The following are questions from NYSTEEA members to Mr. Philip Dettellis
Assistant in Instructional Services
Technology Education – http://www.p12.nysed.gov/cte/technology/
Career and Technical Education, http://www.p12.nysed.gov/cte/
NYS Education Department – Room 315 EB
89 Washington Avenue – Albany, NY 12234
Ph: (518) 402-5349 – pdetteli@mail.nysed.gov


Please clarify.

What is the proper certification needed to teach engineering/pre-engineering courses in New York State?

Endicott, New York

A school is required to place a teacher in a classroom with an appropriate New York State teacher certification. In the case of engineering/pre-engineering courses the appropriate teacher certification is technology (industrial arts). A policy statement entitled “Engineering-Related Courses or Programs in Grades 9-12” can be found at
http://www.p12.nysed.gov/cte/technology/engineer.html Some important excerpts from this policy statement include:

In NYS, engineering-related courses are a subset within technology education programs. As such, Commissioner’s Regulations and policies governing technology education programs in public schools apply to engineering-related courses and programs.


Teachers of technology education and engineering-related courses must be certified in technology education. Other CTE or academic subject certification may not be substituted.

To summarize: schools may offer engineering based courses, these courses are to be taught by teachers who hold a technology teacher certification, and these courses are to be treated as technology courses.


A question on Minimum Allowable Seat Time for Technology Education classes.

With the technology education seat time requirement built into the middle school mandate, what is the acceptable (minimum) time in minutes that middle school programs should be providing our students in every school within New York State by the end of grade 8?

Wellsville, NY

The seat time requirement in the middle level technology mandate is for one unit of study between grades 5-8. The definition for a unit of study is “at least 180 minutes of instruction per week throughout the school year, or the equivalent”. The link to the definition for a Unit of study is http://www.p12.nysed.gov/part100/pages/1001.html


Technology Education Classes and Intervention Services

I have encountered conflicting situations where students are removed from mandated middle school technology education programs in order for them to receive remediation via the Academic Intervention Service (AIS) program.

I find this troubling when students lose out from technology education experiences either long term or permanently. Should school districts be removing students from technology education experiences for either long term or for their middle school years?

Great Neck, NY

Students receiving Academic Intervention Services (AIS) may have their technology education program “reduced but not eliminated” according to Commissioner’s Regulation 100.4 c, 5, ii http://www.p12.nysed.gov/part100/pages/1004.html

More specifically this regulation goes on to say:

“Academic intervention services shall be provided in a manner that does not diminish instructional time to a degree that may prevent a student from achieving the State learning standards in any area required for graduation or from meeting local standards for promotion. A principal shall consider a student’s abilities, skills and interests in determining the subjects for which the unit of study requirements may be reduced”.

This means that a student enrolled in AIS is still entitled to a technology education experience that will expose the student to the technology Learning Standards, and a school should not engage in a blanket process whereby all students enrolled in an AIS program are systematically removed from any one particular class, including but not limited to technology.


Who Teaches Project Lead The Way Courses in NYS?

NYSTEEA is concerned about certain classroom products, like Project Lead The Way, that are now marketing themselves as STEM courses vs pre-engineering.

Where are we with that certification question when it comes to the delivery of PLTW courses like Principles of Engineering, Digital Electronics, Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Engineering Design and Development (EDD), Design and Development for Production (DDP), Civil Engineering, Aerospace, etc…….??

White Plains, NY

This is a rather interesting question: one that becomes more complex when you consider New York is a Learning Standards State, and not a curriculum endorsing State. The obligation of responsibility for Learning Standards alignment and appropriately certified teacher placement exists at the local level. In other words, the school district must determine what Learning Standards are primarily being covered by a given course, and then place an appropriately certified teacher in that assignment.

This issue becomes complicated by vendors, such as, but not limited to, PLTW who market their products across the country to as many potential customers as possible. In doing this, PLTW suggests that math and science teachers, as well as technology teachers are appropriately certified to deliver their courses (i.e. marketing their courses as STEM); however, such vendors do not hold any authority in New York to determine who is appropriately certified to deliver their courses.

Practically speaking, most of the courses that your question is referring to are primarily engineering courses that also address math and science concepts. The primary Learning Standard that these courses address is paramount to determining the appropriate teacher certification for such courses (done at a local level). If you accept that PLTW courses address technology and engineering Learning Standards primarily, and science and math standards play a supportive role, then you can see how the appropriate teacher certification for these courses would be technology education. Please keep in mind New York’s policy statement requiring that engineering courses be taught by technology teachers only. http://www.p12.nysed.gov/cte/technology/engineer.html In other words, in New York State, the appropriate teacher certification for the delivery of engineering based courses applies to most PLTW courses, and that appropriate teacher certification is technology.

There are exceptions however. An argument could be made at a local level that a PLTW, or other vendor course, in Bio-technology might truly address technology and science standards equally. In this situation a case could be made for a science teacher to deliver such a course, but this is the exception and not the norm. Most of the courses you are referring to are primarily aligned to technology and engineering standards. You can see how this gets rather confusing.

