Teacher Prep Regulations and Distance Education: We’ll Soon Need Your Input
Published by: Russ Poulin | 3/3/2016
The U.S. Department of Education’s long-delayed “Teacher Prep” regulations look like they will soon be back in the limelight. In a subtle addition to the Department’s web page that tracks the progress of this proposed regulation, the following statement was recently added:
“We have formally submitted a supplemental Notice of Proposed Rule Making to the Office of Management and Budget for review that will allow us to collect more public comments specifically on distance education as it relates to teacher preparation. Following the Office of Management and Budget review, we will publish the supplemental NPRM in the Federal Register for public comment.”
What Does this Action Tell Us?
This gives us a couple insights:
Why Should You Care?
If you are at an institution that serves pre-licensure education students in other states, then regulation (as proposed) would add requirements for you. Chief among them would be the need to report on several “indicators.” Here’s a summary that was in the last set of proposed regulations, but what will now be proposed might have changed:
While these requirements for the state to provide the results of these “indicators,” the only way for the state to get the data is by requiring the institution to provide it. If you serve students in several states via distance education and each state has different ways to measure these “indicators,” that could put significant burden on you.
What Should You Do?
We do not know exactly what language the Department might propose or what questions they might ask of us until they release the call for public comments. I’m not sure exactly when that would be, but it will likely be in the next few months.
I suggest opening a preliminary “heads-up” conversation with your leaders in your Education programs that serve students at a distance. You can review the recommendations that we made in our official comments from January 2015. Once the public comments are released, consider submitting your own official comments, participating in commenting through professional organizations within Education, or submit your observations and recommendation to me for consideration for our next round of official comments.
We will keep you posted on next steps.
Director, Policy & Analysis
WCET (WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies)
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