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South Carolina's Revised State Plan

On August 16, 2006 the U.S. Department of Education released initial peer review feedback and related information on revised comprehensive state plans for ensuring that all public elementary and secondary school students are taught by highly qualified teachers. The 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico submitted plans as required under the No Child Left Behind Act. Scored against protocols containing six requirements provided to states in March, the plans outline the bold new steps that states will take to reach the 100 percent highly qualified teacher goal by the end of the 2006-07 school year.

Nine states developed plans that were recognized by a 31 member team of experts as satisfying all six criteria. These are New Jersey, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Louisiana, New Mexico, Kansas, Maryland and Nevada. Thirty-nine states submitted plans that partially satisfy the six components and will be required to improve these plans and address the peer concerns by Sept. 29, 2006. However, four states did not address any of the six requirements. For these four states—Hawaii, Missouri, Utah and Wisconsin—revised plans are due November 1, 2006.

ECS collected state plan information and reviewer comments directly from revised state plans and from the peer review response forms. The purpose of this tool is to organize and streamline this extensive content in order to allow states to search, review and reference successful examples of state plans. Although no information has been paraphrased, the order of some plans has been rearranged and some data and specific information has been abbreviated. All abbreviations or informational reorganizations have been given a note with an explanation and a link to the full state plan. This resource will be most useful if used in conjunction with original state plans.

Please feel free to contact Angela Baber, ababer@ecs.org, with questions, comments, or changes to this information.

To access the plans and peer review responses, visit the U.S. Department of Education site at http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2006/08/08162006a.html and click on state plans.

South Carolina
State Plans to Meet the HQT Goal Mandated by NCLB
State Plan Introduction and/or Background 2005-06 Non-HQ class numbers and percentages contained in this report have been updated to reflect year-end data from the SASI data base that links core academic classes to their teachers. The revised report includes year-end data on groups of teachers and subjects. The updated report is more accurate since it reflects final scheduling and incorporates corrections made after error reports were provided to school districts subsequent to the 135th-day.  
Revised Plan Status
  • Accepted
  •  
    Comments to Support Determination This is a job well done, but the missing link is the causal link.

    What set of steps will produce the better results? This is a great plan but discussion of effectiveness is the key issue.

    The plan does not draw enough distinction between activities and accomplishments. How will the state ensure a high level of quality in its efforts?

    Does the state have the capacity to do all of these things to a high level of quality so that they will have a demonstrable effect on teachers and students?  

    Link to Full Revised State Plan for Meeting the HQT Goal in NCLB on the U.S. Department of Education Site The State Department of Education has made the NCLB revised plans, as well as reviewer comments, available online for each state.

    South Carolina's Revised Plan

    South Carolina's Plan—Reviewer Comments 

    Revised State Plans-Requirement 1
    Requirement 1 The revised plan must provide a detailed analysis of the core academic subject classes in the State that are currently not being taught by highly qualified teachers. The analysis must, in particular, address schools that are not making adequate yearly progress and whether or not these schools have more acute needs than do other schools in attracting highly qualified teachers. The analysis must also identify the districts and schools around the State where significant numbers of teachers do not meet HQT standards, and examine whether or not there are particular hard-to-staff courses frequently taught by non-highly qualified teachers. 
    Peer Review Finding
  • Requirement 1 has been met.
  •  
    Peer Review Supporting Narrative The analysis focuses on the importance of data collection and data accuracy. This is a thorough breakdown of the total number of core classes offered in each district in relation to the percentage of these classes taught by non-HQ teachers.

    Again, the detailed explanation of how the SEA extracts this data within the state- level system to determine the staffing needs of schools not making AYP is clear. Moreover, the graphs and charts reveal the percentage of non-HQ teachers in schools not making AYP.

    The SEA gives a clear analysis of the data. Examples include the detailed and easy-to-read charts and graphs that identify particular groups of teachers, districts and schools with significant numbers of non HQ teachers, and the number of courses taught by non-highly qualified teachers.  

    Requirement 1-a Does the revised plan include an analysis of classes taught by teachers who are not highly qualified? Is the analysis based on accurate classroom level data? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 1-a?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 1-a The South Carolina Department of Education (SDE) has developed a state-level data system to collect, verify, and analyze the core academic classes taught by teachers who are not highly qualified (HQ). The system ensures consistent application of definitions and standards and involves merging information from the following two sources.
    1. The Division of Educator Quality and Leadership (DEQL) maintains the teacher certification database that contains elements relative to teachers' meeting the criteria for being HQ. Each teacher's record includes education level, certification status, and demonstration of content competency which has been verified at the state level. This database identifies teachers who have met the three requirements to be HQ: a bachelor's degree or higher, full State certification, and demonstration of content competency.
    2. The Division of School Enterprise Operations is responsible for the School Administrative Student Information software (SASI). Through SASI, the SDE collects class schedules for all public schools in the State. For each class, the schedules include a teacher identifier and an activity code, which designates the grade level and subject area. Districts are provided periodic reports to verify the accuracy of classroom level data.
    The Office of Technology extracts the core content subject classes that require an HQ teacher. The teacher identifier for each core class is matched to the separate HQ teacher file from the certification database to determine which core content classes are not taught by HQ teachers.

    In addition to establishing district and school percentages, the data are disaggregated by school level (elementary/secondary), poverty level (low/high/neither), AYP (met/not met), minority (high/not high), and activity code. This analysis allows the SDE to identify the schools that are not making adequate yearly progress and whether these schools have more acute needs than do other schools in attracting highly qualified teachers. This analysis also identifies the districts and schools in which significant numbers of teachers do not meet HQ requirements and examines whether there are particular hard-to-staff courses frequently taught by non-HQ teachers.

    (page 2) 

     
    Peer Review Response to Requirement 1-a The analysis focuses on the importance of data collection and data accuracy. This is a thorough breakdown of the total number of core classes offered in each district in relation to the percentage of these classes taught by non-HQ teachers.  
    Requirement 1-b Does the analysis focus on the staffing needs of school that are not making AYP? Do these schools have high percentages of classes taught by teachers who are not highly qualified? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 1-b?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 1-b
    Table 1 provides HQT data relative to schools not making AYP. The overall State percentage of classes not taught by HQ teachers is 7.90 percent. The percentage of classes not taught by HQ teachers in schools that did not make AYP is 9.31, a difference of 1.41 percent. When the data for schools not making AYP are disaggregated further, a larger gap is evident in non-HQ classes for high poverty schools and secondary schools.

    SC State Core Academic Classes

     

     

     

    Table 1 - Schools Not Making AYP
    School Type
    Total Number of Core Classes
    Classes Not Taught by HQ Teachers
    Number
    Percentage
    Elementary Schools
    72,244
    5,770
    7.99
    Secondary Schools
    32,923
    4,026
    12.23
    High-Poverty Schools
    21,711
    2,546
    11.73
    Low-Poverty Schools
    31,042
    2,237
    7.21
    All Schools Not Making AYP
    105,167
    9,796
    9.31

    (page 3) 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 1-b The analysis focuses on the importance of data collection and data accuracy. This is a thorough breakdown of the total number of core classes offered in each district in relation to the percentage of these classes taught by non-HQ teachers.  
    Requirement 1-c Does the analysis identify particular groups of teachers to which the State's plan must pay particular attention, such as special education teachers, mathematics or science teachers, or multi-subject teachers in rural schools? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 1-c?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 1-c Analyses of the occurrence of specific courses not taught by HQ teachers reveal subject areas and grade spans, hence groups of teachers, that warrant particular attention. When considering aggregate data for broad certification areas, several areas emerge as having percentages of non-HQ classes greater than 15 percent (i.e. special education, foreign languages in grades K-8, and science in grades 9-12). Although specific courses representing other areas are identified in Table 5 as also having non-HQ percentages greater that 15 percent, aggregate data for the broad areas such as the arts, foreign language in grades 9-12, and secondary areas other than science indicate that the HQ percentages of these courses are not common to all courses within these disciplines. This can often be attributed to courses that have low frequency. For example, the non-HQ percentage for piano in grades 9-12 is approximately 53; however, the 79 piano classes across the State are a small portion of those offered within the arts.

