Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Vermont Policy Profile

Flag of Vermont

Vermont

Teaching Standards and Leadership Standards

Teaching Standards

Is working with and meeting the needs of students with disabilities addressed in state teaching standards?

Core Teaching Standards for Vermont Educators, adopted in 2011, are based on the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) Model Core Teaching Standards. Standards one and nine address students with disabilities and teachers’ abilities to adjust instruction to address those needs.

Standard 1. Learner Development. The teacher understands how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences. Essential knowledge for this standard includes the teacher’s understanding of students with exceptional needs, including those associated with disabilities and giftedness, and knows how to use strategies and resources to address these needs.

Standard 2. Learning Differences. The teacher uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards. Essential knowledge for this standards includes the teacher’s understanding of students with exceptional needs, including those associated with disabilities and giftedness, and knowledge about how to use strategies and resources to address these needs.

Standard 7. Planning for Instruction. The teacher plans instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context. Essential knowledge for this standard includes planning collaboratively with professional who have specialized expertise and knowing when and how to access resources and collaborate with others to support student learning (e.g., special educators).

Standard 9. Professional Learning and Ethical Practice. The teacher engages in ongoing professional learning and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner. Essential knowledge for this standard includes the teacher’s understanding of the laws related to learners’ rights and teacher responsibilities (e.g., for educational equity, appropriate education for learners with disabilities, confidentiality, privacy, appropriate treatment of learners, reporting in situations related to possible child abuse).

Source: Core Teaching and Leadership Standards for Vermont Educators

School Leadership Standards

Is knowledge of working with students with disabilities included in leader standards?

Core Leadership Standards for Vermont Educators, adopted in 2011, are based upon the 2008 Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) Standards for School Leaders. The ISLLC standards are nationally recognized standards that establish a common set of knowledge, skills and attributes expected of school leaders, and serve as the foundation for preparation and appraisal of school leaders. The standards expect that “an education leader promotes the success of every student.”

Standard 2. An education leader promotes the success of every learner by advocating, nurturing, and sustaining a school culture and instruction program conducive to learning and staff professional growth. A function of this standard is that an educational leader provides and monitors effects of differentiated teaching strategies, curricular materials, educational technologies, and other resources appropriate to engage and help motivate diverse learner populations, including learners with disabilities, cultural and linguistic differences, gifted and talented, disadvantaged social economic backgrounds, or other factors affecting learning

Source: Core Teaching and Leadership Standards for Vermont Educators


Teacher and Principal Preparation

Teacher Preparation – Program Approval/Accreditation

Required course work in teaching students with disabilities/diverse learners

Standard I of the Vermont Standards Board for Professional Educator’s Results Oriented Program Approval Process (ROPA-R) articulates the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that preparation programs must teach candidates. These include the opportunity to learn how PreK-12 children develop, how they differ in their approaches to learning, and how to provide equitable learning experiences that are responsive to all students’ intellectual, social, physical and emotional development. All programs also must document their candidates’ meeting Core Teaching Standards for Vermont Educators.

Standard V requires preparation programs to provide candidates with opportunities to learn from faculty and students from diverse backgrounds in order for candidates to develop a greater appreciation for diversity in our world. The program assures that candidates have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to address issues of diversity in the context of teaching and learning

Diversity includes individuals representing a range of different socio-economic, ethnic, racial, gender, linguistic, and religious backgrounds and histories; different sexual orientations; individuals who come from different regions of the country and the world with multi-cultural and global perspectives; and individuals with exceptionalities in learning.

Source: Vermont Department of Education, Results-Oriented Program Approval

Clinical time in diverse settings/teaching special populations

Standard 2 of Vermont’s Results-Oriented Program Approval requires preparation programs to offer candidates a variety of field experiences in classrooms that serve students with a range of abilities, including students with exceptional needs.

Source: Vermont Department of Education, Results-Oriented Program Approval

Teacher Preparation – Accountability

Quality of teacher preparation programs

Vermont collects some program-specific, objective data that reflect program performance, including evaluation forms and testimonials from program graduates and their supervisors. The state conducts program approval visits every six years to evaluate preparation programs and alternative route programs.

