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Teacher Reform: Rethinking Teacher Accreditation, Credentialing, and Tenure Policies. Jennifer Kuhn Director, K-12 Education Legislative Analyst’s Office August 2007. www.lao.ca.gov. Ensuring Teacher Quality.

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teacher reform rethinking teacher accreditation credentialing and tenure policies

Teacher Reform: Rethinking Teacher Accreditation, Credentialing, and Tenure Policies

Jennifer Kuhn

Director, K-12 Education Legislative Analyst’s Office August 2007


ensuring teacher quality
Ensuring Teacher Quality
  • California uses three systems to try to ensure teacher quality.
    • Accreditation
    • Credentialing
    • Probationary period
ensuring teacher quality continued
Ensuring Teacher Quality (Continued)
  • Accreditation:
    • Ensure teacher preparation institutions are of sufficient quality
  • Credentialing:
    • Ensure individual teacher candidates are of sufficient quality
  • Probationary period:
    • Ensure beginning teachers are of sufficient quality
outline of workshop
Outline of Workshop
  • In each of these three areas:
    • Review existing policies
    • Identify shortcomings/areas of concern
    • Discuss recommendations for reform
three accreditation systems
Three Accreditation Systems
  • Types of accreditation
    • Regional accreditation (required)
    • State accreditation (required)
    • National accreditation (voluntary)
  • Systems operate independently from one another
state accreditation system
State Accreditation System