    In addition to the groups of teachers established through 2005-06 data, the State also recognizes middle grades as another area of concern. South Carolina is phasing in middle level certification in the areas of language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. Since few colleges or universities in the State have programs to prepare teachers for this certification and since those that do offer such programs report low enrollments, a shortage is expected in 2008-09, the school year in which middle level certification will be required. (The current system allows middle grades to be taught by persons certified in elementary, middle, or secondary.) To determine the possible impact of this change, the HQ percentages will be recalculated for seventh and eighth grade courses in language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies using 2008-09 standards and year-end 2005-06 SASI data as soon as it is available.

    Table 2: Groups of Teachers for Priority

    Number of Classes Grade Level Number of Classes Percentage of Non HQ Classes Priority
    HQ Status as Reported in 2005-06
    Special Education Pre-K - 6
    5,601
    35.55
    2
    7 - 8
    3,271
    39.53
    2
    9 - 12
    3,477
    55.25
    1
    Foreign Language Pre-K - 6
    3,181
    19.59
    3
    7 - 8
    978
    15.85
    3
    Science 9 - 12
    8,935
    15.12
    3
    HQ Status as Reported in 2005-06 and Matched with 2008-09 Standards
    English/Language Arts 7 - 8
    5,331
    40.95
    1
    Mathematics 7 - 8
    4,070
    41.20
    1
    Science 7 - 8
    4,660
    41.09
    1
    Social Studies 7 - 8
    4,399
    47.17
    1

    Priorities for schools were set using the following scale and will be used for Title II monitoring:
    Priority 1 = 40 or higher percent classes taught by teachers who are not HQ
    Priority 2 = 25 - 40 percent classes taught by teachers who are not HQ
    Priority 3 = 15 - 25 percent classes taught by teachers who are not HQ

    (pages 3-4) 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 1-c The SEA gives a clear analysis of the data. Examples include the detailed and easy-to-read charts and graphs that identify particular groups of teachers, districts and schools with significant numbers of non HQ teachers, and the number of courses taught by non-highly qualified teachers. 
    Requirement 1-d Does the analysis identify districts and schools around the State where significant numbers of teachers do not meet HQT standards? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 1-d?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 1-d Districts

    As listed in Table 3 below, 13 of the State's 85 regular school districts had non-HQ class occurrence higher than 15 percent. One special school district, S.C. Department of Juvenile Justice, also fell into this category.

    SC District HQ Classes

     

     

    Table 3: Districts with Significant Numbers of Non-HQ Classes
    District Priority District Priority
    Allendale 3 Jasper 2
    Bamberg 2 2 Lee 3
    Barnwell 19 3 Marlboro 2
    Clarendon 1 3 Orangeburg 3 3
    Colleton 3 Orangeburg 4 3
    Dillon 1 3 Williamsburg 3
    Florence 4 3 Special Districts
    S.C. Department of Juvenile Justice 1

    Priorities for schools were set using the following scale and will be used for Title II monitoring:
    Priority 1 = 40 or higher percent classes taught by teachers who are not HQ
    Priority 2 = 25 - 40 percent classes taught by teachers who are not HQ
    Priority 3 = 15 - 25 percent classes taught by teachers who are not HQ

    Schools

    The schools with the most significant number of classes taught by teachers who do not meet the HQ requirements are located within the above listed districts and/or are schools identified for school improvement under Title I. Approximately six percent of the State's schools met these criteria for the most significant number of non-HQ classes. The identified schools with a designation of priority for technical assistance and monitoring are provided in Table 4.

    Note: Table 4, pages 6-7 of the full state plan, lists seventy schools with significant numbers of Non-HQ classes broken down by district, school and priority.

    (pages 5-7) 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 1-d The SEA gives a clear analysis of the data. Examples include the detailed and easy-to-read charts and graphs that identify particular groups of teachers, districts and schools with significant numbers of non HQ teachers, and the number of courses taught by non-highly qualified teachers. 
    Requirement 1-e Does the analysis identify particular courses that are often taught by non-highly qualified teachers?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 1-e?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 1-e

    Table 5 lists 55 specific subjects for which the occurrence of non-HQ teachers was greater than 15 percent. Data are not included in instances where courses were offered 10 or fewer times across the State, which suggest innovative, pilot programs that do not represent statewide shortages. By far, special education classes have the most significant percentages of classes taught by teachers who are not HQ. This area, as well as foreign languages in grades K-8 and science in grades 9-12, indicate broad areas of concern as discussed on page 4.

    Note: This table has been shortened, and is only intended as an example. For full table information, please see the full state plan.

    Table 5: Courses Taught by Non-HQ Teachers at a Frequency Greater than 15 Percent

    SASI Activity Code Course Title Number of Classes Percentage of Non -HQ Classes
    Grades PreK - 6
    1525 Dance 273 15.38
    1630 Latin 63 58.73
    1650 Spanish 2562 22.05
    Note: see full plan, pages 8-9, for a complete table listing.....
    Grades 7 - 8
    2525 Dance 124 16.13
    2620 German 39 30.77
    2630 Latin 12 66.67
    Note: see full plan, pages 8-9, for a complete table listing.....
    Grades 9 - 12
    3141 Math for the Technologies 1 1452 16.67
    3211 Physical Science 2592 24.38
    3236 Chemistry for the Technologies 365 22.74
    Note: see full plan, pages 8-9, for a complete table listing.....

    (pages 8-9)  

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 1-e The SEA gives a clear analysis of the data. Examples include the detailed and easy-to-read charts and graphs that identify particular groups of teachers, districts and schools with significant numbers of non HQ teachers, and the number of courses taught by non-highly qualified teachers. 
    Revised State Plans-Requirement 2
    Requirement 2 The revised plan must provide information on HQT status in each LEA and the steps the SEA will take to ensure that each LEA has plans in place to assist teachers who are not highly qualified to attain HQT status as quickly as possible.  
    Peer Review Finding
  • Requirement 2 has been met.
  •  
    Peer Review Supporting Narrative The SEA does identify LEAs not meeting annual measurable objectives for HQT as shown by an analysis of the Consolidated State Plans. Nineteen have attained 95% or greater and sixty – six are making significant progress in meeting their measurable objectives.

    The SEA is to be commended for taking a proactive approach in partnering with LEAs to encourage districts to reevaluate teacher assignments to classes for which they are highly qualified in order to ensure a more equitable distribution of HQ teachers.

    Although specific steps the SEA will take to ensure that all LEA have strategies in place to assist all non-HQ teachers to become HQ as quickly as possible were delineated, how does the SEA intend to ensure quality of the plan that each LEA presents?

    What happens when there are disparities between what the districts have in their plans and what the state feels is needed in the district plans? How will the SEA ensure the capacities needed to implement the plan?  

    Requirement 2-a Does the plan identify LEAs that have not met annual measurable objectives for HQT?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 2-a?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 2-a South Carolina's Consolidated State Plan submitted in September 2003 identified target goals for percentages of highly qualified teachers. All districts in the State met the annual measurable objectives for the 2003-04 and 2004-05 school years. For the 2005-06 school year, the annual measurable objective for all districts was consistent with the State's goal to have 100 percent of core academic classes taught by HQ teachers. Although preliminary data show that many districts have come very close, none has met the 100 percent goal. Thirty-eight districts have attained approximately 95 percent or greater, and the remaining 47 districts have made significant progress.

    Note: This table has been abbreviated and is intended as an example. For full table information, please see the full state plan.

