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: New York does not set meaningful minimum standards of performance for the data that programs must report. The state does require a summary pass rate on state licensure examinations of 80%. This 80% pass rate standard, while common among states, sets the bar quite low and is not a meaningful measure of program performance. New York also states in regulation that the state will suspend a graduate-level program's ability to admit new students if less than 50% of program completers pass their licensure exams over a three-year period.
Program Accountability: New York articulates consequences for programs that fail to meet specific criteria, although the 80% pass rate is not a meaningful minimum standard.The department will conduct a program review if less than 80% of program completers fail a certification examination. The institution will have to submit a corrective action plan to be approved by the department, the effectiveness of which will be assessed within three years. The program will be "subject to denial of re-registration" if the department does not approve the plan or determines that the institution is not meeting the terms of the plan, and the department determines that the institution is not meeting other requirements.
State Report Cards: New York does not produce and publish an annual report card that shows all the data the state collects on individual teacher preparation programs. The state does have a website that could be used to report such data, but there is currently no data available.
Program Approval Process: New York maintains full authority over the teacher preparation program approval process. The state confers initial program approval (registration) and continuing program approval (re-registration). New York also requires programs to be continuously accredited from a professional accrediting association that is approved by, or seeking recognition from, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the U.S. Department of Education.
Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Title 8 Section 52.21 Laws of New York, Chapter 56, Section 210-b Higher education data reports http://data.nysed.gov/lists.php?type=higher Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs http://www.highered.nysed.gov/ocue/accred/Edprogramaccred.html
Establish meaningful minimum standards of performance for each category of data.
New York should establish precise minimum standards for teacher preparation program performance for each category of data it collects to help clarify expectations regarding program quality. The 80 percent pass rate standard is too low to be a meaningful minimum standard.
Publish an annual report card on the state's website.
New York 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.
New York was helpful in providing NCTQ with 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.