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: Nebraska does not require programs to collect data, and therefore does not set minimum standards of performance for these data.
Program Accountability: As a result of the lack of minimum standards of performance, Nebraska does not articulate consequences for programs that fail to meet specific criteria.
State Report Cards: Nebraska produces annual institutional reports that contain content test pass rates. The state has also published 1st Year Teacher Employment Surveys, but these data appear to be aggregated across all institutions.
Program Approval Process: Nebraska allows overlap of CAEP accreditation and state approval. Educator preparation programs have the option of obtaining CAEP accreditation. CAEP review findings are utilized by the state to "make a decision on continued state approval," and are the sole requirement for continuing program approval.
Nebraska Administrative Code Title 92, Chapter 20 Nebraska CAEP Agreement http://caepnet.org/working-together/~/media/Files/caep/state-partners/ne-partnershipagreement.pdf?la=en 2018 First Year Teacher Employment Survey https://cdn.education.ne.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/2018NFYTSSummary.pdf 2019 Institutional Report Summary https://cdn.education.ne.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/UNL-2019-Report.pdf
Establish the minimum standards of performance for each category of data.
Nebraska 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.
Nebraska 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, Nebraska should consider finding effective ways to disseminate best practices.
Maintain full authority over the process for approving teacher preparation programs.
Nebraska 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.
Nebraska asserted that the words "meaningful" and "unfortunately" are subjective and should be removed from the 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.