    Table 6: Districts' Percent of Classes Taught by Teachers Who Are Not Highly Qualified

    District Total Number of Core Classes
    Classes Not Taught by HQ Teachers
    Number
    Percentage
    Abbeville
    1,064
    56
    5.26
    Aiken
    6,540
    483
    7.39
    Allendale
    514
    100
    19.46
    Note: see full plan, pages 10-12, for a complete table listing.....
    York 4
    2,007
    115
    5.73
    DJJ
    155
    80
    51.61
    Felton Lab
    14
    1
    7.14
    SCSDB
    216
    27
    12.50
    STATE TOTALS
    199,014
    15,730
    7.90

    (pages10-12) 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 2-a The SEA does identify LEAs not meeting annual measurable objectives for HQT as shown by an analysis of the Consolidated State Plans. Nineteen have attained 95% or greater and sixty – six are making significant progress in meeting their measurable objectives. 
    Requirement 2-b Does the plan include specific steps that will be taken by LEAs that have not met annual measurable objectives?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 2-b?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 2-b Districts will use available resources, including Title II, Part A allocations, to ensure that teachers of core academic subjects who have not met requirements become highly qualified as soon as possible. Specific steps that districts have specified in their yearly plans include the following ways to support teachers in meeting requirements:
    • reimbursing for courses needed for full certification or for demonstration of content mastery,
    • offering study sessions for exam preparation,
    • reimbursing for Praxis II content exams,
    • conducting HOUSSE, as appropriate,
    • providing support and stipends for National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification above the support provided by the State, and
    • stipulating in teacher contracts the necessary steps and timeline to meet HQ requirements.

    Districts are also reevaluating how teacher assignments are made. To the degree it is necessary and educationally advantageous, districts and schools are reassigning teachers to classes for which they are HQ. Since SASI data are essential in identifying classes taught by teachers who are not HQ, districts must ensure that scheduling and teacher information entered at the school level are complete and accurate. Classes are counted as not HQ if they cannot be matched to HQ teachers because of incomplete data. We believe that collecting accurate data is as big a challenge as having 100 percent of classes taught by highly qualified teachers.

    (page 13) 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 2-b The SEA is to be commended for taking a proactive approach in partnering with LEAs to encourage districts to reevaluate teacher assignments to classes for which they are highly qualified in order to ensure a more equitable distribution of HQ teachers. 
    Requirement 2-c Does the plan delineate specific steps the SEA will take to ensure that all LEAs have plans in place to assist all non-HQ teachers to become HQ as quickly as possible?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 2-c?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 2-c Each district must present a plan and timeframe to accomplish the goal of having 100 percent of core academic classes taught by HQ teachers in its Title II, Part A application. Districts must offer appropriate methods for teachers to become HQ and must address all groups of teachers who have not met requirements. Applications are not approved and funds are withheld until districts are in full compliance with this expectation.

    Data will be collected during the first semester of the 2006-07 school year to identify teachers assigned to classes for which they are not HQ. This information will be utilized in the monitoring process and in providing technical assistance to districts. The State will monitor LEAs for individual documented plans for non-HQ teachers to become HQ as quickly as possible. Districts will also be required to attach a copy of the letter of notification sent to parents in instances in which the non-HQ teacher is teaching a core academic class in a Title I setting.

    (page 13) 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 2-c Although specific steps the SEA will take to ensure that all LEA have strategies in place to assist all non-HQ teachers to become HQ as quickly as possible were delineated, how does the SEA intend to ensure quality of the plan that each LEA presents?

    What happens when there are disparities between what the districts have in their plans and what the state feels is needed in the district plans? How will the SEA ensure the capacities needed to implement the plan?  

    Revised State Plans-Requirement 3
    Requirement 3 The revised plan must include information on the technical assistance, programs, and services that the SEA will offer to assist LEAs in successfully completing their HQT plans, particularly where large groups of teachers are not highly qualified, and the resources the LEAs will use to meet their HQT goals.  
    Peer Review Finding
  • Requirement 3 has been met.
  •  
    Peer Review Comments to Support Determination A description of the technical assistance the SEA will provide to assist LEAs in successfully carrying out their HQT plans is included; however, the following needs to be addressed.
    • What's the rationale for continuing the initiatives mentioned in the technical assistance component?
    • Do any summative evaluations reveal that these initiatives were achieving their intended goals in providing technical assistance to LEAs?
    • What criteria is the SEA using to determine the kind of technical assistance SEA is providing LEAs?

    Priority is given to the schools that are not making AYP as indicated in the program descriptions and in the state's Educational Accountability Act of 1998 which is aligned with components of NCLB. The following question related to professional development needs to be addressed: How will the SEA ensure that a high quality of professional development is provided to enable teachers to meet the requirements?

    The SEA is to be commended for providing a detailed description of the specific programs and services SEA will provide teachers and LEAs in successfully meeting the HQT goals.

    The needs of subgroups of non-HQ teachers identified in Requirement 1 are specifically addressed; however, is the restricted alternative certification route by which foreign languages teachers can obtain HQ status the only option for acquiring HQ status?  

    Requirement 3-a Does the plan include a description of the technical assistance the SEA will provide to assist LEAs in successfully carrying out their HQT plans?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 3-a?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 3-a State coordinators will continue initiatives to provide LEAs with technical assistance as follows:

    Through Training

    • Conduct annual regional workshops for district Title II coordinators.
    • Conduct annual HQ 101 workshop and notebook of resources. The intended audience is new Title II coordinators although veteran coordinators often participate as well.
    Through Technology
    • Collaborate with the Office of Technology to ensure accurate and complete SASI data at the district and school levels.
    • Review teacher files to verify content competency required for consideration in applications for restricted alternative certificates.
    • Maintain current information and relevant updated documents that provide increased understanding of HQ teacher requirements on the DEQL Website.
    • Provide preliminary data to districts on classes taught by non-HQ teachers, by schools and classes, for verification of accuracy and completeness.
    • Provide districts with on-line current information concerning the HQ status of individual teachers and HQ reports for each school through the Certification Portal System.
    Through On-Site Visits
    • Visit districts and schools to provide technical assistance and for monitoring purposes. Priority will be given to school districts and individual schools as indicated in the response to Requirement 1. (See pages 5-7.)
    • Conduct HQ awareness sessions for teacher groups upon request.
    Through Continual Accessibility
    • Respond consistently to inquiries from teachers and districts in a timely manner.
    • Respond to teachers via telephone, e-mail, and in-person with information specific to their needs for becoming HQ.
    • Provide references and resources for exam information and preparation
    • Distribute HQT guidance from ED to district Title II coordinators and personnel administrators.
    • Revise and publish State guidance to comply with U.S. Department of Education guidance.
    • Present HQ and certification updates regularly to district personnel administrators at their monthly meetings.
    • Research the credentials of teachers for exams taken prior to the electronic system and for academic majors or their equivalence.

    (page 14)  

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 3-a A description of the technical assistance the SEA will provide to assist LEAs in successfully carrying out their HQT plans is included; however, the following needs to be addressed.
    • What’s the rationale for continuing the initiatives mentioned in the technical assistance component?
    • Do any summative evaluations reveal that these initiatives were achieving their intended goals in providing technical assistance to LEAs?
    • What criteria is the SEA using to determine the kind of technical assistance SEA is providing LEAs?
     
    Requirement 3-b Does the plan indicate that the staffing and professional development needs of schools that are not making AYP will be given high priority?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 3-b?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 3-b The State's priority is that all students, regardless of ethnicity or socioeconomic status, be taught by HQ teachers. The Title II, Part A application requires a plan and specific strategies for staffing that comply with NCLB expectations. Districts must provide a rationale for class-size reduction choices of schools, grade levels, and subjects as related to failure to make AYP. The plan must also include documentation of scientifically-based research for professional development initiatives.

    South Carolina's Education Accountability Act of 1998 requires that each district develop and submit to the SDE a strategic plan. This plan includes an assurance that the district will, "target Title II teacher quality funds to schools that have the lowest population of highly qualified teachers or have the largest average class size or are identified for school improvement under the specification in Title I, §1116(b)(1)(A) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), 'a local educational agency shall identify for school improvement any elementary school or secondary school served under this part that fails, for two consecutive years, to make adequate yearly progress as defined in the State's plan under §1111(b)(2).'" Schools that receive report card absolute ratings of below average or unsatisfactory receive funds for targeted school improvement. Staffing initiatives that schools can choose to implement and that are supported programmatically by the SDE include the following:

    • Teacher Specialists,
    • Curriculum Specialists,
    • Principal Specialists,
    • Principal Leaders, and
    • District Instruction Facilitators.
    Descriptions of these programs are provided in the response to Requirement 6. (See pages 31 - 32.)

