About the Board
The State Professional Standards and Practices Board for Teaching was established in 1998 by the New York State Board of Regents to advise the Regents and the Commissioner of Education on matters related to teaching in New York State. The Board’s mission is to advance and support quality teaching and student learning in New York State through initiating, influencing, and evaluating policy and best practice in the teaching profession.
The Board is composed of 28 members and includes K-12 teachers and administrators, higher education representatives, public representatives, and one teacher education student. Members are selected to represent diverse perspectives, and serve four-year staggered terms, with the exception of the teacher education student, who serves a single two-year term as a non-voting member.
The Board has two standing subcommittees: the Professional Practices Subcommittee, which examines issues related to teaching practice, and the Higher Education Subcommittee, which handles issues related to teacher preparation.
The Regents initial charge to the Professional Standards and Practices Board was for recommendations on the following topics, as outlined in the Regents policy document, New York’s Commitment: Teaching to Higher Standards (1998):
- components of mentoring programs for new teachers
- criteria and training for annual teacher performance reviews
- certification requirements to ensure that teachers and principals are well-prepared to teach and to lead in New York
- models and criteria for professional development
- a Code of Ethics for teachers
- a plan to attract and retain certified teachers in high need schools.
The Board has made significant progress toward accomplishing this initial agenda. New priorities continue to emerge as determined by Regents Reform agenda, Department initiatives, and Board-identified issues of interest and concern.
NYS Teacher Certification Examination (NYSTCE) Program
The Board reviews and makes recommendations on testing policy issues. Board members also serve on the NYSTCE panel of reviewers to evaluate videotapes (Performance Assessment of Teaching Skills) submitted by candidates who did not pass the initial rating process, and are trying for permanent certification.
Professional Development Requirements for Maintenance of Certificates
A designated subcommittee of the Board will constitute a review panel, advising the Department on appeals regarding satisfaction of the professional development requirements for certain certificate holders of professional and Level III teaching assistant certificates.
Regents Accreditation of Teacher Education (RATE)
The Higher Education Subcommittee reviews staff reports and makes recommendations concerning the accreditation of teacher education programs under the RATE program.
NYS Teacher Resource & Computer Training Center Program
The Board reviews and approves teacher center program funding criteria. The Professional Practices Subcommittee makes recommendations on applications for funding.
Teacher Moral Character Cases
Regarding professional ethics and moral conduct, the responsibilities of the Standards Board are set in Section 3.14 and Subpart 4-2 of the Rules of the Board of Regents, Part 83 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, and Section 316 of Education Law.
The Professional Practices Subcommittee reviews and makes recommendations for action on individual cases brought to the Board under the provisions of Part 83 of Commissioner’s Regulations.
Program Policy and Regulations
The Board reviews and makes recommendations on proposed policy changes and amendments to Commissioner’s Regulations and the Rules of the Board of Regents involving all aspects of teaching education, certification, and practice. In New York State, a teacher is defined as “any individual who is required to possess a certificate to work in a public school”. This includes classroom teachers, school and district administrators, and pupil personnel service providers.