The New Jersey Higher Education Taskforce Report and Recommendations The New Jersey State Board of Education Wednesday, December 19, 2007 Trenton, New Jersey
New Jersey Higher Education Taskforce • Chair: Dr. Ada Beth Cutler, Dean, College of Education and Human Services, Montclair State University • State Consultant: Dr. Janice Poda, Deputy Superintendent, South Carolina State Department of Education • 15 Members from Higher Education - Deans, Associate Deans, Directors, Faculty of Professional Preparation Programs (the College of New Jersey, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Kean University, Montclair State University, New Jersey City University, Princeton University, Richard Stockton State College, Rider University, Rowan University, Rutgers University, Seton Hall University, William Paterson University) • 3 Members from the Public Schools – Assistant Superintendent, Supervisors • Representation from the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education • Representation from the State Academic Content Specialists • Total of seven meetings (October 2006 to June 2007)
The Underlying Premise of the Taskforce The state, higher education, and P-12 education communities have collective responsibility to ensure that programs prepare, graduate, and recommend educator candidates of high quality who meet state and national standards.
Five Framing Questions • How can we design a more effective and efficient method of program approval that ensures teacher candidates are meeting national and state standards? • How can we revise the current process of program approval to better prepare students for their chosen profession? How can we ensure that the students are learning the required professional knowledge and skills and acquiring the necessary dispositions to be effective educators? • How can we incorporate performance based criteria into the program approval process? • How can the state program approval process ensure alignment between P-12 and teacher education in terms of the New Jersey Professional Standards for Teachers and School Leaders and the Core Curriculum Content Standards? How can this process enhance the collaboration between teacher education, the arts and sciences, and the P-12 schools? • How can the state program approval process incorporate the Specialized Professional Associations’ (SPAs) program recognition and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) accreditation to avoid unnecessary duplication and redundancy?
The Problem with State ApprovalAccording to Arthur Levine • No minimum quality floor • Process triumphs outcomes • Teaching eclipses learning • Requirements are procedural rather than substantive - Educating School Teachers, 2006
What does it mean to have Standards-Based Programs for Educators in New Jersey? • The state must set standards for what candidates in each field must know and be able to do to be recommended for certification. • The main focus for program approval must shift from inputs to outcomes. How well do the candidates perform becomes the central question, rather than how do the programs perform.
What does it mean to have Standards-Based Programs for Educators in New Jersey? • The state, in collaboration with higher education and P-12 educators, should define the basic parameters of program quality and required evidence of candidate performance that meets standards. • The state, in collaboration with higher education and P-12 educators, should set accountability standards, such as Praxis passing scores, minimum GPA, etc.
The Present Process of Program Approval The New Jersey Administrative Code – 6A:9-10.1 Requirements and Standards for the Approval of Professional Education Programs Preparing Educational Personnel • Assessment based on the NJ Professional Standards for Teachers and NJ Professional Standards for School Leaders … • Provide out-come based data – performance of graduates, placement and retention rates … • National standards used in program development … • Provide opportunities to learn … • Monitor and ensure program quality … • Provide necessary resources … • Obtain national accreditation …
The Bureau of Higher Education and Quality InitiativesApproved Program Requirements Checklist • Description • Support Information • Required Topics • Credit Requirements • Entry and Exit Requirements • Sequence and Levels of Courses • Content • Implementation Issues • Format Issues
The Future of Program Approval • Teaching is a knowledge-based, service-oriented field (Arthur Wise, 2006) • Must develop a general consensus on what members must know and be able to do in order to serve the public and then develop standards based on that consensus • How do we implement the standards and evaluate performance?
Recommendation 1 Create a set of specific program standards by licensure area that are, where applicable, aligned to the New Jersey Professional Standards for Teachers, School Leaders, and the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards, and use these standards for State program approval.
Recommendation 2 Develop and implement performance-based assessments to provide evidence that professional preparation programs enable candidates to meet the State standards adopted for each certification area. This evidence will also be used for on-going program improvement and adjustment.
Recommendation 3 Create a State Program Approval Council (PAC) and a two-tiered peer review program approval process.
Recommendation 4 Create a professional learning continuum and promote greater articulation and cooperation between the department of education, institutions of higher education, and the P-12 schools.
Recommendation 5 Extend the provisional licensure period for all novice teachers to a minimum of two years and provide additional resources during this provisional period to align and support existing district induction and mentoring programs using standards and performance-based assessments in support of beginning educators.
Recommendation 6 Create a professional educator database and tracking system to gather and analyze data on graduate performance.
Proposed Criteria for State Program Approval New or modified educator preparation programs will be required to submit a report online that contains a cover page and the following five sections: • Standards (national/state, content, pedagogical, and dispositions) • Evidence (assessments) • New Jersey Assurances and Priorities • Course Syllabi • Program of Study
Sharon Feiman-Nemser (2001)“From Preparation to Practice: Designing a Continuum to Strengthen and Sustain Teaching” “The problems of preservice preparation, induction, and professional development have been documented. The charge of fragmentation and conceptual impoverishment applies across the board. There is no connective tissue holding things together within or across the different phases of learning to teach.”
Professional Learning Continuum Standards used to approve programs will shape and influence the induction and the on-going professional learning of the teacher, school administrator, or educational service professional. Performance assessments will be used at key transition points in the continuum (♣). “Learning to teach…is a complex, lengthy undertaking. It requires coherent and connected learning opportunities that link initial preparation to new teacher induction and new teacher induction to continuing professional development (Feiman-Nemser 2001).” (5) Expert ► (4) Proficient ► (3) Competent ► (2) Advanced Beginner ► (1) Novice ► Student CandidateProvisional License Standard License Advanced Certificate ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Recruitment ► Preparation ► Licensing ► Induction ►Professional Learning, Growth, and Development TCNJ Urban Teacher Academy ♣ ♣ ♣ Future Educators of America Central Jersey Program for the Recruitment of Diverse Educators Merck Consortium for Achievement in Mathematics and Science Troops to Teachers
Next Steps • Convene a State Program Approval Council • Organize the Program Review Committees • Committees will be used to draft standards for program approval for specific endorsements • 1st Phase - focus on Elementary School Teacher (K-5) and Teacher of Preschool through Grade Three (P-3) • 2nd Phase - focus on core curriculum content areas • 3rd Phase – focus on administrative and educational services endorsement
Next Steps – The Long View • Provide for a comprehensive program approval process by including alternate route programs in the same program approval process with the same standards for approval • Through our New Jersey National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future Policy group enhance the induction phase of new teachers through the use of new support approaches such as online mentoring, allowing for real time support anytime, anyplace • Explore further a tiered licensure system for teachers allowing for a career continuum in teaching • Provide additional support for National Board Certification
What is at stake? “New and convincing evidence that teaching is more important for schoolchildren than any other condition has been stunning in its clarity and exciting in its implications …. Now, recent research based upon thousands of pupil records in many different cities and states establishes beyond doubt that the quality of teachers is the most important cause of pupil achievement….. Such new knowledge puts teacher education squarely at the focus of efforts to improve the intellectual capacity of schoolchildren in the United States. More than ever, the nation needs assurance that colleges and universities are educating prospective teachers of the highest quality possible.” The Carnegie Corporation of New York