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Association of California School Administrators
Association of California School Administrators
COVID-19 impacts number of cases reviewed by CTC’s Division of Professional Practices
November 16, 2020
The October meeting of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing was attended by ACSA CTC Liaison Doug Gephart, who filed the following report.
Typically, we tend to think of institutions of higher education as the foundation for the preparation and training of new teachers; however, recent data illustrates an extraordinarily high proportion of instruction of new teachers is being done by K-12 staff, according to a presentation made during the October meeting of the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. For the Traditional route, more than 15,000 K-12 staff provided supervised clinical experience and for the Alternative IHE-based route, 6,000 K-12 staff provided supervised clinical experience.  Unfortunately, our statewide educator preparation program does not meet the full needs of K-12 districts and departments of human resources must rely on several alternative, short-term credentialing options provided by the commission. A Short-Term Staff Permit may be requested by an employing agency when an “acute staffing need” exists and an employer needs to fill a classroom immediately based on an unforeseen need. In 2018-19, more than 3,600 STSPs were issued.  Provisional Internship Permits may be requested by an employing agency when a district is aware that an opening is going to occur and conducts a diligent search for a credentialed teacher, but is unable to recruit one. PIPs are restricted to service within the employing agency that requests issuance of the permit and are issued for one calendar year. In 2018-19, more than 2,500 PIPs were issued.  Limited Assignment Teaching Permits are designed to allow fully credentialed teachers to teach outside their authorized areas while completing the requirements to earn an added authorization, supplementary authorization or subject matter authorization.  Variable Term Waivers are the final option for public school employers and give the employer the ability to meet the staffing needs when a suitable fully qualified credentialed employee cannot be found. In 2018-19, more than 400 new waivers were issued.
Preparers of educators and the LEA collaboration
Commissioners have emphasized the importance of communication and collaboration between educator preparation programs and the Local Education Agencies that hire their program completers. The Preliminary Teacher Preparation program standards require that an Individual Development Plan be developed by the candidate and their Preliminary Teacher Preparation program, and carried by the candidate to the teacher induction program to inform their continued practice as a beginning teacher. Evidence regarding candidate progress and performance is used to guide advisement and assistance efforts. The program provides support and assistance to candidates and only retains candidates who are suited for advancement into teaching. The district supervisor must hold a Clear Credential in the content area for which they are providing supervision and have a minimum of three years of content area K-12 teaching experience and demonstrated exemplary teaching practices as determined by the employer and the preparation program. A variety of examples of strong, effective collaborative relationships between Local Education Agencies and educator preparation programs that work particularly well can be gleaned from the commission’s accreditation activities, work on recent state grants, and communication and interaction with the field. Los Angeles Unified School District — a recipient of four grants with four different institutions — reported that not only did the relationships between LAUSD and each of the institutions grow and solidify, but the relationships between the institutions of higher education grew. Under the new LAUSD Teacher Residency Program, LAUSD and the institutions conducted quarterly collaborative meetings with all residency partners, where participants discussed program components, shared best practices and collaborated as a single team.  California State University Long Beach sponsored the Urban Dual Credential Program and is an example of an exemplary partnership. Their collaboration includes three districts: Little Lake School District, Long Beach Unified and Garden Grove Unified. Cohorts of CSU Long Beach candidates work toward both a Multiple Subject and Education Specialist teaching credential. Courses for the program are held at one of the schools in the partner school district to allow the candidates more flexibility and reduced travel time between working with the TK-6 students and attending their teacher preparation classes.
Local Solutions to the Shortage of Special Education Teachers grant
The Local Solutions to the Shortage of Special Education Teachers grants were included in the 2018-19 state budget to support the recruitment, preparation and support of new special education teachers.  For data collection during year one (January 2019 through June 2020), program leaders were asked to provide a short narrative response to questions regarding turnover rates; teachers serving on intern credentials, permits, or waivers; effective program practices; factors that hindered full implementation; and lessons learned. The following is a selection of themes that appeared in the narratives provided by grantees for each of these areas:  All program leaders noted that the Local Solutions grant had a positive effect on retaining teachers or they have reported that reaching this goal is clearly in sight with time during the duration of the grant. From the 2018-19 school year to the 2019-20 school year, the turnover rate was reduced by almost 50 percent, teachers on intern credentials were reduced, and the Local Solutions grant has been able to help incentivize new credentialed special education teachers, thereby reducing the number of intern or provisional teachers.  Two highly positive outcomes of these grants have been the funding for debt relief that has created a new energy for teachers to enlarge their professional capacity and the refinement of one-on-one mentoring and ongoing training, especially in the areas of co-teaching and SEL. Whereas general education and special education previously operated separately, the two must now work together to integrate practices, procedures and policies. Coordination is key to maximizing use of resources and achieving outcomes. This means two programs successfully merging to meet the needs of all students.
