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: California does not set minimum standards of performance for the data that programs must supply in annual reports submitted by institution. The state requires programs to submit: survey data, candidate performance assessment data, and program effectiveness data. However, the state does not set minimum standards of performance for these data.
Program Accountability: Although California does not set minimum standards of performance, the state reviews educator preparation providers (EPP) and makes one of the following recommendations, "accreditation," "accreditation with stipulations," or "denial of accreditation." Individual programs that are nationally accredited are subject to the ratings of the national accrediting body. However, all programs within an EPP are considered when determining the accreditation status of the EPP.
State Report Cards: California produces annual reports by institution providing data such as: licensure exam pass rates, candidate demographics, and median GPA of program completers and individuals accepted. The Approved Institutions and Programs Dashboard indicates each institution's accreditation status.
Program Approval Process: Preparation programs in California have the option of obtaining state-only accreditation or national accreditation. However, programs that opt for national or professional accreditation, require a review of standards to ensure alignment with California standards. If California determines that its standards are not adequately addressed, the state "may approve the requested standards but also require the institution to address the additional aspects found in the California Standards."
Reports by institution https://www.ctc.ca.gov/commission/reports/data/reports-by-institution Approved Institutions and Programs https://www.ctc.ca.gov/commission/reports/data/approved-institutions-and-programs Education Code 44373 and 44374 Accreditation https://www.ctc.ca.gov/educator-prep/accred-alignment Accreditation Framework https://www.ctc.ca.gov/docs/default-source/educator-prep/pdf/accreditation_framework Accreditation Handbook https://www.ctc.ca.gov/educator-prep/accred-handbook California CAEP Agreement http://caepnet.org/working-together/state-partners
Establish the minimum standards of performance for each category of data.
California should establish precise minimum standards for teacher preparation program performance for each category of data it collects to help clarify expectations regarding program quality.
Ensure program accountability decisions are based on minimum standards of performance.
While California has the structure of a program accountability system, including follow-up actions for programs failing to meet standards, it has not set minimum standards it can use to implement this accountability process. As California further develops its accountability system, it should ensure that the system is sufficient to differentiate performance among programs, including alternate route programs, and that it is clear at what point a program's approval will be revoked. For programs exceeding minimum standards, California should consider finding effective ways to disseminate best practices.
Maintain full authority over the process for approving teacher preparation programs.
California should not cede any of its approval authority to another accrediting body; instead, the state should ensure that it is the entity that directly considers all the evidence of program performance and makes the final determination of whether programs should continue to be authorized to prepare teachers.
California indicated that although it allows institutions to seek national accreditation for specific programs or for the educator preparation unit, the California program review and institutional accreditation process is required for all Commission-approved institutions and the programs it offers.
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.