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Ethics in Iowa Education

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1 Ethics in Iowa Education
This is a project of the Board of Educational Examiners to share information about ethics as a way of promoting professionalism among educators in Iowa. The Board updated (IAC) Chapters 12 & 13 into Chapters 25 & 26 to reflect practitioners in today’s society. The chapters align with the Iowa Teacher Quality Legislation. This presentation was a collaborative project among agencies and constituent groups for dissemination throughout the state. The Iowa Administrative Code (IAC) defines “practitioner” as an administrator, teacher or other school personnel, who provides educational assistance to students and who holds a license, certificate, or other authorization issued by the BOEE. The Board of Educational Examiners provides leadership in practitioner licensure, and oversight of practitioner rights, responsibilities, practices, and ethics.

2 The information in this presentation is NOT to be construed as legal advice. Since there could be contractual implications, practitioners may contact their building or union representative for guidance.

3 Presentation Content Code of Conduct & Ethics.
At the end of this presentation, participants will understand the following content: Code of Conduct & Ethics. Code of Rights & Responsibilities. Role of the Board of Educational Examiners (BOEE). This presentation was designed to help educators raise awareness of and develop pride in the profession through understanding the following goals.

4 Topics Iowa Department of Education Board of Educational Examiners
Chapter 26: Rights & Responsibilities Chapter 25: Conduct & Ethics Case Studies Cautions

5 Teachers are not in private practice
Teachers are not in private practice. We are in the helping and caring profession, a service profession to help people enhance the quality of their lives. Harry and Rosemary Wong Teaching is the choicest of professions because everybody who is anybody was taught how to be somebody by a teacher. (Source unknown)

6 Iowa Department of Education (DE) Board of Educational Examiners (BOEE)
Educators in Iowa are guided and governed by the Iowa Department of Education (DE) and the Board of Educational Examiners (BOEE).

7 Iowa Department of Education
Recommends teacher prep programs Monitors academic achievement Monitors federal mandates Monitors state mandates (DE & BOEE) Translates laws into rules (DE & BOEE)

8 Board of Educational Examiners
Establishes licensure standards Issues licenses Defines and enforces professional & ethical conduct The Board of Educational Examiners provides leadership in practitioner licensure, rights, responsibilities, practices, and ethics. As defined by IAC , “practitioner means an administrator, teacher or other school personnel, who provides educational assistance to students and who holds a license, certificate, or authorization issued by the Board.” Board members are practicing teachers and administrators who are appointed by the Governor for 4-year terms. The main functions of the Board of Educational Examiners (BOEE) are to issue licenses, establish license requirements, and handle licensee discipline. Parents, teachers, and administrators/districts may file a complaint against a practitioner.

9 Professions Profession Entrance Licensure Standards
Continuing Education Governing Body Law LSAT State Bar Exam Canon of Ethics CLE State Supreme Court Medicine MCAT State Board Exams State Code CME Board of Medical Examiners Education (Iowa) Entrance Exam (C-Base, PRAXIS-I, or CAPP) BA or BS (Initial license) Comp Evaluation (Standard license) Code of Conduct & Ethics Staff Dev or College credits (Grad or Undergrad) Board of Educational Examiners Other professions such as law and medicine also require specialized training, licensing, and standards.

10 Licensure Initial, standard, master educator Administrative licensure
Evaluator approval Substitute license Other certification Substitute authorization Coaching authorization Para-educator certification The BOEE issues approximately 23,000 licenses per year. This is a major role of the BOEE. The first four bullets list licenses that require traditional teacher preparation with degrees in education. These licenses are for certified professionals. The other certificates are earned after attending specific classes with clock hour requirements.

11 Licensure Renewal Educators can renew their licenses through college credit and approved licensure renewal activities provided by AEAs, SAI, ISEA, and approved districts. The BOEE works in partnership with the State Board of Education to ensure quality professional development for all educators. In 2004, ISEA was approved as a staff development provider.

12 Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 26
The Code of Iowa lists the statutes upon which rules are based. The Board of Educational Examiners is given jurisdiction under Chapter 272 of the Iowa Code to promulgate administrative rules. The administrative rules for the BOEE are listed in IAC Chapter 282. The following information is from IAC 282 Chapters 25 and 26. At this point, please distribute copies of the Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics Brochure, IAC Chapters 25 & 26, to use as a reference for the remaining slide. Allow a few minutes for participants to skim the information. The authors chose to start with Chapter 26 to build a positive background for the majority of Iowa educators prior to addressing disciplinary actions for violating professional practices in Chapter 25.