    (page 15)  

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 3-b Priority is given to the schools that are not making AYP as indicated in the program descriptions and in the state’s Educational Accountability Act of 1998 which is aligned with components of NCLB. The following question related to professional development needs to be addressed: How will the SEA ensure that a high quality of professional development is provided to enable teachers to meet the requirements? 
    Requirement 3-c Does the plan include a description of programs and services the SEA will provide to assist teachers and LEAs in successfully meeting HQT goals?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 3-c?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 3-c In addition to the services outlined on page 14, the SDE assists teachers and ensures that districts will meet their highly qualified teacher goals through its support of a variety of programs and services that focus on three areas: (1) ensuring that employed teachers meet requirements, (2) recruiting a workforce of highly qualified teachers, and (3) retaining a workforce of highly qualified teachers. (Web links are provided as resources for additional information.)

    Ensuring That Employed Teachers Meet Requirements

    • Project CREATE*
      The Centers for the Re-Education and Advancement of Teachers in Special Education (CREATE) were initially funded in 2003 by the Office of Exceptional Children and now in collaboration with the DEQL.
      http://ed.sc.gov/agency/offices/ec/create/projectcreate_000.html

    • ML-TEACH
      Through a partnership between the University of South Carolina and DEQL, ML-TEACH will ensure middle level teacher education, advancement, certification, and high-qualification for all participants by coordinating coursework and professional development experiences that are closely aligned with National Middle School Association (NMSA) standards for teacher preparation. ML-TEACH will provide access to the coursework needed to obtain middle level add-on certification and associated HQ status to all eligible middle level teachers who are certified at the elementary or secondary level.

    • MULTI-SUBJECT HOUSSE*
      scteachers.org/Adept/housse.cfm

    • RESTRICTED ALTERNATIVE CERTIFICATE
      The restricted alternative certificate provides a route for teachers who are already fully certified to add other areas to their credentials. Districts request the restricted certificate for teachers who have demonstrated content competency in the area requested and have at least 12 semester hours toward certification requirements for the new area. Districts also sign assurances that include their responsibility for these teachers in the following areas:

      1. providing high quality professional development that is sustained, intensive, and classroom-focused;
      2. providing a program of intensive supervision that consists of structured guidance and regular ongoing support;
      3. assuring that this alternative route to added areas of certification will not exceed three years;
      4. assuring satisfactory progress toward full certification as prescribed by the State (six semester hours annually plus Praxis exam(s) within the three year period).
    Recruiting a Workforce of Highly Qualified Teachers
    • CERTIFICATION RECIPROCITY
      The SDE signed the 2005-2010 NASDTEC Interstate Contract and currently has reciprocity with more than 50 states, territories, and countries to provide a smooth transition to South Carolina certification. Reciprocity has been extended to include acceptance of other states' HOUSSE plans for the purpose of demonstrating content mastery for becoming highly qualified.

    • TEACHERS-TEACHERS.COM*
      Teachers-Teachers.com is an educational recruitment service that is free to teachers, administrators, and other school personnel seeking positions. www.teachers-teachers.com

    • PROGRAM OF ALTERNATIVE CERTIFICATION FOR EDUCATORS (PACE)*
      The Program of Alternative Certification for Educators (PACE) is South Carolina's alternative route for initial certification.
      http://www.scteachers.org/cert/pace/overview.cfm

    • INTERNATIONAL TEACHERS
      International certificates are issued to applicants who are from a country other than the United States and have completed at least a bachelor's degree with a major in the teaching field and have met all cultural/educational visa requirements. The certificate can be renewed for up to two additional years at the request of the school district provided that the teacher has met all certification examination requirements during the first year. The Office of Educator Certification works closely with responsible officers and foreign country representatives to provide appropriate certification and employment to international teachers. These teachers often meet critical needs in hard-to-staff geographical and subject areas, especially special education, secondary math and sciences, and foreign languages.

    • TROOPS TO TEACHERS*
      http://www.scteachers.org/troops/index.cfm.

    • CERRA*
      The Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA) is the oldest and most established teacher recruitment program in the country.
      http://www.cerra.org

    • CALL ME MISTER*
      The Call Me MISTER program is an effort to address the critical shortage of African-American male teachers, particularly in the State's lowest performing schools.
      http://www.callmemister.clemson.edu
    Retaining a Workforce of Highly Qualified Teachers
    • MENTORING*
      The DEQL and CERRA collaborated to develop State Induction and Mentoring Guidelines and work together to promote and support mentor training.
      http://www.scteachers.org/cert/mentoring.cfm

    • ADEPT*
      State Board of Education Regulation 43-205.1 stipulates that each school district must develop and implement a plan to provide induction contract teachers with comprehensive guidance and assistance throughout the school year. District induction plans must comply with State Board of Education ADEPT Implementation Guidelines and must be approved prior to implementation.
      http://www.scteachers.org/adept/index.cfm.

    • NBPTS CERTIFICATION SUPPORT*
      South Carolina has one of the largest statewide populations of teachers who have achieved certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), due largely to the substantial investment the State has made in this process.

    • RETIRED TEACHER INCENTIVES
      Members of South Carolina Retirement System who are eligible for service retirement may elect to participate in the Teacher and Employee Retention program (TERI). TERI allows a teacher to work for up to five years as a retiree, while accumulating a retirement annuity and drawing salary as a full-time employee. At the end of the program, the participant can choose to receive their retirement as an IRA, 401K rollover or lump sum distribution.

      Legislation was amended to lift the earning limitation of $50,000 on teachers and other State employees who choose to reenter their professions subsequent to retirement. Fully retired teachers may reenter the workforce and receive full teaching salary and full State retirement benefits simultaneously.

    *Note: This information has been slightly abbreviated. For complete information see the full state plan.

    (pages 15-19) 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 3-c The SEA is to be commended for providing a detailed description of the specific programs and services SEA will provide teachers and LEAs in successfully meeting the HQT goals.  
    Requirement 3-d Does the plan specifically address the needs of any subgroups of teachers identified in Requirement 1?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 3-d?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 3-d As documented in the response to Requirement 1, several subgroups of teachers warrant particular attention in assisting them in attaining highly qualified status. (See pages 4, 8-9.) Programs to offer this support address teachers in the following areas:
    • special education,
    • foreign languages in grades K-8,
    • science in grades 9-12, and
    • middle level language arts, math, science and social studies.
    Special education teachers are consistently less likely to be highly qualified for their teaching assignments. Exams required for certification are not acceptable for demonstrating content mastery, so new teachers must take an additional exam after they are fully certified. Veteran teachers must take an additional exam or complete HOUSSE. The problem is complicated by accreditation requirements for specific areas of certification for different classifications of special education. Classes are identified, for data collection purposes, by the highest percent of students that are part of the teacher's class load, which can be a changing variable. For example, a special education teacher certified in the area of learning disabled may be assigned a class load that includes more educable mentally handicapped than learning disabled students. The teacher is then not properly certified and not highly qualified for the teaching assignment. The State issues credentials for twelve special education areas.

    The SDE has implemented four initiatives, all previously described, to address the needs of special education teachers. (See pages 15-18 for descriptions and web links.)

    1. The restricted alternative certificate allows a veteran special education teacher whose credential is not acceptable for the teaching assignment to add the appropriate area or a more flexible classification.
    2. Project CREATE supports veteran teachers in obtaining the coursework necessary to add areas of special education to their credentials.
    3. PACE includes provisions to earn initial certification in special education for the emotionally disabled.
    4. Implementation of a multi-subject HOUSSE has expedited the process for special education teachers to demonstrate content knowledge of language arts, math, science, and social studies, which is critical in self-contained learning environments.
    Foreign language teachers in grades K-8 are another subgroup of teachers who are more likely to be identified as teaching classes for which they are not highly qualified. Elementary foreign language teachers, beginning with the 2005-06 school year, must be certified and highly qualified in the specific foreign language. Currently many of these teachers are highly qualified in early childhood or elementary education, rather than in the foreign language. The restricted alternative certificate offers the opportunity for elementary foreign language teachers to participate in the alternative route to full certification and HQ status.

    Secondary science teachers are a subgroup likely to be non-HQ for the classes they instruct. Teachers who are HQ in biology and instructing physical science, for example, are not properly certified for their class assignment since that specific course requires certification in science, chemistry, or physics. Veteran science instructors who are not HQ for their assignments benefit from the restricted alternative certificate. The PACE program provides an alternative route for certification to non-educators with science degrees who want to enter the teaching profession.

