2017 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 2017.
Minimum Standards of Performance: Connecticut does not set minimum standards of performance for the data that programs must report.
Program Accountability: As a result of the lack of minimum standards of performance, Connecticut does not articulate consequences for programs that fail to meet specific criteria.
State Report Cards: Currently, Connecticut only makes available pass rates for the Foundations of Reading, Early Childhood and Reading Specialist test by institution on its website.
Program Approval Process: Connecticut does not maintain full authority over the teacher preparation program approval process. Effective September 1, 2017, Connecticut has mandated that all educator preparation institutions and alternate route to certification programs seek and maintain national accreditation through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), and declared "CAEP standards as the basis for continuing program approval." Previously, Connecticut's State Board of Education maintained full authority over educator preparation program approval.
Public Act No. 15-243 (2015) https://www.cga.ct.gov/2015/ACT/PA/2015PA-00243-R00HB-07021-PA.htm Pass Rates http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/cwp/view.asp?a=2613&Q=333728 Approval of Educator Preparation Advisory Council (EPAC) Recommendations http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/pdf/board/boardmaterials120716/approval_of_educator_preparation_advisory_council_epac_recommendations.pd
Publish an annual report card on the state's website.
While Connecticut makes some of the data it collects available at the institution level, the state should continue its progress toward producing an annual report card that clearly displays all program-level data the state collects on individual teacher preparation programs. The state should ensure that it presents data in its new Educator Preparation Data Dashboard in a manner that transparently conveys whether programs have met performance.
Regain full authority over the process for approving teacher preparation programs.
Recently, Connecticut ceded its authority over program approval to CAEP. This change is particularly detrimental as CAEP recently lowered its admission standards. Connecticut can continue to mandate that preparation programs be nationally accredited, but it is important that the state 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.
Connecticut was helpful in providing NCTQ with the facts necessary for this analysis.
Connecticut also noted that it will be rolling out a public Educator Preparation Data Dashboard in the fall of 2017 that will report information collected by the state on individual teacher preparation programs.
NCTQ looks forward to reviewing the state's progress in future editions of the Yearbook.
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.