General Teacher Preparation Policy
The state's approval process for teacher preparation programs should hold programs accountable for the quality of the teachers they produce. This goal was reorganized in 2021.
Minimum Standards of Performance: Arkansas sets minimum standards of performance for the data collected as part of the state's Educator Preparation Program Quality Report. Institutions are rated on whether they have met the following standards.
Rules Governing Educator Licensure http://dese.ade.arkansas.gov/public/userfiles/Legal/Legal-Current%20Rules/2020/ADE_317_Educator_Licensure_Final.pdf Protocol for the Review and Approval of Programs of Study at Institutions of Higher Education Leading to Educator Licensure in Arkansas http://dese.ade.arkansas.gov/public/userfiles/Educator_Effectiveness/Educator_Preparation/Prep_Protocols_Traditional_7_8_2020.pdf Educator Preparation Provider Quality Reports: https://eis.ade.arkansas.gov/eppr/default.aspx Arkansas Code 6-17-422(h) Arkansas CAEP Agreement http://caepnet.org/working-together/state-partners
Ensure program accountability decisions are based on minimum standards of performance.
While Arkansas has the structure of a program accountability system, including
follow-up actions for programs failing to meet standards, the state should base program approval on minimum standards of performance and not just national accreditation. Program accountability should be based on multiple measures determined by the state, not just national or regional accreditation status. For programs exceeding minimum standards, Arkansas should consider finding
effective ways to disseminate best practices.
Maintain full authority over the process for approving teacher preparation programs.
Arkansas should not cede its approval authority to another accrediting body; instead, the state should ensure that it is the entity that directly considers the evidence of program performance and makes the final determination of whether programs should continue to be authorized to prepare teachers.
Arkansas was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts necessary for this analysis. The state also noted that, the "Public school student learning outcomes" has not yet been reported in the Educator Preparation Program Quality Report (EPPQR) due to lack of aggregate data to create trend analysis. Arkansas indicated that once it has collected the appropriate amount of aggregate data in this field, it will be included in the EPPQR.
1D: Program Reporting Requirements
The state should examine a number of factors when measuring the performance of and approving teacher preparation programs. Although the quality of both the subject-matter preparation and professional sequence is crucial, there are also additional measures that can provide the state and the public with meaningful, readily understandable indicators of how well programs are doing when it comes to preparing teachers to be successful in the classroom.
States have made great strides in building data systems with the capacity to provide evidence of teacher performance. These same data systems can be used to link teacher effectiveness to the teacher preparation programs from which they came. States should make such data, as well as other objective measures that go beyond licensure test pass rates, central components of their teacher preparation program approval processes, and they should establish precise standards for performance that are more useful for accountability purposes.
National accrediting bodies, such as CAEP, are raising the bar, but are no substitute for states' own policy. A number of states now have somewhat more rigorous academic standards for admission by virtue of requiring that programs meet CAEP's accreditation standards. However, whether CAEP will uniformly uphold its standards (especially as they have already backtracked on the GPA requirement) and deny accreditation to programs that fall short of these admission requirements remains to be seen. Clear state policy would eliminate this uncertainty and send an unequivocal message to programs about the state's expectations.