Accreditation Standards

  • Each teacher preparation institution must meet:
    • 10 general preconditions
    • Program-specific preconditions
    • 8 common standards
    • 19 program standards
    • 116 program elements
state accreditation system continued
State Accreditation System (Continued)
  • Review of teacher preparation institution conducted by accreditation team
  • Team ranges in size from 2 to 15 reviewers
  • Team includes:
    • Reviewers selected from pool of faculty members, K-12 teachers, and administrators
    • Staff from Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC)
state accreditation system continued9
State Accreditation System (Continued)
  • Team conducts site visit every 5 to 7 years
  • Team examines program documents and interviews program participants
state accreditation system continued10
State Accreditation System (Continued)
  • Team makes a recommendation to CTC’s Committee on Accreditation
  • Institution can be:
    • Accredited
    • Accredited with stipulations
    • Denied accreditation
most recent accreditation cycle
Most Recent Accreditation Cycle
  • From 1997-2002, accreditation teams visited 73 campuses.
most recent accreditation cycle continued
Most Recent Accreditation Cycle (Continued)
  • How many were denied accreditation?
    • 0
    • 3
    • 7
    • 12
most recent accreditation cycle continued13
Most Recent Accreditation Cycle (Continued)
  • How many received full accreditation?
    • 73
    • 50
    • 36
    • 25
state accredited institutions
State-Accredited Institutions
  • Today, 92 state-accredited teacher preparation institutions operate in California.
    • 53 private colleges and universities
    • 22 CSU campuses
    • 8 UC campuses
    • 9 local education agencies
shortcomings of existing state accreditation system
Shortcomings of Existing State Accreditation System
  • Standards vague
  • Reviews subjective
  • Reviews occur too infrequently
  • System almost entirely input-oriented
moving toward performance based accreditation system
Moving Toward Performance-Based Accreditation System
  • Institutions would report performance data each year
  • Intervention would be more targeted
  • Data would be made easily accessible
new system based on program performance
New System Based on Program Performance
  • Teacher preparation institutions would be assessed based on:
    • Average scores on state-required teacher assessments
    • Graduation rates
    • Employment rates
    • Three-year retention rates
    • Employer satisfaction rates
    • Student improvement
new system reviews performance every year
New System Reviews Performance Every Year
  • Teacher preparation institutions would provide performance data every year
  • If met set performance thresholds, institution would retain accreditation
new system targets assistance
New System Targets Assistance
  • If teacher preparation institution fails to meet one or more performance thresholds, state would provide targeted assistance
  • If program does not improve within reasonable period of time, its accreditation would be revoked
new system maximizes value of performance information
New System Maximizes Value of Performance Information
  • Aggregated performance data would be posted on the Web
  • Site also would display growth measures and similar-school rankings
basic types of credentials
Basic Types of Credentials
  • The CTC currently issues more than 40 different types of teacher licenses
    • 20 types of teaching credentials
    • 8 types of teaching certificates
    • 4 types of teaching short-term permits
    • 8 types of emergency permits
    • 1 credential waiver
  • The CTC has more than 90 different types of outdated licensing documents
most common types of credentials
Most Common Types of Credentials
  • Multiple Subject Credential
  • Single Subject Credential
  • Education Specialist Credential
  • Within each of these categories, CTC issues:
    • Preliminary credentials
    • Professional credentials
    • Renewal credentials
types of credential authorizations
Types of Credential Authorizations
  • Single Subject Credential
    • 21 basic authorizations
    • 26 subject matter authorizations
    • 63 supplementary authorizations
  • Education Specialist Credential
    • 6 basic authorizations
  • Career Technical Credential
    • 173 basic authorizations
layers of requirements
Layers of Requirements
  • Teachers need to meet:
    • Initial requirements to obtain preliminary credential
    • Subsequent requirements to obtain professional clear credential
    • Supplemental requirements to obtain an authorization
    • Fill out paperwork to receive renewal credential
layers of duplication
Layers of Duplication
  • Credential applications reviewed by:
    • Teacher preparation institution
    • CTC staff
    • County office of education
recommend major credential reform
Recommend Major Credential Reform
  • Reduce the types of credential documents issued
  • Simplify credential requirements
  • Eliminate duplication
simplify while still ensuring quality
Simplify While Still Ensuring Quality
  • Authorize credentials in broad categories
  • Eliminate preliminary, professional, renewal documents
  • Eliminate most authorizations
  • Fund beginning teacher support
eliminate duplication
Eliminate Duplication
  • State Option:
    • For in-state applications, require universities and CTC to process applications within 30 days of end of term
    • For out-of-state applications, require CTC to process applications within 30 days
    • Eliminate most temporary county certificates
eliminate duplication continued
Eliminate Duplication(Continued)
  • Local Option:
    • Require universities to process applications within 30 days of end of term and forward basic data to state
    • Require county offices of education to process out-of-state credentials within 30 days and forward basic data to state
brief history of california s tenure policies
Brief History of California’s Tenure Policies
  • From 1927 to 1982:
    • California had a three-year probationary period
    • Probationary employees had certain legal rights to challenge dismissal decisions
brief history of california s tenure policies continued
Brief History of California’s Tenure Policies (Continued)
  • Since 1982:
    • California has had a two-year probationary period
    • Probationary employees have reduced legal rights to challenge dismissal decisions
california s evaluation policies
California’s Evaluation Policies
  • Probationary teachers must be evaluated at least once a year
  • Permanent/tenured teachers must evaluated at least once every two years
  • Tenured teachers who receive an unsatisfactory evaluation must be assessed annually until they receive a satisfactory evaluation or are dismissed
california s dismissal policies
California’s Dismissal Policies
  • Statute permits a tenured teacher to be dismissed as a result of unsatisfactory performance
  • Dismissal process consists of ten-some stages
number of dismissal cases
Number of Dismissal Cases
  • From 1996 to 2005, approximately how many teacher dismissal hearings were conducted in California?
    • 0
    • 100
    • 1,000
    • 10,000
concerns with existing system
Concerns with Existing System
  • Two-year probationary period can be too short
  • Evaluation process largely disconnected from job retention, promotion, and compensation
  • Dismissal process can be time-intensive and expensive
reform options probationary period
Reform Options— Probationary Period
  • Consider three or four-year probationary period, with permission to grant permanent status any time after 6 months
    • Allows districts to reward especially promising new teachers
    • Allows districts time to transfer teachers to new sites
    • Allows districts time to assist struggling teachers
reform options evaluation process
Reform Options— Evaluation Process
  • Strengthen evaluation process
    • Clarify performance standards/expectations
    • Link evaluation to job retention and promotion
    • Train school leaders to conduct rigorous teacher evaluations
    • Significantly improve teacher information system