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: South Carolina has set some meaningful minimum standards of performance for the categories of data that programs must report. The state requires that institutions have at least a 95 percent pass rate for the Assisting, Developing, and Evaluating Professional Teaching (ADEPT) evaluation results of program completers. South Carolina also requires a summary pass rate on state licensure examinations of 80 percent. This 80 percent pass-rate standard, while common among states, sets the bar quite low and is not a meaningful measure of program performance.
Program Accountability: South Carolina has taken some steps to hold programs accountable for meeting minimum standards of performance but it could do more. Programs are categorized as "At Risk" or "Low Performing" based on their performance, but the state has not clearly articulated consequences for receiving these designations.
State Report Cards: South Carolina has a website for publishing fact sheets that include data collected on individual teacher preparation programs, but as of fall 2017 the website is not currently populated with information.
Program Approval Process: South Carolina maintains full authority over teacher preparation program approval. Although the state requires that programs be nationally accreditated in order to receive approval, "statutory authority to determine accreditation decisions for and impose sanctions against teacher education programs is granted to the State Board of Education."
Standards, Policies and Procedures for Educator Preparation Units http://ed.sc.gov/educators/educator-preparation/educator-preparation-units/accreditation/policies-and-regulations/standards-policies-and-procedures-for-south-carolina-educator-preparation-units/ State Board of Education Regulation 43-90 https://ed.sc.gov/state-board/state-board-of-education/additional-resources/regulations-table-of-contents/90-pdf/ Fact Sheets http://ed.sc.gov/educators/educator-preparation/approved-educator-programs/approved-educator-preparation-programs/
Ensure that criteria for program approval result in greater accountability.
South Carolina 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, rather than leaving consequences for "At Risk" and "Low Performing" programs vague. For programs exceeding minimum standards, South Carolina should consider finding effective ways to disseminate best practices.
Publish an annual report card on the state's website.
South Carolina should populate its program fact sheet website with information that clearly displays program-level data the state collects on individual teacher preparation programs. Data should be presented in a manner that transparently conveys whether programs have met performance standards.
South Carolina provided NCTQ with the facts necessary for this analysis.
The state also added that through a partnership with NTEP, it is developing updated guidelines for its educator preparation programs, and that these draft guidelines have been posted for public comment and are slated for additional development, review, and approval by the State Board of Education in fall 2017.
NCTQ looks forward to reviewing the state's progress in future editions of the Yearbook.
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.