Teaching Standards and Leadership Standards
Is working with and meeting the needs of students with disabilities addressed in state teaching standards?
In 2011, the South Dakota State Board of Education adopted Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching as the state’s teaching standards. The Framework addresses the need for teachers to recognize and respond to the unique learning needs of all students.
South Dakota Department of Education, Teacher Standards
The Danielson Group, The Framework for Teaching
School Leadership Standards
Is knowledge of working with students with disabilities included in leader standards?
South Dakota is embedding new leadership standards into its educator effectiveness system. These are being piloted in the 2013-2014 school year and schools are planning for implementation in 2014-2015. The draft standards are found in the Principal Evaluation Handbook. They address the need for principals to be instructional leaders that value diversity of all students and who work with teachers to be able to recognize and respond to the unique learning needs of all students.
Source: South Dakota Department of Education, Principal Evaluation Handbook
Teacher and Principal Preparation
Teacher Preparation – Program Approval/Accreditation
Required course work in teaching students with disabilities/diverse learners
South Dakota Teacher Preparation Program Approval rules require coursework “sufficient to … demonstrate knowledge of the developmental characteristics” of learners “and of the student with disabilities.”
Sources: South Dakota Administrative Rules 24:53:07:04, 24:53:07:06, and 24:53:07:07
Clinical time in diverse settings/teaching special populations
South Dakota Teacher Preparation Program Approval rules do not require candidate preparation specific to special populations. They require “coursework sufficient to … verify that the candidate has completed studies and field experiences in the “design of curriculum and instructional strategies,” “developmental characteristics” of learners, and educational concepts.
Sources: South Dakota Administrative Rules 24:53:07:04 and 24:53:07:07
Teacher Preparation – Accountability
Quality of teacher preparation programs
South Dakota utilizes an initial program approval process for teacher education programs and requires a state site visit to each program every seven years. It otherwise relies on regional accreditation. The state does not collect program-specific, objective data that reflect teacher preparation program performance, nor has it established minimum performance standards that can be used for accountability purposes.
National Council on Teacher Quality, 2012 State Teacher Policy Yearbook: Improving Teacher Preparation in South Dakota
South Dakota Administrative Rules, Chapter 24:53:02
Principal Preparation – Program Approval/Accreditation
Required course work in leading a school/district that serves students with disabilities/diverse learners
The state’s principal preparation and certification rules do not specify the course work requirements in leading a school/district that serves students with disabilities/diverse learners.
Source: Principal Certification Options, South Dakota Department of Education
Principal Preparation – Accountability
Are programs reviewed based on outcomes of graduates’ success? Can school principals be linked back to institutions of higher education and preparation programs?
Apart from the program approval rules as referenced under Teacher Preparation – Accountability, our review did not identify other state policies pertaining to accountability for principal preparation.
Teacher and Principal Certification/Licensure
Teacher Certification/Licensure – Structure
Is a specific certificate, license or endorsement related to special education required?
South Dakota offers both K-12 and grade-specific certification. Teacher licenses include a special education endorsement.
Source: National Council on Teacher Quality, 2012 State Teacher Policy Yearbook: Improving Teacher Preparation in South Dakota
Teacher Certification – Examination
Does the state require teachers to pass a basic skills exam for initial certification? What are the pass rates on the exams? Does the state require Praxis II or more pedagogical assessment for licensure? Does it include anything about teaching diverse learners or special populations?
Each teacher candidate must take and meet or exceed the qualifying scores of both the appropriate content-specific Praxis II test(s) and the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) test that most accurately matches their level of preparation. Candidates seeking a special education endorsement must pass the special education test corresponding to the grade span they intend to serve. The state holds its elementary special education teachers to a lower testing standard as compared to general education elementary teachers. Secondary special education teachers are not required to take content-specific assessments as a condition of licensure.
Source: South Dakota Test Requirements, ETS
Teacher Certification/Licensure – Requirements
Is professional development around working with special populations required to move from initial to a professional license?
Professional development around working with special populations is not required to renew certification after the initial five-year certificate. Initial certification requires verification from an accredited university that the candidate has completed an approved education program. For the purpose of renewing certification, educators are required to earn six credits. The type of credit varies based on the educator’s highest degree. Specific courses are not defined.
Source: Certification Process, South Dakota Department of Education
Principal Certification/Licensure – Requirements
Is prior teaching experience required to become a principal and/or a superintendent? Is specific coursework or other evidence required around working with special populations?
Principal candidates are required to obtain a master’s degree. Candidates also must complete coursework specific to the principal endorsement sought. In addition, three years of verified experience in an accredited K-12 school, including one year of classroom teaching experience or direct services to students, also is required.
South Dakota Administrative Rules, Chapters 24:15:06:34 and 24:15:06:36
Education Commission of the States, Administrator License Requirements, Portability, Waivers and Alternative Certification
George W. Bush Institute, Operating in the Dark
Teacher and Principal Induction
Is mentoring required for all new teachers and for how many years? If so, do program guidelines/requirements specifically address teaching diverse learners?
South Dakota does not require new teachers to receive induction support. A 2002 state law established a program to provide mentor teachers in school districts that elect to participate. “Participation in the program is discretionary with each school district according to a mentor teacher plan adopted by the school board for the school district.” [South Dakota Codified Laws, 13-43-55.1]. Such programs may serve beginning teachers who have “taught fewer than 90 consecutive days, or 180 days total.” [South Dakota Administrative Rules, 24:41:01:01]
The South Dakota Department of Education also operates the WoLakota Project, a statewide mentoring program designed to help new teachers in high needs areas succeed and better meet the needs of their students. It serves a limited number of schools and districts with priority given to remote districts, districts with Priority and Focus Schools, and those with high Native American student populations.
New Teacher Center, Review of State Policies on Teacher Induction
South Dakota Department of Education, WoLakota Project
Is coaching/mentoring required for all new principals/administrators/ superintendents and for how many years? If so, do program guidelines/requirements specifically serving diverse learners?
The state does not require beginning school administrators to receive induction support.
Source: New Teacher Center, Review of State Policies on Teacher Induction
Teacher and Principal Professional Development Standards
Teacher Professional Development Standards
Does the state have professional development standards for teacher PD?
South Dakota has not adopted state standards for teacher professional development or professional learning.
Principal Professional Development Standards
Does the state have professional development standards for leadership PD?
South Dakota has not adopted state standards for school administrator professional development or professional learning.