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  News Release
The following is a news release from the Oregon Teacher Standards and Commission. If there are more details that we can provide for you, please feel free to contact us (see Contact Us).
  New HQT standards for Special Education Teachers
  Released: Monday, December 13, 2004 at 5:00 PM
TSPC has received many requests for information related to the interpretation of the new federal laws related to meeting the federal definition of "highly qualified teacher" for special education teachers.

The law is complex and allows for some additional state interpretation that does not exist in the current law.

Only the actual Commission can set the law as it relates to these definitions by administrative rule, therefore, it would be premature for TSPC staff to speculate on what the ultimate proposal for state definitions of these terms might be.

The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) legally administers both the federal IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) and NCLBA (No Child Left Behind Act). The TSPC has accepted the role of writing the administrative rules as it relates to defining a highly qualified teacher since it is so closely connected to licensure in the federal law.

TSPC has assumed this role in FULL partnership with the ODE.

The language within the IDEA is not exactly parallel with the language in NCLBA. It is going to require some intricate alignment with the current definitions for non-special education teachers as well as a new look at the state's adopted HOUSSE (High Objective Uniform State Standards of Evaluation.)

Any individual district interpretation prior to the enactment of proposed rules is potentially risky as the interpretation is applied to an educator's status.

The definition was only signed by the President on December 3, 2004. We have waited since January 1, 2002 to discover how these definitions would apply to special education teachers. My point is, there is no need to rush into making a decision.

There is a meeting of the key stakeholders relative to this issue on January 3, 2005 to put together a proposal for the TSPC. If possible, we will adopt an emergency rule during the January 13-14, TSPC regular meeting. If not possible, then we will strive for the March 10-11, 2005 meeting.

Let me stress this point: If we are unable to adopt a rule in January, it will be because we cannot come to agreement among the required stakeholders regarding the meaning and implementation of the new laws.

PLEASE DO NOT rush to interpret this law prior to its final review by the ODE and TSPC.

Thank you,

Vickie Chamberlain
Executive Director, TSPC

Nancy Latini, PhD
Assistant Superintendent
Office of Student Learning & Partnership


  Archived: April 1, 2005  [VC:198-1] 
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