13 Rights & Responsibilities
Right to be licensed & endorsed Right to refuse assignments for which the educator is not legally authorized Right to exercise professional judgment in teaching methods & instructional materials The BOEE recognizes the following rights and responsibilities of all licensed educators as listed in IAC Chapter 26.

14 Right to be Licensed & Endorsed
After completing an undergraduate program, being recommended by a university or college, and passing a background check, a teacher has the right to be licensed. Example: In addition to passing all required classes, each teacher needs a positive recommendation concerning teaching ability to receive an initial license. “The Board of Educational Examiners does not recommend either pedagogy or content state-mandated standardized testing at this time. The Board expresses confidence in the teacher preparation programs in Iowa and their ability to continually assess candidates on knowledge and skills that are required for licensure competence. The Board also expresses confidence in the state-mandated two-year beginning teacher mentoring and induction program and the revised evaluator training. The Board does not recommend state-mandated standardized testing as a condition for licensure." BOEE Meeting (July 30, 2004). Educators must complete an administrative program or endorsement plus Iowa Evaluator Training before obtaining an administrative license. Paraeducators and coaches must complete clock-hour requirements prior to obtaining authorization.

15 Right to Refuse Assignments
A teacher who is teaching outside his or her licensure is subject to a fine and disciplinary action. Example: A high school English teacher must hold a secondary license and a journalism endorsement to teach journalism. It is the principal’s responsibility to assign teachers to meet the needs of the school. After being unsuccessful in hiring a fully licensed and endorsed teacher, a school district may apply for a Class B (2-year conditional) license as evidence that a teacher is working to complete an endorsement. Effective September, 2005, the penalty for failure to have the appropriate license is an additional fee of $25 per month, up to a maximum of $150. If the applicant does not have a valid Iowa license, the penalty is $100 per month, up to a maximum of $500. This late payment penalty is not new policy, it is an extension oft he existing penalty to cover all forms of professional license.

16 Right to Refuse Assignments
Depending upon a school’s needs, a teacher may be asked to seek a conditional license by completing additional coursework. Example: A chemistry teacher may be asked to complete a coursework for a biology endorsement. In applying for positions, teachers can contact their institutes of higher education or BOEE consultants with requests to evaluate their transcripts for possible eligibility for conditional licenses. It is a violation for an administrator to assign a teacher to an area for which they are not endorsed (IAC Chapter 25.3, Standard VI: Delegating tasks to unqualified personnel). Contact the staff at the BOEE for assistance and clarification.

17 Right to Use Professional Judgment
Subject to local board/administrator authority, teachers may evaluate, select, and use teaching methods appropriate to student needs, abilities, and backgrounds. However, teacher judgment must align with district goals and initiatives Example: In teaching social studies content, one teacher may ask students to role play while another may assign reports. Teaching by its very nature requires constant professional judgment. For example, teachers regularly differentiate instruction to meet individual student needs.. The Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP) contains a District Career Development Plan (DCDP) which defines district wide professional development. Based on student achievement data, the DCDP drives district initiatives that are implemented by the entire staff. Teachers are obligated to participate in district professional development initiatives and implement according to training provided.

18 If You Have Questions, Contact…
Building/district administrators Board of Educational Examiners Local/State Education Associations School Administrators of Iowa Contact these sources if you have questions or concerns.

19 Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 25
IAC Chapter 25 outlines a system of moral principles or values for the Iowa educational profession.

20 Standards Standard I: Conviction of crimes, sexual or other immoral conduct with or toward a student, and child and dependent adult abuse Standard II: Alcohol or drug abuse The BOEE defines the ethics component of the educational profession through standards. The code of professional conduct and ethics constitutes mandatory minimum standards of practice for all licensed practitioners. Educators need to be aware of the details listed within the following standards. The following slides provide an overview of the eight standards. Chapter 25 was recently updated to reflect societal changes, new technologies, and high-stakes testing.

21 Standards (Continued)
Standard III: Misrepresentation, falsification of information Standard IV: Misuse of public funds and property Standard V: Violations of contractual obligations The standards help define the comprehensive role of educators as instructors, role models, managers, and respected members of the community. A violation of Standard III can occur if the application for licensure or renewal is fraudulent. An applicant applying for a license or renewal must report felony convictions, including those purported to be expunged. Failure to report could be considered fraudulent and result in being denied a license or renewal. The information contained on the application is confidential, but remains in the BOEE office.

