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Florida Weighs New Teacher Rules

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A proposal now before the Florida Board of Education "will result in Florida possessing the most rigorous teacher-certification renewal requirements in the United States," according to the state's Education Standards Commission, which proposed the changes.

Under Florida's "sunset review" law, the legislature must review all of the state's statutes for teacher certification and certificate renewal during the 1985 legislative session and either modify, eliminate, or extend them.

The board of education in July directed the ecs to review existing requirements for teacher-certification and to propose changes, according to Richard C. Holihan, executive director of the ecs

The commission recommended reducing the number of subject areas in which certificates are available from 240-plus specialized fields to 42. All new applicants for teaching certificates, it added, should pass subject-area tests.

The commission also suggested that the state eliminate loopholes that allow teachers to have their certificates renewed for up to nine3years instead of the limit of five years required by law. And it advocated that every five years, individuals show evidence of having met the following requirements in order to have a certificate renewed:

A minimum of six semester-hours of college coursework or equivalent inservice training, with an added three semester-hours of coursework for each additional area of specialty;

At least one year of recent teaching experience; and

The demonstration of acceptable classroom performance on a research-based performance measure.

The commission also recommended a "career ladder" that would include five different types of certificates, which would be awarded depending upon a teacher's experience and training.

Gov. Robert Graham has asked the standards commission to spell out for the board of education by Nov. 21 which of the proposed changes would require legislative action and which could be implemented more rapidly through changes in the board's own rules.

--lo

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