    Seventh and eighth grade teachers of language arts, math, science, and social studies have been identified as a subgroup more likely to be identified as not highly qualified in the future. South Carolina has initiated the requirement for middle level certification that will be mandatory for seventh and eighth grade teachers of core academic subjects by the end of 2007-08. Three initiatives address the needs for HQ middle level teachers. ML-TEACH and the restricted alternative certificate are appropriate for teachers who are elementary or secondary certified and need to add middle level certification (See page 16.) Additionally, as a member of the Southern Regional Education Board, South Carolina participates in the Making Middle Grades Work. One of the purposes of this initiative is to ensure that students are taught by HQ teachers who hold a content major or minor in the subject(s) they teach.
    http://www.sreb.org/programs/MiddleGrades/background/backgroundindex.asp

    (pages 19-21)  

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 3-d The needs of subgroups of non-HQ teachers identified in Requirement 1 are specifically addressed; however, is the restricted alternative certification route by which foreign languages teachers can obtain HQ status the only option for acquiring HQ status? 
    Requirement 3-e Does the plan include a description of how the State will use its available funds (e.g., Title I, Part A; Title II, Part A, including the portion that goes to the State agency for higher education; other Federal and State funds, as appropriate) to address the needs of teachers who are not highly qualified?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 3-e?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 3-e State and federal funds support projects and services, as described above, that address the needs of teachers who are not highly qualified. Title II, Part A state-level activity monies partially fund Project CREATE. Title II, Part A administrative funds support the ML-TEACH initiative. State funds support related initiatives that include PACE and Troops to Teachers. The State reimburses application expenses and pays stipends to teachers who attain National Board Certification. The S.C. Commission on Higher Education works in conjunction with DEQL to identify priorities and criteria for funding the Improving Teacher Quality State Grants to State Agencies for Higher Education (SAHEs). The Commission administers the application and review process and provides technical assistance to grantees.
    http://www.che.sc.gov

    The Education Lottery Teaching Scholarships, funded through the South Carolina Education Lottery Act, support classroom teachers in their efforts to improve their content knowledge by completing coursework and degree programs. Teachers who hold a professional certificate and teach in the public schools of the state are awarded grants not to exceed $1000 per year to attend the state’s public and independent colleges and universities for the purposes of upgrading existing core content area skills or obtaining a master’s degree in the teacher’s core content area. The enabling legislation prioritizes these fields by stipulating that if there are insufficient funds in the education lottery account to provide the grant to each eligible recipient for a particular year, priority must be given to those classroom teachers whose teaching areas are critical need subject areas as defined by the State Board of Education.

    (page 21)  

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 3-e This sub-requirement was not directly addressed in the peer rewiewers' response. 
    Requirement 3-f Does the plan for the use of available funds indicate that priority will be given to the staffing and professional development needs of schools that are not making AYP? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 3-f?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 3-f Currently, funds are available to support most of the initiatives included in this report in all districts that choose to participate. When that is not the case, plans are implemented to prioritize services and programs for those that do not make adequately yearly progress. Specific to schools not making AYP, the Education Accountability Act mandates intervention and assistance to schools rated below average or unsatisfactory on report cards. Funds are allocated to give the lowest-performing schools priority. (See page 28)

    (page 21) 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 3-f This sub-requirement was not directly addressed in the peer rewiewers' response. 
    Revised State Plans-Requirement 4
    Requirement 4 The revised plan must describe how the SEA will work with LEAs that fail to reach the 100% HQT goal by the end of the 2006-07 school year. 
    Peer Review Finding
  • Requirement 4 has been met.
  •  
    Peer Review Supporting Narrative The SEA indicated how it will monitor LEA compliance with the LEAs HQT plans. SEA’s Title II, Part A grant application requires LEA to explain their plan; grant applications or allocations of funds are not approved until plans are submitted. In addition, plans are carefully reviewed to ensure that LEAs’ budgeted activities include resources and services to help teachers become highly qualified. However, it is imperative that the SEA address the following regarding its monitoring component:
    • What is the state’s capacity to monitor? How will quality in this effort be ensured?
    • The plan identifies what the SEA will do, but how the SEA will accomplish these tasks requires more detailed evidence.

    The SEA states that it will monitor whether or not each LEA and school attains 100% HQT; however, the SEA needs to provide more evidence of how it will do this.

    Clearly the SEA is providing a wide-range of professional development opportunities; however, what’s the effectiveness of these professional development offerings? How does the professional development translate into targeted improved teacher quality and student achievement outcomes?

    Although SEA states the technical assistance or corrective actions will apply if LEAs fail to meet HQT and AYP, more details are needed regarding the SEA’s plan to accomplish this. Specifics should have been included in the plan to accomplish this. How will the SEA make this methodology on paper come alive and make a demonstrable difference for teachers and students? 

    Requirement 4-a Does the plan indicate how the SEA will monitor LEA compliance with the LEAs' HQT plans described in Requirement 2 and hold LEAs accountable for fulfilling their plans? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 4-a?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 4-a The Title II, Part A grant application includes a requirement for districts to explain their plan and timeframe for meeting the 100 percent goal. State coordinators do not approve grant applications or allocate funds until sufficient information is provided. Coordinators review plans and budgeted activities to ensure that teachers are given the resources needed for them to become highly qualified.

    The State will utilize its data collection to monitor districts for compliance in fulfilling their documented plans for each teacher of core academic subjects to become HQ. Periodic reports of classes taught by teachers who are not HQ will be generated by the DEQL in collaboration with the Office of Technology. Coordinators will review the data and schedule monitoring visits to districts, giving priority to those that do not make AYP. Districts will provide appropriate documentation of plans and progress toward meeting the 100 percent goal. A plan for corrective action will be mandated for districts that do not fulfill their plans and make sufficient progress.

    (page 22) 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 4-a The SEA indicated how it will monitor LEA compliance with the LEAs HQT plans. SEA’s Title II, Part A grant application requires LEA to explain their plan; grant applications or allocations of funds are not approved until plans are submitted. In addition, plans are carefully reviewed to ensure that LEAs’ budgeted activities include resources and services to help teachers become highly qualified. However, it is imperative that the SEA address the following regarding its monitoring component:
    • What is the state’s capacity to monitor? How will quality in this effort be ensured?
    • The plan identifies what the SEA will do, but how the SEA will accomplish these tasks requires more detailed evidence.

    The SEA states that it will monitor whether or not each LEA and school attains 100% HQT; however, the SEA needs to provide more evidence of how it will do this.  

    Requirement 4-b Does the plan show how technical assistance from the SEA to help LEAs meet the 100 percent HQT goal will be targeted toward LEAs and schools that are not making AYP? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 4-b?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 4-b Data collected on classes taught by teachers who are not HQ will be combined with data on schools and districts that do not make AYP to determine the schedule for monitoring and technical assistance visits. Priority will be given to districts and schools that do not meet AYP and that have the greatest percent of classes taught by non-HQ teachers.

    (page 22) 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 4-b The SEA states that it will monitor whether or not each LEA and school attains 100% HQT; however, the SEA needs to provide more evidence of how it will do this. 
    Requirement 4-c Does the plan describe how the SEA will monitor whether LEAs attain 100 percent HQT in each LEA and school:
    • in the percentage of highly qualified teachers at each LEA and school; and
    • in the percentage of teachers who are receiving high-quality professional development to enable such teachers to become highly qualified and successful classroom teachers?
     
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 4-c?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 4-c Highly Qualified Teachers

    Data will be collected during the first semester of the 2006-07 school year to identify teachers assigned to classes for which they are not HQ. This information will be utilized in the monitoring process and in providing technical assistance to districts. The State will monitor LEAs for individual documented plans for non-HQ teachers to become HQ as quickly as possible. Districts will also be required to attach a copy of the letter of notification sent to parents in instances in which the non-HQ teacher is teaching a core academic class in a Title I setting.

