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: Louisiana has minimum standards of performance for programs, but it has not established standards across all data that is collected. Currently, Louisiana has identified a standard of performance for licensure assessment data to identify "At-Risk" (80% to 86% pass rate) and "Low Performing" (less than 79% pass rate) programs, but these standards may be too low to be meaningful.
Beginning 2022, programs will be assessed using the Teacher Preparation Quality Rating System. Factors included in this rating system include: preparation program experience, meeting educator workforce needs, and teacher quality. Louisiana has set minimum standards of performance for each. Program experience ratings will be determined by on-site reviews which measure program quality on candidate selection, program content, clinical placement, program performance management. Programs are evaluated on how well they meet workforce needs by the percentage of completers in high need certification areas and the percentage of candidates completing residencies in high need schools. Points are assigned for teacher quality by the percentage of program completers in each evaluation rating category.
Program Accountability: Currently, Louisiana holds programs accountable for the one standard that is in place. Programs can move through various levels of consequences based on their classification as "At-Risk" and "Low Performing" and how many years they have remained at these levels. Failure to improve eventually results in loss of program approval.
Beginning in 2022, the state will use the Louisiana Teacher Preparation Quality Rating System as the basis for program approval for both university and non-university providers and hold programs accountable at the pathway level. The system has four ratings: Level 1 (Ineffective), Level 2 (Needs Improvement), Level 3 (Effective), and Level 4 (Highly Effective). Programs that receive a Level 1 or 2 are required to undergo a corrective action period with interventions or consequences
Programs that do not maintain a rating of Level 3 or better, "shall undergo a corrective action period" which includes an improvement plan. Progress reports based on the improvement plan are reviewed and be subject to one of the following interventions:
"a.require the provider to enact certain improvement recommendations for one or more pathways or programs;
b.designate program(s) as low performing and at risk of low performance per the federal Higher Education Act;
c.limit or discontinue enrollment for one or more pathways or programs;
d.discontinue the provider's ability to recommend teacher candidates for certification in one or more pathways or programs."
State Report Cards: Louisiana publishes annual report cards showing the data the state has collected on individual teacher preparation programs. These data are available on Louisiana's Teacher Preparation Data Dashboards. The state also publishes institutional ratings on the report cards. Additionally, beginning winter 2020-2021, the Louisiana Department of Education (LDE) will annually produce and make publicly available on its website a performance profile for each approved preparation provider and will biennially produce and make publicly available on its website a quality rating for each approved preparation provider. As of January 2021, these reports had yet to be published.
Program Approval Process: Louisiana maintains full authority over teacher preparation program approval and continuing approval. Additionally, all public universities are required to earn and maintain CAEP accreditation.
Board of Regents, Teacher Preparation Accountability System Overview (Revised - September 23, 2013) http://www.regents.la.gov/assets/docs/2013/10/Revised-Teacher-Preparation-Accountability-System-9.23.13.pdf Teacher Preparation Data Dashboards https://regents.la.gov/divisions/planning-research-and-academic-affairs/academic-affairs/teacher-education-initiatives/teacher-preparation-data-dashboards-fact-book/ Bulletin 996-Standards for Approval of Teacher and/or Educational Leader Preparation Programs, Chapter 4 Teacher Preparation Quality Rating System https://www.louisianabelieves.com/docs/default-source/key-initiatives/louisianas-key-initiatives_teacher-preparation-quality-rating-system.pdf?sfvrsn=5 Teacher Preparation Quality Rating System: Profile Methodology https://www.louisianabelieves.com/docs/default-source/teaching/teacher-preparation-performance-profile-methodology.pdf?sfvrsn=6e6b9f1f_6 Louisiana Teacher Preparation Provider On-Site Review Framework May 2020 https://www.louisianabelieves.com/docs/default-source/teaching/on-site-review-framework_2020.pdf?sfvrsn=5ac2981f_6
As a result of Louisiana's strong policies on reporting teacher preparation accountability data and holding preparation programs to meaningful standards based on data, no recommendations are provided.
Louisiana was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced this analysis. The state noted that it launched the Louisiana Teacher Prep website, which includes data the state has collected about individual preparation providers. Louisiana also indicated that ongoing program approval is based upon performance on the Teacher Preparation Quality Rating System.
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.