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: Connecticut does not set minimum standards of performance for the data that programs must report. Data from the Educator Preparation Program (EPP) Dashboard will be used as part of the requirements to determine program approval. Some of the accountability indicators are: best attempt pass rates for licensure exams, employment survey data for program completers in Connecticut hard-to-staff or high-need schools, and the persistence rate. However, there are no performance benchmarks for these data. The EPP Dashboard has not been launched as of January 2021.
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: The EPP dashboard will include indicators such as: program completer rates, employment and persistence rates, licensure exam pass rates of program completers and the employment of program completers in hard-to-staff schools.
Program Approval Process: Connecticut does not maintain full authority over the teacher preparation program approval process. Connecticut mandates 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). CAEP is utlized for ongoing program approval. Starting in 2018, the state began requiring programs to provide accountability indicators on the EPP Dashboard and uses these data "in conjunction with CAEP accreditation findings to determine continuing program approval for all Connecticut EPPs." Although the EPP Dashboard is not publicly available until Fall 2020, the state uses the Dashboard Data internally for program review.
Connecticut General Statutes 10-146h Educator Preparation Program (EPP) Dashboard Indicators https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/SDE/EPAC/ed_prep_data_reporting_indicators_8-2-2016.doc Program Approval https://portal.ct.gov/SDE/Certification/Program-Approval
Establish the minimum standards of performance for each category of data.
Connecticut 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 that criteria for program approval result in greater accountability.
Connecticut should ensure that programs are held accountable for meeting minimum standards of performance, and that the state's accountability system is sufficient to differentiate performance among programs, including alternate route programs. The state should establish clear follow-up actions for programs failing to meet these standards, including remediation or loss of program approval as appropriate. For programs exceeding minimum standards, STATE should consider finding effective ways to disseminate best practices.
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.
Maintain full authority over the process for approving teacher preparation programs.
Connecticut 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.
Connecticut was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced this analysis.
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.