    High-Quality Professional Development

    The State's certificate renewal system ensures that all teachers receive high-quality professional development that supports their current professional growth and development plans. A South Carolina educator's professional certificate is valid for five years. In order to be eligible for certificate renewal, the educator must earn a minimum of 120 renewal credits that

    • directly relate to the educator's professional growth and development plan;
    • support the goals of the employing public school district; and
    • promote student achievement, as required by State Board of Education Regulation 43-205.1, Assisting, Developing, and Evaluating Professional Teaching and Regulation 43-165.1, Program for Assisting, Developing, and Evaluating Principal Performance.
    The district strategic plans required by South Carolina's Education Accountability Act of 1998 mandate elements that assure that teachers receive high-quality professional development. Districts must attest that they provide staff development training for teachers and administrators in the teaching techniques and strategies needed for the improvement of student academic performance. This training must be aligned with the National Staff Development Council's Standards for Staff Development. Professional development to provide students with the opportunity to meet challenging state and local student academic achievement standards must be addressed in the needs assessment as well.
    http://www.nsdc.org/standards/index.cfm

    The State supports initiatives to make high-quality professional development accessible to all districts, schools, and individual teachers. South Carolina supports many face-to-face and on-line opportunities for teachers to increase their subject matter knowledge and to become highly qualified. (Web links are provided as resources for additional information.)

    South Carolina: Teaching, Learning, and Connecting is a SDE Web resource with South Carolina's standards as its core. It provides teachers with a fully searchable database of South Carolina standards, lesson plans, and professional development and assessment resources as well as a lesson plan builder, Slate. The objectives for Slate include the following:

    1. build high quality lessons/units aligned to the South Carolina standards,
    2. store and share lessons/units,
    3. serve as a professional development resource to assist teachers in identifying and developing the components of a standards-based lesson/unit,
    4. save and edit lessons/units in teachers' own personnel workspace, and
    5. obtain a peer review and evaluation of a lesson/unit plan using specific criteria.
    South Carolina Educational Television (SCETV) provides access to the PBS TeacherLine, which offers professional development through standards-based courses, supportive and collaborative learning communities, and exemplary Internet-based resources. More than 90 courses, developed by leading educational producers in alignment with national standards, focus on mathematics, reading, instructional technology, instructional strategies, science, and curriculum mapping. Courses are facilitated by specially trained educators, combining the best of face-to-face professional development with the best of online instructional design.
    http://www.scetv.org/education/pbs_teacherline/index.cfm

    The South Carolina Partnership for Distance Education is a collaborative organization with the purpose of increasing access to education for all the State's citizens through the use of technology. Its members include public and independent higher education institutions, preK-12 school districts, public libraries, governmental agencies, businesses and industries, and health care organizations. All of these groups are involved in developing and utilizing distance education courses. The new digital capabilities allow all of the partners to maximize resources through a "PreK - Lifetime" approach.
    http://www.desc.info/

    The South Carolina Reading Initiative, administered by the Governor's Institute of Reading, is an intensive staff development effort carried out through study groups of teachers and administrators in participating schools across the State. Led by a literacy coach, teams meet to conduct systematic inquiry into reading research and practice and to discuss related issues and questions that arise in their classrooms. The initiative's major goals include developing structures within individual schools so that educators can engage in an independent and ongoing process of change.
    http://ed.sc.gov/agency/offices/cso/english_la/GRI.html

    The SDE Office of Curriculum and Standards provides statewide leadership for Reading First, a national initiative to help every young child become a successful reader. Its goals include staff development that enables and motivates teachers to understand and implement scientifically-based reading programs, strategies, skills, and assessments in their classrooms.
    http://ed.sc.gov/agency/offices/cso/english_la/ReadingFirst.html

    Because South Carolina is one of sixteen participating states in the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), residents may participate in the SREB Academic Common Market/Electronic Campus for distance learning programs at significant savings. The Teacher Center is an SREB-State online resource for educators.
    http://www.sreb.org

    (page 22-24)  

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 4-c The SEA states that it will monitor whether or not each LEA and school attains 100% HQT; however, the SEA needs to provide more evidence of how it will do this.

    Clearly the SEA is providing a wide-range of professional development opportunities; however, what’s the effectiveness of these professional development offerings? How does the professional development translate into targeted improved teacher quality and student achievement outcomes?  

    Requirement 4-d Consistent with ESEA §2141, does the plan include technical assistance or corrective actions that the SEA will apply if LEAs fail to meet HQT and AYP goals? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 4-d?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 4-d Technical Assistance

    The SDE's Title II, A coordinators will continue to provide on-going technical assistance to districts and schools that do not meet HQT goals. Teacher quality initiatives are also in place to address the staffing needs in districts and schools. The assistance and programs are multifaceted and described in the response to Requirement 3. (See pages 14-21.)

    Technical assistance as related to AYP is addressed by the State's Education Accountability Act of 1998, which mandates that the State address failure to meet expected progress on report card ratings through an external review process. Dependent on the school's size and rating, each external review team is comprised of two to four members. Members include superintendents, principals, and other educational leaders outside the district being reviewed; respected retired educators; higher education representatives; parents; business representatives; and SDE staff. They are charged with

    • examining all aspects of school operations;
    • interviewing stakeholders;
    • reviewing documentation;
    • working with district offices, school staff, and local boards;
    • identifying needed support; and
    • reporting needed changes and/or recommendations.
    Upon a review of the recommendations, the SDE delineates the activities, support, services, and technical assistance it will make available to support the school's plan and sustain improvement over time.

    Corrective Actions

    Data will be collected during the first semester of the 2006-07 school year and compared to year-end data for 2005-06 to identify school districts and individual schools that have not made sufficient progress toward meeting the HQT goal. These districts and schools will be prioritized for on-site monitoring visits. At this time, districts must present plans and timeframes for each individual teacher to become HQ. Districts will also be required to attach a copy of the letter of notification sent to parents in instances in which the non-HQ teacher is teaching a core academic class in a Title I setting.

    (pages 24-25) 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 4-d Although SEA states the technical assistance or corrective actions will apply if LEAs fail to meet HQT and AYP, more details are needed regarding the SEA’s plan to accomplish this. Specifics should have been included in the plan to accomplish this. How will the SEA make this methodology on paper come alive and make a demonstrable difference for teachers and students? 
    Revised State Plans-Requirement 5
    Requirement 5 The revised plan must explain how and when the SEA will complete the HOUSSE process for teachers not new to the profession who were hired prior to the end of the 2005-06 school year, and how the SEA will limit the use of HOUSSE procedures for teachers hired after the end of the 2005-06 school year to multi-subject secondary teachers in rural schools eligible for additional flexibility, and multi-subject special education who are highly qualified in language arts, mathematics, or science at the time of hire. 
    Peer Review Finding
  • Requirement 5 has been met.
  •  
    Peer Review Supporting Narrative The revised plan clearly explains how the SEA will complete the HOUSSE process for all teachers not new to the profession who were hired before the end of 2005 – 2006 school year by indicating the specific conditions in which this option may be utilized.  
    Requirement 5-a Does the plan describe how and when the SEA will complete the HOUSSE process for all teachers not new to the profession who were hired before the end of the 2005-06 school year? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 5-a?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 5-a The vast majority of teachers who are eligible to demonstrate content competency through HOUSSE have already done so. South Carolina will use HOUSSE after the 2005-06 school year in a very limited manner. Consistent with USED Improving Teacher Quality State Grants Non-Regulatory Guidance (August 3, 2005), HOUSSE will continue to be offered under circumstances such as the following:
    • Veteran teachers who seek to rejoin the teaching force after a break in service (e.g., retirement, extended family or medical leave),
    • Veteran international teachers who have not taken validated content exams in their countries of origin,
    • Veteran teachers who are fully certified in multiple subjects and are needed to teach a subject for which they have not yet demonstrated content competency,
    • Out-of-state veteran teachers who receive South Carolina certification through reciprocity but do not have a content exam, academic major, or documentation of HOUSSE to demonstrate content competency,
    • Veteran teachers who are teaching multiple subjects who have not completed the HOUSSE process. These typically are teachers who are certified in early childhood, elementary, or special education and are teaching in self-contained settings and thus must demonstrate content competency in four subjects (i.e., language arts, math, science, and social studies), and
    • Teachers who are fully certified in areas for which no Praxis content exam is available (e.g., dance) or the available exam has not been validated for the State (e.g., Latin). Validation of available exams is difficult in areas in which few teachers are available to participate in the standard setting process.
    School districts have been advised that HOUSSE will be available on only a limited basis beginning with the 2006-07 school year. South Carolina will respond promptly in the event that the U.S. Department of Education issues future guidance requiring changes in the above policy.