Sources:

2012 State Teacher Policy Yearbook: Improving Teacher Preparation in Vermont, National Council on Teacher Quality,

Vermont Standards Board for Professional Educators, Manual of Policies and Procedures

Principal Preparation – Program Approval/Accreditation

Required course work in leading a school/district that serves students with disabilities/diverse learners

Vermont does not require coursework for aspiring school administrators in leading a school or district that serves students with disabilities. However, candidates are required to document their meeting the Core Leadership Standards for Vermont Educators, which includes a focus on “learners with disabilities.” They may do this through coursework, through the new internship requirement, or through an alternative route program.

Source: Vermont Department of Education, Rules Governing the Licensing of Educators and the Preparation of Educational Professionals

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?

Currently, Vermont reviews principal preparation programs as part of its six-year program review cycle. Moving forward, the state will be adopting specific review standards for administrative preparation programs that build upon Vermont’s current program approval standards.

Sources:

Vermont Standards Board for Professional Educators, Manual of Policies and Procedures

Email communication with Vermont Department of Education, June 18, 2014


Teacher and Principal Certification/Licensure

Teacher Certification/Licensure – Structure

Is a specific certificate, license or endorsement related to special education required?

Vermont does not offer a generic K-12 certification. It offers a K-21 special education license, but the license may be broken down to K-8 or 7-21, depending on the level of preparation. The state holds its elementary special education teachers to a lower standard compared to its elementary general education teachers however. Further, secondary special education teachers are not required to pass content tests. All candidates are required to complete a major in the liberal arts and sciences, or in the content area of the endorsement, although state policy does not ensure that these teachers will earn a content specialization in an academic subject area.

Source: National Council on Teacher Quality, 2012 State Teacher Policy Yearbook: Improving Teacher Preparation in Vermont

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?

All candidates seeking initial licensure in Vermont are required to meet the passing scores established by the Vermont Standards Board for Professional Educators for Praxis I. All candidates seeking an initial license or an additional endorsement must achieve passing scores on the required Praxis II Subject Assessment(s).

Source: Vermont Department of Education, Vermont’s Testing Requirements for Educator Licensure

Teacher Certification/Licensure – Requirements

Is professional development around working with special populations required to move from initial to a professional license?

All educators must complete professional learning that is aligned with the state’s Core Teaching Standards. Those include a specific focus on students with disabilities.

Source: Vermont Department of Education, Educator Licensing

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?

The state of Vermont requires school leaders to obtain a master’s degree and prior teaching experience.

Principals: Candidates must obtain a masters degree, complete three of more years as a PK-12 educator, and demonstrate competence in specified areas related to school leadership.

Superintendents: Candidates must obtain a masters degree, complete five or more years of experience including three or more years as a PK-12 educator, and two or more years in educational administration. Candidates must also demonstrate competence in specified areas related to district leadership.

Sources:

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

Teacher Induction

Is mentoring required for all new teachers and for how many years? If so, do program guidelines/requirements specifically address teaching diverse learners?

Vermont requires teacher mentoring to be an element of local professional development systems, and state program guidelines recommend that it should last for two years. State guidelines allow local districts to determine specific program elements, but recommend criteria for mentor selection, training and matching. They also recommend dedicated time for mentors and first-year teachers to work together.

Source: New Teacher Center, Review of State Policies on Teacher Induction

Principal Induction

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?

A 2012 state law requires a two-year-long mentoring program for newly hired principals and technical center directors.

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?

The state of Vermont adopted the Professional Learning Standards developed by Learning Forward. These standards outline the characteristics of professional learning that leads to effective teaching practices, supportive leadership, and improved student results.

Sources:

Learning Forward

Core Teaching and Leadership Standards for Vermont Educators

Principal Professional Development Standards

Does the state have professional development standards for leadership PD?

The state of Vermont adopted the Professional Learning Standards developed by Learning Forward. These standards outline the characteristics of professional learning that leads to effective teaching practices, supportive leadership, and improved student results.

Sources:

Learning Forward

Core Teaching and Leadership Standards for Vermont Educators