request the assistance of experts in the field to guide the work of the committee, in order to complete its tasks. All sub-committees and work groups must secure the agreement of the Standing Committee before forwarding their recommendations through the Standing Committee to the Professional Standards Board.
The co-chairs of the two standing committees will meet periodically with representatives of the Professional Standards Board to share their progress, communicate problems and concerns, and seek alignment among the recommendations of the various committees.