    (page 26) 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 5-a The revised plan clearly explains how the SEA will complete the HOUSSE process for all teachers not new to the profession who were hired before the end of 2005 – 2006 school year by indicating the specific conditions in which this option may be utilized.  
    Requirement 5-b Does the plan describe how the State will limit the use of HOUSSE after the end of the 2005-06 school year to the following situations:
    • Multi-subject secondary teachers in rural schools who, if HQ in one subject at the time of hire, may use HOUSSE to demonstrate competence in additional subjects within three years of the date of hire; or
    • Multi-subject special education teachers who are new to the profession, if HQ in language arts, mathematics, or science at the time of hire, may use HOUSSE to demonstrate competence in additional subjects within two years of the date of hire.
     
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 5-b?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 5-b The revised plan clearly explains how the SEA will complete the HOUSSE process for all teachers not new to the profession who were hired before the end of 2005 – 2006 school year by indicating the specific conditions in which this option may be utilized.  
    Peer Review Response to Requirement 5-b
    • Multi-subject secondary teachers in rural schools who, if HQ in one subject at the time of hire, may use HOUSSE to demonstrate competence in additional subjects within three years of the date of hire; or

      Not applicable. No school district in South Carolina meets the federal definition of rural.

    • Multi-subject special education teachers who are new to the profession, if HQ in language arts, mathematics, or science at the time of hire, may use HOUSSE to demonstrate competence in additional subjects within two years of the date of hire.

      South Carolina elects not to use this provision except as these teachers may fall into one of the circumstances outlined above in the previous section.

    (page 27) 

    Revised State Plans-Requirement 6
    Requirement 6 The revised plan must include a copy of the State's written "equity plan" for ensuring that poor or minority children are not taught by inexperienced unqualified, or out-of-field teachers at higher rates than are other children.  
    Peer Review Finding
  • Requirement 6 has been met.
  •  
    Peer Review Supporting Narrative The revised plan includes a written equity plan, and its key elements include implementation of the strategies outlined in the South Carolina Education Accountability Act of 1998. These strategies focus on eliminating the achievement gap and targeting resources to low-performing schools which typically have percentages of poor or minority children greater than the State average. In addition, DEQL’s strategies in providing professional development and training focused on teacher effectiveness and its initiatives in recruitment and retention of HQ teachers are included in the plan. How will the SEA address a district’s lack of implementation know how? There was no evidence of this in the narrative.  
    Requirement 6-a Does the revised plan include a written equity plan? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 6-a?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 6-a The State's equity plan has two prongs. The first prong is legislative. The South Carolina Education Accountability Act of 1998 (EAA) creates the foundation of programs and services administered by the Office of School Quality. Strategies implemented and supported by the DEQL complement initiatives of the EAA and comprise the second prong.

    The purpose of the EAA is to establish a performance-based accountability system for public education which focuses on improving teaching and learning so that students are equipped with a strong academic foundation. Provisions focus on eliminating the achievement gap and targeting resources to low-performing schools. These low-performing schools typically have percentages of poor or minority children greater than the State average. Because this legislation preceded NCLB, terms such as "highly qualified teachers" and "equity" are not referenced. The purpose of the legislation, however, is consistent with the spirit of NCLB.

    Schools rated below average or unsatisfactory on the annual State report card must create an improvement plan. Upon a review of the revised plan to ensure it contains sufficiently high standards and expectations for improvement, the SDE delineates the activities, support, services, and technical assistance it will make available to support the school's plan and sustain improvement over time.

    The EAA authorizes a declaration of a state of emergency in schools rated below average that do not satisfactorily implement approved recommendations. The state superintendent, after consulting with the external review committee and with the approval of the State Board of Education, is granted the authority to take any of the following actions:

    1. furnish continuing advice and technical assistance in implementing the recommendations of the State Board of Education;
    2. declare a state of emergency in the school and replace the school's principal; or
    3. declare a state of emergency in the school and assume management of the school.
    Initiatives and strategies implemented and supported by the DEQL comprise the second prong of the State's plan to ensure that all students are taught by teachers who are highly qualified. These services and programs address training, recruitment, and retention of HQ teachers, and the professional development necessary to give teachers the skills they need to be effective.

    Technical assistance and monitoring will be based on data collection that identifies, by school and district, specific classes taught by teachers who are not highly qualified. Although the ultimate goal is for every child to be taught by a teacher who is highly qualified, priority will be given to districts and schools with high minority, high poverty populations that and do not meet adequate yearly progress.

    (page 28) 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 6-a The revised plan includes a written equity plan, and its key elements include implementation of the strategies outlined in the South Carolina Education Accountability Act of 1998.  
    Requirement 6-b Does the plan identify where inequities in teacher assignment exist? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 6-b?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 6-b Based on preliminary data, there is a higher occurrence of non-HQ classes in both schools identified as high poverty and those in the highest quartile of minority enrollment.

    Table 7: Occurrence of Non-HQ Classes in High Poverty and High Minority Schools

    School Type
    Total Number of Core Classes
    Classes Not Taught by HQ Teachers
    Number
    Number
    All Schools
    199,014
    15,730
    7.90
    High Poverty Schools
    37,379
    3,908
    10.46
    High Minority Schools
    30,416
    3,310
    10.88

    (page 29) 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 6-b These strategies focus on eliminating the achievement gap and targeting resources to low-performing schools which typically have percentages of poor or minority children greater than the State average.  
    Requirement 6-c Does the plan delineate specific strategies for addressing inequities in teacher assignment? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 6-c?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 6-c Strategies to address inequity in teacher assignments and ensure equitable distribution of highly qualified and experienced teachers are provided for in South Carolina legislation and DEQL initiatives.

    Strategy: Offer financial incentives to encourage teachers to work in high-need schools*.

    The South Carolina Teacher Loan Program was established to entice talented and qualified students into the teaching profession.
    http://www.scstudentloan.org

    Strategy: Pay for performance.

    The South Carolina Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) is an initiative to attract, retain, develop and motivate talented people to the teaching profession. One of the four elements of TAP is Performance-Based Compensation. Teachers are compensated according to their roles and responsibilities, their performance in the classroom, and the performance of their students. The ultimate goal of this project is to develop policies, practices, and procedures which will be implemented in all of South Carolina's public schools.

    Strategy: Require and fund mentoring and induction programs to give teachers the support that they need to succeed and remain in challenging schools*.

    The DEQL and CERRA collaborated to develop State Induction and Mentoring Guidelines and work together to promote and support mentor training.
    http://www.scteachers.org/cert/mentoring.cfm

    Mentoring is also an integral component of ADEPT. State Board of Education Regulation 43-205.1 stipulates that each school district must develop and implement a plan to provide induction contract teachers with comprehensive guidance and assistance throughout the school year.
    http://www.scteachers.org/adept/index.cfm.

    Strategy: Support the development of high-quality alternative route programs to create a pool of teachers specifically for high-need schools*.

    The Program of Alternative Certification for Educators (PACE) is South Carolina's alternative route for initial certification.
    http://www.scteachers.org/cert/pace/overview.cfm

    The restricted alternative certificate provides a route for teachers who are already fully certified to add other areas to their credentials. Districts request the restricted certificate for teachers who have demonstrated content competency in the area requested and have at least 12 semester hours toward certification requirements for the new area. Districts also sign assurances that include their responsibility for these teachers in the following areas:

    1. providing high quality professional development that is sustained, intensive, and classroom-focused;
    2. providing a program of intensive supervision that consists of structured guidance and regular ongoing support;
    3. assuring that this alternative route to added areas of certification will not exceed three years;
    4. assuring satisfactory progress toward full certification as prescribed by the State (six semester hours annually plus Praxis exam(s) within the three year period).
    Strategy: Rehire retired teachers.