Institutional approvals
Newhall School District: Newhall School District is currently a member of the four-district consortium that offers teacher induction under the name Santa Clarita Valley Consortium. Through approval by the CTC, the program sponsorship will transfer from Saugus Union School District to the Newhall School District. The Board of Institutional Review has found the Common Standard responses to be aligned and staff has found the preconditions to be met. Therefore, staff recommended that the commission grant Provisional Approval to Newhall School District. Commission approval will allow the Newhall School District’s proposed teacher induction program to be reviewed by the Committee on Accreditation for potential program approval in Stage IV.    Lake County Office of Education: The Board of Institutional Review has found the Common Standard responses to be aligned and staff has found the Preconditions to be met. Therefore, the Commission granted Provisional Approval to Lake County Office of Education. Granting Provisional Approval would allow Lake County Office of Education’s proposed Preliminary Multiple Subject intern program and Preliminary Education Specialist: Mild/Moderate intern program to be reviewed by the Committee on Accreditation for potential program approval in Stage IV.    University of Antelope Valley: The Board of Institutional Review has found the Common Standard responses to be aligned and staff has found the preconditions to be met. Therefore, staff recommends that the Commission grant Provisional Approval to the University of Antelope Valley. Granting Provisional Approval would allow University of Antelope Valley’s proposed Preliminary Single Subject: Math and Preliminary Single Subject: Science programs to be reviewed by the Committee on Accreditation for potential program approval in Stage IV.   
Division of Professional Practices Annual Workload Report Fiscal Year 
Division of Professional Practice monitors the moral fitness and professional conduct of credential applicants and holders. The CTC has authority to discipline an applicant or holder for fitness-related misconduct. During the fiscal year 2019-20, Division of Professional Practices opened 4,951 cases, which is considerably fewer than the average of 5,649 cases opened during the previous five fiscal years. During the last quarter, an average of 241 cases were opened per month, which is significantly below the normal range of 400-500 cases. The bulk of the cases accounting for the decrease were generated from law enforcement rap sheets (259), affidavit complaints (90) and 72 cases involving application and rap sheets. Despite the overall decrease of open cases, the monthly average of 412 cases opened per month remained in the lower range of the normal 400-500 cases opened per month. Starting in February 2012, due to some highly publicized cases of misconduct, the number of school district reports dramatically increased. In FY 2010-11, district reports were about 3 percent of new cases. In FY 2019-20, district reports, including breach of contract complaints, accounted for approximately 12 percent of all new cases. The number of alcohol-related offenses remained the highest misconduct type, but also included a significant decrease of cases (381) when compared to 2018-19. Other welcome decreases regarding types of misconduct involved non-sexual child crimes (106), child crime sexual (44) and adult sexual cases (34). In FY 2019-20, Division of Professional Practices completed 1,081 Initial Review cases despite the cancelation of the March 2020 COC meeting due to COVID-19. This was the lowest number of cases completed in the last five years but was still an average of 90 cases per month, which was a prior goal, set in May 2013.
Commission on Teacher Credentialing budget
The Budget Act of 2020 provides the CTC with a total appropriation of $30.125 million for the 2020-21 fiscal year. Of that amount, the Budget Act appropriates $24.283 million from the Teacher Credentials Fund and $5.534 million from the Test Development and Administration Account. It also provides $308,000 in reimbursements from federal Title II funds through an interagency agreement with the State Department of Education to support Teacher Mis-assignment Monitoring. Due to COVID-19, all new grant programs and grant expansions proposed in the governor’s budget were not included in the final budget. Of the commission’s $30.125 million appropriation for fiscal year 2020-21, the enacted budget allocates $20.45 million to Personnel Services and $9.675 million for Operating Expenses and Equipment (OE&E). $5.539 million of the operating expenses are set aside for Attorney General Legal Services, $310,000 for the Accreditation Streamline Project, and $710,000 to continue the development of a Special Education Teaching Performance Assessment. Personnel Services include costs associated with salaries and benefits for permanent and temporary staff. It should be noted that salary and wages do not reflect the budgetary reductions that resulted from agreements reached with the state’s bargaining units, furloughs, and reductions in compensation for non-represented employees. The commission has 155.6 authorized positions for the 2020-21 fiscal year, which includes the addition of two new positions for accreditation of educator preparation programs.
Status of legislation
Status of education budget trailer bills: Gov. Gavin Newsom signed SB 820 Education Finance (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review), which does the following:
  • Postpones assessments required for a Preliminary Credential — RICA, TPA, and CalAPA; 
  • Suspends requirement to complete CBEST prior to enrollment in a preparation program; 
  • Waives subject matter requirement to teach as an intern but is required for the Preliminary Credential; 
  • Suspends TPA for Preliminary Multiple Subject and Single Subject;
  • Suspends RICA for Preliminary Multiple Subject and Education Specialist (required for Clear Credential);
  • Suspends CalAPA for Preliminary Administrative Services Candidates.
2020 sponsored legislation: The commission sponsored two bills in the 2020 legislative year. 
  • AB 2485 (Kalra) — Teacher Credentialing: Subject Matter Competence
  • AB 2541 (Medina) — Teacher Preparation Programs: Regionally Accredited Institutions
The Senate Education Committee only granted hearings to legislation that was directly related to COVID-19. As a result, the bills were not heard by the Senate Education Committee and did not come before the Senate for a vote. Staff intend to revisit these proposals at the December commission meeting. Bills of Interest: SB 614 (Rubio) — Teacher Credentialing: Reading Instruction — would make changes to the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment statute. Through July 1, 2024, candidates for Multiple Subject and Education Specialist credentials would have the option to demonstrate competence though either the RICA Written Examination or the RICA Video Performance Assessment, as is the case now. Candidates who take and do not pass either assessment may meet the requirement by successfully completing coursework that addresses the content of the subtests of the assessment that the candidate did not successfully complete and that meets the commission’s standards, or a combination of either assessment and the complementary coursework. Currently, the assessments are not composed of subtests. This bill is now dead for the 2019-20 legislative session.
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