Educator Excellence

Minnesota Legislature 2014

Changes to certain licensing requirements and procedures were authorized by the Legislature during the recent session. The impact of those changes is described below.

Nonnative English Speaker Basic Skills Test Exemption

Teacher and School Verification

Minnesota Higher Education Verification

ACT Plus Writing or SAT Exemption for Basic Skills Test

Middle-level Licensure Requirement Changes

Expedited processing of teacher licensing applications for military related personnel

Nonnative English Speaker Basic Skills Test Exemption

Please note: the exemption from the Basic Skills tests does not apply to any other teaching field except immersion and world language teachers. Review the document Teacher Testing Requirements and Testing Chart about options to meet the requirement.

There are two procedures for nonnative English speakers; one for teachers employed by schools, and one for Minnesota teacher preparation institutions to verify the exemption for their candidates.

Teacher and School Verification

Nonnative English Speaker MTLE Basic Skills Test Exemption for Elementary/Secondary Immersion and World Language Teacher Licensure

Effective July 1, 2014, nonnative English speakers are eligible for an exemption from taking the MTLE Basic Skills tests required for licensure in Minnesota if a school district/charter school verifies they meet the criteria of being a nonnative English speaker. Generally, a “nonnative” speaker is defined as an individual whose first language is not English.

The exemption only applies to candidates for licensure teaching in immersion programs in which you provide direct instruction in your native language, or world language programs

Candidates teaching ESL or in bilingual/bicultural education are not eligible for the exemption.

The license for candidates teaching in elementary or secondary immersion programs will indicate eligibility to teach in only immersion settings; you will not be eligible to teach in regular elementary or secondary settings.

To be eligible for the exemption from the Basic Skills tests, you must be in the process of being hired or have been hired by a school district or charter school.

Not all district/charter schools may be aware of this procedure. Please provide them with a copy of these procedures or direct them to the Educator Licensing website.

If you are a candidate for licensure who qualifies, follow these procedures:

• Obtain an official letter from a Minnesota school district on district letterhead that includes an original signature of the Superintendent or director of Human Resources. Photocopied letters are not acceptable. The letter should include the following:

1. Name

2. File Folder Number

3. A statement that the exemption is for either immersion instruction, or world language instruction

The letter must be included with your application packet or, if you are teaching on a limited license, mailed to Educator Licensing or submitted in person. Faxed or scanned copies are not acceptable, only original copies.

Questions: Call or email Customer Service staff at Educator Licensing at 651-582-8691 or email at mde.educator-licensing@state.mn.us.

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Minnesota Higher Education Verification

Nonnative English Speaker MTLE Basic Skills Test Exemption for Elementary/Secondary Immersion and World Language Teacher Licensure

Effective July 1, 2014, Minnesota teacher education completers who are nonnative English speakers may be exempt from taking the Basic Skills test required for licensure if a Minnesota higher education institution verifies they meet the criteria of being a nonnative English speaker. Generally, a “nonnative” speaker is defined as an individual whose first language is not English.

The exemption only applies to candidates for licensure who will be teaching in immersion (this does not include bilingual/bicultural education) or world language programs (ESL candidates are not eligible for the exemption).

The license for candidates teaching in immersion programs will indicate eligibility to teach in only those settings; they will not be eligible to teach in general elementary or secondary settings.

If you are recommending a new candidate for licensure, provide them with a letter on your institution’s letterhead requesting the exemption that must be included as part of their initial application packet.

For candidates who are graduates of your institution and have been teaching on a limited license and are now eligible for the exemption, provide the candidate with an official letter that the candidate must mail or deliver to Educator Licensing. The letter should include:

• Name
• File Folder Number
• A statement that the exemption is for either immersion instruction, or world language instruction with the licensure field.
• The institutional recommendation on the application form.

Questions: Call or email Customer Service staff at Educator Licensing at 651-582-8691 or email at mde.educator-licensing@state.mn.us.

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ACT Plus Writing or SAT Exemption for Basic Skills Test

Though not yet in effect, a passing score on the ACT Plus Writing test or SAT test may be substituted for the Basic Skills Test once the Board of Teaching determines a passing score. We anticipate this will be effective prior to January 1, 2015. Please monitor the MDE website for effective dates and passing score information as it becomes available.

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Middle-level Licensure Requirement Changes

All out-of-state applicants for Minnesota licensure in the secondary fields of mathematics, social studies, and communication arts and literature who achieved a 7-12 license are required to meet the requirements for a 5-12 license in Minnesota. They may do so if:

The applicant has completed a teacher preparation program leading to full licensure in the issuing state, which includes field-specific teaching methods and student teaching or essentially equivalent experience in both middle-level and secondary education.

For applicants who have completed teacher preparation program leading to licensure in the issuing state at the secondary level only, temporary licenses may be issued for up to three years to allow time to complete field-specific content, middle-level pedagogy and/or adolescent development. Legislation and Board of Teaching changes allow candidates streamlined opportunities to complete the additional preparation. Information will be published shortly.

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Expedited processing of teacher licensing applications for military related personnel

An active duty military member, the spouse of an active duty military member, or a veteran who has left service in the two years preceding the date of license or certification application and has confirmation of an honorable or general discharge status, are eligible for expedited processing of a Minnesota teaching license. Procedures are being finalized: please contact the Customer Service staff at Educator Licensing for details at 651-582-8691 or email mde.educator-licensing@state.mn.us.

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