Educator Preparation in Vermont

Teaching, Leading, and Learning in VT's Approved Programs

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Seeking feedback on the ROPA rejoinder and five-year plan

Some folks have already received this request via email, and the responses we have received so far have been so helpful that we want to solicit even more. If you have been involved in a ROPA visit in the past, please take a few moments to respond to the questions below.

As we head into our new round of ROPA visits for this pilot year, we have found that some confusion exists both within our office and at institutions regarding the purpose of the ROPA rejoinder and five-year plan. As we looked through your past submissions, we have found very different documents submitted that serve varied purposes, and some institutions chose not to submit them at all. To jog your memory, the rejoinder was the document that you (could have) submitted in response to your review team’s findings. This was not the same as “factual corrections”.

If you wouldn’t mind, we have a few questions below that would help us a great deal in our work to streamline the ROPA process. Responses can be emailed to

  • What do you (or your institution) see as the purpose of the ROPA rejoinder?
  • Do you feel that the rejoinder relates to the five-year plan? If so, how? If not, why?
  • Do you find the rejoinder and/or five-year plan to be helpful or useful in the ROPA process? You are welcome to suggest changes or specify things that work well about it.

Thanks for your help – we appreciate it and look forward to working more closely with all of you over the next few years.

Shannon and Nancy


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Changes in the world of Praxis

There have been some important changes to the Vermont Praxis requirements lately:

As of August 31st, the Vermont AOE can no longer accept SAT or ACT scores in lieu of Praxis scores if the SAT/ACT was taken after September 1st 2014. If the SAT/ACT tests were taken prior to August 31, 2014, they can be used in lieu of Praxis I requirements. At this time, all applicants for licensure must take the three Core Academic Skills tests. Exemptions from this requirement are

  • candidates who qualify for a level II license and have at least three years of employment experience within the past seven years as a licensed educator in the endorsement area being sought
  • candidates who otherwise qualify for licensure or endorsement and who have achieved National Board Certification in the comparable endorsement area.

It is possible that these requirements will change in the future, but we do not have any timeline for when SAT or ACT scores will be accepted again. If you have questions regarding this change, please contact Sue Yesalonia at


In addition, ETS has announced additional testing windows effective immediately:

“We are pleased to announce that the Praxis Program will now be administering the Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects assessment (both the 5001 and 5031 series of subtests) in the December, 2014 window (December 8 – December 20) as well as the August, 2015 window.  With the addition of these two months, this assessment is now administered in every monthly testing window throughout the year. The assessments have been loaded into our registration system and candidates can now register for these tests in the December window immediately.”

Please don’t hesitate to contact the educator preparation office with questions about any of the info above at (802) 479-1714.

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The Cost of ROPA

We are working here in the AOE to evaluate the cost of a ROPA visit from our end, which leads us to the question… what does the ROPA process cost your program? Please let us know as much detail as you can; a general budget number is fine, but if you have detailed breakdowns, we’re happy to have them! All responses can be emailed to

Thanks for your help!



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Educator Quality Welcomes Shannon Miller!

Greeetings! Mprofiley name is Shannon Miller and I am the new Education Preparation Consultant for the Vermont Agency of Education. I have been a classroom teacher and technology coordinator for the past eight years, including work in Newfane, Vermont, and abroad in Lugano, Switzerland. I have taught high school and middle school English and history as well as elementary math.

In my position with the State of Vermont, I will be supporting the 17 different teacher preparation programs in the state as they prepare for ROPA accreditation. This support comes in many forms; from helping create and train visiting teams, helping programs with their Institutional Portfolios and during the visit itself. I am excited to work with teacher preparation programs and look forward to meeting many of you as I visit your school!

In the meantime, the educator preparation blog is a great place to get updated information. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions or concerns at or call (802) 479-1714.

VSBPE Releases a Tool for Educators and the Public

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The Vermont Standards Board for Professional Educators (VSBPE) is promoting high standards for teachers by releasing a video introduction to the Vermont Core Teaching Standards and InTASC Learning Progressions. The media piece introduces educators and the public to the new teaching standards and progressions that establish a coherent system of support for educators.

“One challenge the Board has faced since adopting the standards has been getting them into educators’ hands,” explains Steven John, VSBPE Board Chair. “This tool creates an opportunity for Vermont educators to better appreciate the purpose and use of the standards to support and guide their professional learning as they work to make good teaching great.”

Claudine Bedell, Associate Professor of Education at Saint Michael’s College describes the value of the media piece, saying: “For in-service teachers, this video clearly bridges the journey from the past to the present set of teaching standards. For pre-service teachers, this video provides an effective overview of current expectations that is both transparent and well-articulated.”

The video features Secretary Holcombe and is narrated by Jay Hoffman, 2013 Vermont Teacher of the Year.

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Level I Licensure Portfolio Revision Process

We’re excited to share that the Vermont Standards Board for Professional Educators (VSBPE) is working with the Vermont Council of Teacher Educators (VCTE) to revise the Level I Licensure Portfolio. On June 16th, members of VCTE met at the Agency of Education’s office in Barre to consider the VSBPE’s propo101_0717sed charge for the revision process and to consider how best to move forward. You can find out more by reviewing VCTE’s notes here: VCTE minutes June portfolio meeting



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Request for Comments

As you may or may not know, the VSBPE is going through a rules revision process. As part of this revision, the AOE staff and the VSBPE are considering increasing the number of weeks required for student teaching from twelve to thirteen. We know that most teacher preparation programs in Vermont are already doing more than twelve weeks and that such a change is in alignment with current research about the importance of clinical practice in the teacher preparation process. We are hoping you could take a moment to let us know how increasing the student teaching requirement from 12 to 13 weeks might impact your program. We will take all this input under advisement as we continue to improve the quality of our teacher preparation programs and thus the quality of learning opportunities for the students of Vermont.

Please send your comments to



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