Finally, I would like to address a practice that some savvy curriculum administrators might consider engaging in, in an effort to assign a non-technology (industrial arts) teacher to deliver a PLTW or other engineering based course. In the first paragraph of this e-mail, I explained that “the obligation of responsibility for Learning Standards alignment and appropriately certified teacher placement is at the local level”. One might think that if a school conducts a Learning Standards alignment which depicts science Learning Standards as the primarily aligned discipline to a particular engineering course’s content, they could then place a science teacher in that assignment. Although this might look good on paper, it would constitute a “sham” curricular alignment if the results of such an alignment were predetermined by the district as aligned to science and conducted for the purpose of placing an inappropriately certified teacher into this assignment. The school district must conduct any Learning Standards alignments with fidelity! If a school district truly comes to the conclusion (at a local level) that a particular course is primarily aligned to science Learning Standards, then the appropriate teacher certification for the delivery of said course is science, however, if a school district conducted a Learning Standards alignment with fidelity to the courses you are referring to in this question, they would find that they are primarily aligned to technology and engineering Learning Standards, and therefore, must be delivered by a technology teacher. In plain English, most PLTW courses are primarily aligned to New York State’s technology Learning Standards; therefore, they must be delivered by a teacher certified in technology education including the former industrial arts certification.


Concerns about Someone Teaching Technology Education Courses outside of their certification.

I am aware of some teachers teaching technology education out of their area of certification.

What is allowable here in terms of the number of courses and sections (classroom periods) a certain teacher can teach outside of their instructional area of certification?

Albany, NY

The term used to refer to a teacher delivering instruction in a Learning Standard area outside of their NYS teacher certification is called “Incidental Teaching”. Part 80.3 of the Commissioner’s Regulations outlines this option which can be found in its entirety at http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/part80-5.html The first paragraph of this regulation reads as follows:

“A superintendent of schools may assign a teacher to teach a subject not covered by such a teacher’s certificate or license for a period not to exceed five classroom hours a week, when no certified or qualified teacher is available after extensive and documented recruitment, and provided that approval of the commissioner is obtained in accordance with the following requirements:”

In simple terms this means a school may allow a teacher to offer instruction in an area outside of their certification (typically one period a day) if the school has engaged an “extensive and documented recruitment” process and no teacher was found to be available. To clarify, this does not allow a school to elevate a teacher from .8 FTE to 1 FTE because it would be convenient, or to assign 5 teachers to take on one class each of another teacher’s course load in order to reduce staff. The incidental teaching option is intended to assist schools who are truly finding it difficult to locate a qualified teacher in a timely manner. It is also not meant to be a permanent solution to a school’s staffing needs. Incidental teaching is a temporary measure to be enacted in emergency situations.

NYSTEEA Notes: If you are a school district administrator who is searching for a certified technology education teacher, please contact the Technology Education Departments at Buffalo State College or Oswego State University.


Can Microsoft Experiences be used in place of middle school technology education Programs?

I have been made aware of Microsoft Office experiences replacing technology education programs at the middle school. Are schools out of compliance when they use this software / IT / ET experiences in place of traditional mandated middle school technology education programs? These same schools seem to be calling these programs technology education as if they are one in the same. Is this true?

Cheektowaga, NY

Basic computer skills such as word processing, spreadsheets, internet searching, data base usage, etc. are commonly integrated in and across all educational disciplines; however, some schools do offer stand alone courses in general computer usage. Basic computer skills courses are most appropriately taught by teachers who hold a certificate in either business education, Educational Technology Specialist, or Library Media Specialist, however, there is no Learning Standard in basic computer usage; therefore, any teacher certification may be used provided the grade bands for the teacher’s certificate align with the students being taught, and there are no CTE sequence limitations that require a specific teacher certificate to be in place.
It is important to note that basic computer skills courses do not constitute technology education, and should not be used to fulfill the regulatory requirement for technology education outlined in Commissioner’s Regulation part 100.4 c, 1, v http://www.p12.nysed.gov/part100/pages/1004.html
Appropriate computer experiences in a technology program include but are not limited to computer programming, web based programming, Computer Aided Design (CAD), Data Base Design and Construction, Digital Video Production, etc.


All schools in NYS should be delivering the technology education mandate in middle school.

According to the Commissioner’s regulations, should ALL schools (including the Big 5) within the State of NY, be delivering one full year of middle school technology education and what certification is allowable for teachers delivering middle school technology?

Pittsford, NY

Commissioner’s Regulation part 100.4 c, 1, v http://www.p12.nysed.gov/part100/pages/1004.html states “all students shall be provided instruction designed to enable them to achieve, by the end of grade eight, State intermediate learning standards through: technology education, one unit of study”. In other words, a school must offer its students the equivalent of one unit of study in the program area known as technology within grades 5-8. A common model offers students 20 weeks of technology in grade 7 and 20 weeks in grade 8, although any combination of time may be offered within grades 5-8 as long as they equal one unit.
Technology education is a program area that aligns to the mathematics, science, technology (MST) learning standard #5 for technology education http://www.p12.nysed.gov/cte/technology/learn.html
Although there is no mandatory course for technology, in 1993 the State Education Department published a curricular guidance piece titled “Technology Education: Introduction To Technology grades 7 & 8” http://www.p12.nysed.gov/cte/technology/pub/
What is mandatory, is that a school offer one unit in a course aligned to the technology learning standard (#5) that is delivered by a teacher certified in technology (formerly industrial arts).
All public schools (including the Big 5) are expected to comply with the regulatory requirement for one unit of study in technology by the time a student completes 8th grade.