22 Standards (Continued)
Standard VI: Unethical practice toward other members of the profession, parents, students, and the community Standard VII: Compliance with state law governing student loan obligations Standard VIII: Incompetence The standards in IAC Chapter 25 support the Iowa Teaching Standards and Criteria.

23 Case Study #1 A high school English teacher claimed to have earned a masters degree in As of 2002, she received close to $42,000 extra salary based on her fictitious degree. The teacher’s license was permanently revoked based on fraud and misrepresentation of facts and professional qualifications. The teacher resigned and repaid the district $20,000. According to Iowa law, districts are required to report to the BOEE when there is a contract non-renewal or termination or resignation based upon allegations of misconduct. See IAC Section

24 National Clearinghouse
Suspensions and revocations are posted on the National Association of State Directors for Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Website. To protect students, states are cooperating so that practitioners whose licenses who have been suspended or revoked are not free to practice in other states. This information is available to all state directors of education.

25 Case Study #2 A coach hired a student to baby-sit and secretively videotaped her trying on bathing suits. He told her that he intended to purchase the suits for his wife. The teacher was charged with a Class D Felony— sexual exploitation of a minor. His Iowa license was permanently revoked.

26 Case Study #3 A high school science teacher drove a student to a school athletic event. The student found marijuana in the teacher’s car which the two proceeded to smoke. The teacher claimed that her brother, who had recently borrowed her car, was the likely source. The teacher received a minimum two-year suspension with specific directives to complete before consideration of reinstatement of her license.

27 Case Studies #4-10 What standards did these practitioners violate?
How could these situations have been avoided? Please read the remaining case studies and consider your responses to the questions above as you view the remaining case studies. The following case studies 4-10 were developed using similar situations from other states, while aligning with Iowa standards. Again, according to Iowa law, districts are required to report to the BOEE when there is contract non-renewal or termination or resignation based upon allegations of misconduct (IAC Section ). For example, a practitioner who was convicted of an identified serious criminal offense would not be able to resign and teach in another district. Districts are also required to report all founded Chapter 102 violations of physical and sexual abuse (IAC 282: Chapter and Iowa Code Sexual exploitation by a counselor, therapist, or school employee). Call the BOEE for assistance.

28 Case Study #4 A teacher’s request for personal leave was denied based on the district’s policy of no personal days before or after Winter/Spring Break. The teacher called in ill. An investigation by the principal revealed that the teacher took a planned trip during the time he requested sick leave. If a complaint is filed with the BOEE, the teacher could be held in violation of Standard III: falsification of information.

29 Case Study #5 An elementary teacher locked money from student lunches, library books, field trips, and school fundraisers in her desk drawer. School policy required teachers to turn money into the office daily. An audit indicated that she turned in 60-70% less money than other teachers. She admitted to borrowing and not paying back the full amount. If a complaint is filed with the BOEE, the teacher could be held in violation of Standard IV (a, b, & d): failure to account properly, converting funds to personal use, and combining school related funds with personal funds.

30 Case Study #6 A middle school teacher purchased single copies of several software programs to use in class. Because of the limited number of copies, students could not easily work on their projects. A student was allowed to make additional copies to load on the remaining computers. If a complaint is filed with the BOEE, the teacher could be held in violation of Standard VI (m): failure to comply with copyright laws.

31 Case Study #7 A superintendent used corporal punishment on two 4th grade boys after they had been reprimanded and referred by recess supervisors. The boys’ parents complained and contacted the police. If a complaint is filed with the BOEE, the superintendent could be held in violation of Standard VI (c & d) failure to protect the safety of a student and unnecessary embarrassment.

32 Case Study #8 A High School teacher was distressed with student misbehavior. She submitted a letter of resignation to the Board secretary mid-semester but failed to notify the principal. The teacher did not report to work again. If a complaint is filed with the BOEE, the teacher could be held in violation of Standard V (3) abandoning a contract without release.

33 Case Study #9 An administrator, who could not find a teacher for one section of physics, ordered the band director, who held a Iowa K-12 instrumental music license with no endorsements, to teach that section. If a complaint is filed with the BOEE, the administrator could be held in violation of Standard VI (l): Delegating tasks to unqualified personnel.

