early learning in PA
February/March, 2014 PDE UPDATES
Candidates eligible to earn a Special Education Certification: The appropriate content certificates for Special Education PK-8 and 7-12 can be found in the Special Education Program Guidelines. “The Special Education PreK-8 and the Special Education 7-12 certificates are combined with certification in PreK-8, 4-8, a secondary (7-12) subject area, or a Reading Specialist.” This list was expanded in the accelerated certification program guidelines to include K-6 and n-3 certifications. The K-12 certificates were not included because of a legal interpretation that the regulations do not include K-12 certificates.
The purpose of the Chapter 49 Dual Certification Requirement is to ensure that the appropriate program for Special Education prepare candidates that are highly qualified in the subject arrears delineated by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) and Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA). High education programs should understand the above legal requirements for special education in order not to deny a certificate to an n-12 certificate holder.
Alternate means to meet the SAT/ACT Basic Skills Requirement: Effective 2/1/2013 students may meet the basic skills requirement by using individual section test scores from different sittings for a total composite score of no less than 1550 on the Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) with a minimum of 500 score in each individual test section (Critical Reading, Writing and Mathematics).
For the American College Test Plus Writing, a composite score of 23 must include a combined English/Writing score of 22 and a minimum Mathematics score of 21.
Students who meet either of the above requirements shall be except from the PAPA exam. Those who don’t meet these requirements must take and pass the PAPA exam.
Reporting SAT/ACT scores: two acceptable ways to report SAT/ACT scores to PDE are:
- Applicants submit the score in a sealed envelope from test vendor with TIMS application coversheet directly to the Division of Certification services.
- The preparation program (College or university) may submit applicant’s SAT/ACT score through TIMS
- Scores may also be verified by the PA- approved teacher preparation programs through TIMS.
PEARSON Score Report Code Changes: Effective 2/28/2014, the status for candidates for PreK-4 or Special Education test will be reported as follows-
- A series status of “Passed” indicates a scaled score of 220 or higher on all test modules that make up the assessment
- A series status of “Not Yet Passed” indicates the candidate has not yet achieved a scaled score of 220 or higher on all test modules that make up the assessment
- A series status of “incomplete” indicates candidate has not yet taken all modules that make up the assessment.
Test codes for PECT score reports: There will be a change from 3 digits to 4 digits to match the designations in PDE documentation and TIMS. Pearson added the number 8 as the first number in the test code. See below example.
Test Module Old Test Code New Test Code
PAPA – Module 1: Reading 001 8001
(January 2014) PDE Program Update – PAPA and PreK-4 Test Design Change
(December 2013) Updates from Division of Professional Education and Teacher Quality, PDE
Pennsylvania Educator Certification Test (PECT)
Visit the Pennsylvania Educator Certification Tests website to find out information on the tests required for PA Teacher Certification for PreK-4th grade.
Currently, the Pennsylvania Educator Certification Test (PECT) covers PreK-4.
Early Learning Research
Positive Development of Young Minority Children: The Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) has issued a two-page policy brief, Highlighting the Positive Development of Minority Children (October 2013). The brief summarizes facts and findings from research that underscore the critical importance of focusing on and also learning more about the positive development, adaptation and adjustment of young minority children, instead of concentrating mostly on adversity, deficit and maladjustment. It states that a focus on adversity of young minority children and their families have unintended consequences of drawing attention from the strengths and assets that minority families bring to raising healthy children. The SCRD brief also summarizes a 2013 Social Policy Report, Positive Development of Minority Children, by Natasha Cabrera and the SRCD Ethnic and Racial Issues Committee.
Cultural, Linguistic and Ability Diversity (CLAD): Evidence-Based Approaches to Building Quality for Diverse Young Learners in State Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS). In the 2011 Early Learning Challenge/Race to the Top application criteria made numerous references to the need to emphasize responsiveness to effectively serving children who are culturally, linguistically and ability diverse CLAD) and their families as well as the importance of integrating this into all components of a tiered quality rating and improvement system. Pennsylvania responded to BUILD invitation to apply for a technical assistance grant that focused on building greater cultural and linguistic and ability competence into a QRIS; and participated in a six month long web-based interactive professional development aimed at using CLAD lens to examine States’ current practices in relation to all components of their QRIS, identify gaps and use the new knowledge and resources provided to support change and improvements in their practices.
As a result of Pennsylvania’s participation in the BUILD Learning Table, the PA team developed a Diversity Framework with accompanying documents covering cultural diversity, linguistic diversity/ linguistic competence and ability diversity. The Office of Child Development and Early Learning and the Pennsylvania Key encourage all its partners, including the higher education community, to use the Diversity Framework in its organization and institutional practices, course offerings and its work with children and families. Click here to access and download the PA learning Table team’s work and the Office of Child Development & Early Learning approved Diversity Framework.
The Office of Head Start, National Center on Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness has published a series of briefs, Importance of Home Language Series (February 2013). The series, available in English and Spanish, provides early care and education program staff and families with easy to read information on topics related to:
- children learning two or more languages
- the benefits of being fully bilingual
- the importance of maintaining children’s home language.
Click HERE to access and download the series.
- Young Immigrant Children, the Immigrant Paradox and Academic Success (July 15, 2013, Learning the Language Blog)
Higher Education Early Learning E-LEarning newsletter
The Higher Education, Early Learning Updates Newsletter for the higher education community aims to:
- Enhance communication between the higher education community, Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) and the PA Key
- Provide the higher education community with important early learning initiative updates from OCDEL and the PA Key
- Provide valuable information for use in work with early care and education students.
Early learning updates will be published three times a year: in the Fall, Winter and Spring. Feedback on this e-newsletter and suggestions for future featured information are welcome and should be sent to Dr. Bernadine Ahonkhai at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Higher Education, Early Learning Updates Newsletter
Pennsylvania Director Credential
For additional information on obtaining a Director Credential, view the Degrees & Credential page.
Gate Opener program