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: Delaware has set and made public minimum standards of performance for programs. Program performance is compared to these standards in the annual Educator Preparation Program reports and programs receive points based on their performance against these standards.
Program Accountability: Delaware holds programs accountable for meeting minimum standards of performance. Programs are categorized by tiers based on their overall performance. The state mandates that programs meet established standards in order to achieve approval. Programs that do not meet standards are placed on probation. If programs are on probation for longer than four years, their approval will be revoked. Probationary programs that have had this status for two years are not able to accept new candidates.
State Report Cards: Delaware publishes annual report cards showing the data the state has collected on individual teacher preparation programs and the programs' performance against the state's standards.
Program Approval Process: Delaware maintains full authority over the teacher preparation program approval process. The state also requires national accreditation as program approval, although national accreditation is not enough to ensure, nor does it guarantee, program approval.
Delaware Administrative Code Title 14, 290 Delaware Code Title 14, Chapter 12, § 1280 Educator Preparation Program Reports http://www.doe.k12.de.us/domain/398
As a result of Delaware's strong policies on reporting teacher preparation accountability data and holding preparation programs to meaningful standards based on data, no recommendations are provided.
Delaware was helpful in providing NCTQ with the facts necessary for 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.