College Advises Minister on Teacher Testing Program
April 13 2000
Toronto – The Ontario College of Teachers today released Maintaining, Ensuring and Demonstrating
Competency in the Teaching Profession, the regulatory body’s advice
to Education Minister Janet Ecker on the government’s proposal for a program
of teacher testing.
The College proposes a comprehensive 15-point competency program – including
a written test for all new applicants for an Ontario teaching licence and a
formal assessment process for teachers pursuing additional qualifications.
The Minister requested the College’s input in November following the initial
announcement by the Premier in April 1999. Chair Donna Marie Kennedy and other
senior College officials met with the Minister this morning to brief her on
the College’s advice.
"The 15-point plan we are proposing – including the entry to the profession
test -- is based on quality assurance programs that regulatory bodies in Ontario
and around the world have successfully put in place as an integral part of
educating, training and certifying professionals," said College Chair Donna
Marie Kennedy. "The plan we have put together responds to the five parameters
identified by the Minister, effectively protects the public, and is based on
a solid review of the research and a structured consultation process."
The College conducted thorough national and international research, released
a consultation paper in February and led an intensive consultation over a three-week
period in February and March to meet the government’s tight deadline. All of
the education partners identified by the Minister were invited to participate.
The data was gathered from three sources – structured consultation sessions
with education stakeholders, position papers from designated stakeholder groups
and responses from interested organizations and finally web site, fax, e-mail
and hand-delivered responses.
Key recommendations of the College’s report to the Minister include:
- refining the policies and processes for the accreditation of pre-service
and in-service teacher education programs
- a written assessment of knowledge related to the Ontario curriculum and
education legislation and policy for new applicants to the Ontario College
- a two-year induction program – with core components defined by the College – for
- a return-to-practice program for teachers following a break in employment
in education of five years or more
- a requirement that teachers develop professional growth plans and professional
portfolios and that the currency of the portfolio be reported to the College
every five years
- revising the Education Act to define the core elements of a performance
appraisal process for teachers, which would be harmonized across the province
- a requirement that the performance appraisal process include a regular
review of the professional portfolio
- a requirement that employers notify the College following the termination
of employment of a member of the College for reasons of incompetence.
The program is part of the College effort over the three years since it was
created to ensure the accountability of the teaching profession. Since 1997,
the College has:
- adopted the first Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession in
Ontario and a professional misconduct regulation
- recommended changes to Regulation 184 – teacher qualifications, including
language proficiency requirement, and a requirement that the undergraduate
degree relates to the area in which the teacher intends to qualify
- submitted to the Minister a proposed regulation on the accreditation of
teacher education programs
- has moved to the final stages of development of a professional learning
The College of Teachers is a self-regulating body created by the Ontario Legislature
to regulate the teaching profession in the public interest. It sets ethical
and professional standards for teachers, establishes teaching qualifications
and accredits education program providers and programs.
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