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: Michigan no longer sets and makes public minimum standards of performance for programs.
Previously, program performance was compared to these standards in the annual Educator Preparation Institution (EPI) score reports. Programs earned points based on three criteria: passage rates on the Michigan Tests for Teacher Certification (MTTC); satisfaction and perception data from surveys administered to teacher candidates and candidate supervisors, twice annually; and evaluation ratings of program completers' effectiveness in the classroom. However, the state is no longer publishing EPI reports.
Program Accountability: Michigan state policy requires programs to submit data "for a determination of its annual teacher preparation provider performance score." However, the state no longer publishes Educator Preparation Institution reports.
Previously, all programs were assigned a phase in the state's EPI corrective action system. The phase determined the EPI's reported performance category and thus the corrective action requirements expected for the next year. The state mandates that "a phase number of 0 or 1 results in a reported category of Satisfactory; a phase number of 2 or 3 results in a reported category of At Risk; and a phase number of 4 through 6 results in a reported category of Low Performing." Programs in the Low Performing category must take corrective action or they may be shut down. However, it appears the state is no longer issuing these ratings.
State Report Cards: Michigan no longer 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: Michigan does not maintain full authority over the teacher preparation program approval process. Instead, the state requires that programs are approved by the state's Office of Educator Excellence (OEE) for initial approval and for reapproval when standards for individual endorsement programs are updated, regardless of the program's national accreditation status. Once full approval is granted, ongoing program approval is based on national accreditation through Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) or via a state review by the OEE.
Michigan Administrative Code R 390.1151
Establish the minimum standards of performance for each category of data.
Michigan 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.
Michigan 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, Michigan should consider finding effective ways to disseminate best practices.
Publish an annual report card on the state's website.
Michigan should produce an annual report card that clearly displays program-level data the state collects on individual teacher preparation programs. This report card should be publicly available on the state's website, at a minimum. Data should be presented in a manner that transparently conveys whether programs have met performance standards.
Maintain full authority over the process for approving teacher preparation programs.
While Michigan retains authority over initial program approval, the state should not cede its program renewal authority to another accrediting body; instead, the state should 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.
Michigan indicates that it still calculates the EPI Performance Score to monitor performance of providers and publishes the final label within the federally required Title II reporting each year. The calculation of performance is undergoing a redesign and is not being publicly published as it undergoes the conversion, piloting, and validation of the new score.
Michigan asserted that it does maintain full authority over the process for approving teacher preparation programs. Earning and maintaining national accreditation is a requirement for maintenance of ongoing institutional approval to operate as an educator preparation institution, but processes for approval for specific programs of study (as well as recommendations for closure) are governed entirely by the MDE's Office of Educator Excellence (OEE). When standards for individual endorsement programs are updated, the OEE engages all EPIs with existing programs in the updated fields to submit a program application for review and re-approval, regardless of an EPI's accreditation status with CAEP or an individual program's accreditation with a specialized professional association. As part of the site visit for CAEP accreditation, OEE representatives review and update records of the EPI's program approvals to ensure that all programs being offered have passed review under the current preparation standards for each field, as well as review individual programs' licensure test data with the EPI to ensure that candidates demonstrate comparable proficiency across all pathways within a given endorsement field (major, minor, etc.).
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.