    Members of South Carolina Retirement System who are eligible for service retirement may elect to participate in the Teacher and Employee Retention program (TERI). TERI allows a teacher to work for up to five years as a retiree, while accumulating a retirement annuity and drawing salary as a full-time employee. At the end of the program, the participant can choose to receive their retirement as an IRA, 401K rollover or lump sum distribution.

    Legislation was amended to lift the earning limitation of $50,000 on teachers and other State employees who choose to reenter their professions subsequent to retirement. Fully retired teachers may reenter the workforce and receive full teaching salary and full State retirement benefits simultaneously.

    Strategy: Improve administrative support and leadership.

    The EAA provides funds and programmatic support for staff to address needs in low-performing schools. The following administrative positions are included:

    1. Principal Specialists may be hired for a school designated as unsatisfactory if the district board of trustees chooses to replace the principal of that school. The principal specialist will assist the school in gaining knowledge of best practices and well-validated alternatives in carrying out the recommendations of the review team. The specialist will demonstrate effective leadership for improving classroom practices, assist in the analyses of assessment data, work with individual members of the faculty emphasizing needed changes in classroom instructional strategies based upon analyses of assessment data, and support teachers in acquiring new skills designed to increase academic performance. The principal specialists hired in such schools will receive their salary and a supplement equal to 1.25 times the supplement amount calculated for teachers. The salary and supplement are to be paid by the State for two years.
    2. Principal Leaders are employed in situations in which the district board of trustees does not choose to replace a principal. The principal leader works with the building principal, school staff, central office, and the local board of trustees to build local capacity, improve student performance, and increase the rate of student progress in that school.

    Strategy: Provide intensive professional development in core academic content to teachers currently working in high-need schools.

    The EAA provides funds and programmatic support for staff to address needs in low-performing schools. The following professional development positions are included:

    1. Teacher Specialists are experienced, exemplary educators committed to improving teaching and learning who partner with classroom teachers to provide support and training, and to serve as a resource needed to help the teacher improve instructional skills. Teacher specialists assist classroom teachers by
      • demonstrating effective teaching and serving as a coach to improve instruction,
      • assisting the faculty in gaining knowledge and in implementing best instructional practices,
      • assisting school teams in analyzing test data to identify patterns and instructional deficiencies,
      • developing strategies to address instructional deficiencies, and
      • providing support and training for needed changes in instructional practices.
    2. Curriculum Specialists and District Instruction Facilitators provide technical assistance and instructional support in curriculum planning and alignment, professional Development, and student performance.

    *Note: This text has been abbreviated. See full plan for complete text.

    (pages 29-32) 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 6-c The revised plan includes a written equity plan, and its key elements include implementation of the strategies outlined in the South Carolina Education Accountability Act of 1998. These strategies focus on eliminating the achievement gap and targeting resources to low-performing schools which typically have percentages of poor or minority children greater than the State average.  
    Requirement 6-d Does the plan provide evidence for the probable success of the strategies it includes? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 6-d?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 6-d Evidence for the probable success of the above strategies is grounded in well-researched and documented studies. Bibliographical citations accompany each synopsis of global findings.

    Strategy: Offer financial incentives to encourage teachers to work in high-need schools.

    Compensation is one of many job variables that matter to teachers, and it can be adjusted to attract teachers to more challenging assignments. Teachers are more likely to accept assignments in settings that do not have strong records of success if they are compensated for the academic gains they help achieve. Several studies have underscored salary as a factor when potential employees choose whether or not to accept a particular assignment.

    • Prince, C. (2003). Higher pay in hard-to-staff schools: The case for financial incentives. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, Inc.

    • Kirby, S., Naftel, S., & Berends, M. (1999). Staffing at-risk school districts in Texas: Problems and prospects, pp. 57-58. Santa Monica, CA: RAND. www.rand.org/pubs/monograph_reports/MR1083/index.html.

    Strategy: Require and fund mentoring and induction programs to give teachers the support that they need to succeed and remain in challenging schools.

    Teacher turnover is highest in high-poverty schools and contributes to lower levels of student achievement, as much as 50 percent higher than in other settings. Hard-to-staff schools struggle to recruit and keep high-quality teachers because they often fail to provide effective training, valuable induction programs, and a generally supportive teaching environment. This statistic can be offset by induction and mentoring programs, which are attributed to teachers being twice as likely to remain in the profession as those who did not have these resources.

    • Center for Teaching Quality. (2006, June). "Why mentoring and induction matters and what must be done for new teachers." Teaching Quality Across the Nation: Best Practices & Policies, 5(2).

    • "Alliance for Excellent Education. (2004). Tapping the potential: Retaining and developing high-quality new teachers. Washington, DC: Author. http://www.all4ed.org/publications/TappingThePotential/TappingThePotential.pdf

    • Villar, A. (2004). Measuring the benefits and costs of mentor-based induction: A value-added assessment of new teacher effectiveness linked to student achievement. Santa Cruz, CA: New Teacher Center.
    Strategy: Support the development of high-quality alternative route programs to create a pool of teachers specifically for high-need schools.

    Studies that have examined the effectiveness of alternative route teachers are mixed. Some suggest that they are less effective than those who have gone through traditional four-year teacher preparation programs. Research does show that alternative routes are adding to the ranks of certified teachers by attracting people who would not have entered teaching otherwise. Studies have also concluded that alternative routes attract candidates from diverse backgrounds.

    Strategy: Rehire retired teachers.

    High-need schools have a disproportionate share of inexperienced teachers who are new to the school and new to the profession. Numerous studies have confirmed that teaching experience is directly linked to teacher effectiveness. As stated in Teaching Inequality: How Poor and Minority Students Are Shortchanged on Teacher Quality:

    The evidence is incontrovertible that experience increases teacher effectiveness. Most research suggests that teachers are considerably more effective after completing two years. Murnane was one of the first to document the relationship between experience and student achievement; controlling for other factors, teacher effectiveness escalated in the first three years of teaching. Similarly, Rivkin, Hanushek, and Kain reported that beginning teachers in mathematics and second- and third-year teachers perform significantly worse than more experienced teachers. In a recent study of teachers in New York City, researchers found that as teachers gained experience in their first three or four years, student performance increased. http://www2.edtrust.org/NR/rdonlyres/010DBD9F-CED8-4D2B-9E0D-91B446746ED3/0/TQReportJune2006.pdf

    Strategy: Improve administrative support and leadership.

    One of the most frequently cited reasons that teachers give for moving away from certain schools is weak leadership and lack of administrative support. High-need schools have a disproportionate share of principals who are inexperienced and have little teaching experience themselves.

    The National Council of Staff Development has extensive resources available that substantiate the importance of school leadership for professional development and positive school change. http://www.nsdc.org/standards/leadership.cfm

    Strategy: Provide intensive professional development in core academic content to teachers currently working in high-need schools.

    Research has identified strong relationships between teachers' content knowledge and student achievement, particularly in math and science. Evidence suggests that teachers who leave schools with high concentrations of poor and minority students are more likely to be highly-skilled than those who remain. While states may be able to attract some new teachers to high-need schools, states must also be prepared to build the knowledge, skills, and abilities of teachers who remain in these schools. Intensive professional development to build the skills of teachers already working in high-need schools so that they become highly effective is another way that states can ensure an equitable distribution of teachers.

    The National Council of Staff Development has extensive resources available that validate the NSDC Standards for Professional Development. http://www.nsdc.org/standards/leadership.cfm

    (pages 32-34) 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 6-d This sub-requirement was not directly addressed by the peer reviewers' response. 
    Requirement 6-e Does the plan indicate that the SEA will examine the issue of equitable teacher assignment when it monitors LEAs, and how this will be done?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 6-e?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 6-e The Title II, Part A application will be revised in 2006-07 to include district plans for equitable teacher assignment. The State will use available data that identify classes taught by teachers who are not highly qualified, average teaching experience of teachers, and retention rate for teachers in districts and schools. Technical assistance and monitoring visits will be prioritized for high poverty and high minority districts and schools with the greatest percent of classes taught by teachers who are not highly qualified.

    (page 34) 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 6-e This sub-requirement was not directly addressed by the peer reviewers' response. 


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