34 Case Study #10 A teacher received a college grant with specific guidelines concerning where and how long to teach as well as payback provisions. He received several notices of default but failed to honor his loan obligations. If a complaint is filed with the BOEE, the teacher could be held in violation of Standard VII (a): failure to comply with IAC 282, Chapter 9 concerning repayment of student loans.

35 Questions What standard(s) did these practitioners violate?
How could these complaints have been avoided? Ask participants to discuss the questions at their table, record responses on their handouts, and share findings with the total group. Remind them that the criteria under the standards could vary based on additional details or circumstances.The answers included in this presentations for case studies 4-10 are suggestions.

36 Types of Sanctions Letter of Reprimand: Permanently on file; teacher continues to practice Suspension: Prohibited from practicing for a defined period of time, usually with requirements for additional training Revocation: Permanent loss of license with no opportunity for reapplying. This slide lists typical actions taken by the BOEE for founded complaints.

37 Situations of Potential Concern
Working alone with students Driving students home Testing for Accountability Using technology Ask participants to discuss, record, and describe how practitioners could address the potential concerns described on the next four slides. Ask participants to discuss, record, and describe how practitioners could address the potential concerns described on the next four slides.

38 Working Alone with Students
Tutorial session Music or art lesson Physical education/coaching Counseling before or after school In order to meet student needs and subject area requirements, some teaching does involve working alone with students. Teachers should exercise caution and be very aware of district policies in order to avoid situations that could be misinterpreted.

39 Driving Students Home School/district policies and procedures
Parent or guardian permission Documentation Most districts discourage teachers driving students home or to school events. Again, teachers should be aware of district policies.

40 Testing for Accountability
Prompting students Altering student answer sheets Teaching identified test items Improper administration of tests Inappropriate accommodations or modifications As districts focus on student achievement data, teachers need to closely adhere to standardized testing procedures. The BOEE has identified testing as an area of concern as detailed in Standard III of IAC Chapter 25. The Iowa Department of Education (DE), in collaboration with the Iowa Testing Programs (ITP), recently issued a sample policy on assessments and maintaining the integrity of the assessment process when testing for accountability purposes. After consultation with the Board of Educational Examiners, it was determined that the behaviors described in this slide would constitute a violation of Standard III (e): evaluation of students, including improper administration of any standardized test….” Teachers are expected to comply with Iowa law and their professional code of ethics to maintain the integrity of student assessments. For further information, contact the Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB).

41 Using Technology Appropriate websites Email accounts Legal software
Copyright Cyberbullying School computers, software, and networking are district and/or state property. It is important to understand that computer activities can be tracked by district technology support staff. Do not share your password with students or colleagues. When assigning Internet activities, choose topics carefully and make a “test run” prior to the assignment. Schools have filter software and firewalls, but home computers that lack protection may allow students to access harmful links to pornography or hate sites. Practitioners should be aware of local policies and that school is public information that could be used in a court of law.

42 It is essential that educators recognize their unique and influential role in society by honoring the standards established for their profession. Remember to maintain a professional relationship at all times. Inform the principal of unusual student behavior and incidents that may need administrative support. Keep them apprised of potential parent contacts.

43 Think About Your… Interactions with students
Knowledge of school policies and procedures Reputation in the community In other words, use common sense.

44 What is your role and responsibility in maintaining the high ethical standards that define our profession? Ask participants to think about what they have learned and write a brief reflection to use as an artifact for Standard 8 of the Iowa Teaching Standards. Allow time for participants to share their reflections.

45 Parents are the first teachers of their children, but teachers are the 2nd most influential in the lives of children. -- Author unknown Teaching is a trusted profession in which society holds teachers to the highest standard as role models. In accepting a position of public trust, teachers measure success by the progress of each student toward the realization of his or her potential as an effective citizen. The education of PreK-12th grade students guides all professional decisions and actions.

46 For additional information about licensure and endorsements, contact the BOEE office at or Practicing Iowa educators can check the status of their licenses at the BOEE website. A printout of licenses and endorsements can serve as a practitioner artifact.

47 © September 2005 Heartland AEA 11
Ethics in Iowa Education was created by Heartland AEA 11 in partnership with the Board of Educational Examiners. Project authors: Anita Westerhaus & Sue Swartz © September 2005 Heartland AEA 11 Johnston, Iowa

48 This is the end of the presentation. Thank you for participating.


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