CTC adopts new TPEs, standards for 3 disability areas
February 27, 2023
The February meeting of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing was attended by ACSA CTC Liaison Doug Gephart, who filed the following report.
A primary role of the CTC is to create and adopt program standards for educator preparation programs that are consistent with research-based practices and requirements set forth in the law. TPEs identify the knowledge, skills and abilities teacher candidates should be able to demonstrate when they complete their teacher preparation program.
Program Standards and Teaching Performance Expectations for the three low incidence Education Specialist credentials — Visually Impaired (VI), Deaf Hard of Hearing (DHH) and Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) — are based on the Literacy Program Standards and TPEs the commission adopted at its October 2022 meeting and have been developed with content experts followed by a public comment session for each credential specialty area.
Following extensive public input from advocates and commission questions, the CTC approved the agenda item on Visual Impairment, Deaf Hard of Hearing, Early Childhood Special Education and will transition to these new standards and TPEs by July 1, 2024. Additionally, the commission approved a recommendation to clarify concerns from the public and commissioners through revisions to the commission handbook detailing implementation language to the policy approvals.
Governor’s 2023-24 budget
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2023-24 does not include new monies for positions to the CTC. The commission will continue to implement funding received and fill positions received in the 2022 Budget Act. Since the pandemic, teacher credential fee revenues and teacher examination fee revenues have continued to decline each year. With the long-term effects of the pandemic still unknown, revenue levels remain volatile. Therefore, the governor’s budget includes up to $6 million as a backfill from the general fund to maintain current operations and staffing levels.
The governor’s budget provides the framework for the 2023-24 fiscal year. The Legislature, through its budget committees and subcommittees, and the Legislative Analyst’s Office will examine the proposals and will offer recommendations for changes. The May revision will provide a more detailed insight of how the budget will continue and commission staff will provide additional updated information as necessary at that time.
Teacher residency grant programs
The CTC heard an update on the Teacher Residency Grant Program funded by 2018, 2021 and 2022 legislation, and on the Statewide Residency Technical Assistance Center and School Counselor Residency Programs authorized by 2022 legislation. WestEd is conducting an evaluation of the Teacher Residency programs authorized by the 2018 state budget and provided an overview of their findings to date.
In accordance with the provisions of the authorizing statutes, the Teacher Residency Grant Programs were created to help address teacher shortages in special education, STEM and bilingual; help to recruit and support the preparation of more individuals in the teaching profession; promote and provide support for teacher residency program models and support the induction of educators into the profession. Diversifying the recruitment and selection process is supported through the teacher residency program as evidenced by the breakdown of current candidates (see table).
Teacher residency funding is provided by state grant funding of $4,578,660 and $3,845,370 for a total of $8,424,030 or $26,574 per teacher candidate.
Some stakeholders have questioned who the program providers are and whether they are California-based programs or out-of-state providers. The grant funding is provided to the program providers and not to the teacher candidates, causing some to question what exactly is the meaning of “residency program.” Candidates have reported that they struggle to remain in the program due to costs associated with normal food and housing expenses. The commission did not act on this agenda item and will discuss further at the next CTC meeting.
Division of Professional Practices workload report
The CTC received a report on the current workload at the Division of Professional Practices, which investigates allegations of misconduct by credential holders and applicants.
At the end of December, the total number of open cases within the division pending before the commission and pending an administrative hearing was 2,898, which is just above the normal range of 2,600-2,800 cases.
“Cases opened” are new cases opened during the month, from all sources, including criminal arrest notices, district reports, affidavits and educators who self-report misconduct. In December, staff opened 538 cases, which is just above the normal range of 400-500 cases opened per month.
The “initial review” and “formal review” data reflect the number of cases reviewed by the Committee of Credentials, at its normal three-day meeting in December. As expected, the initial review cases have increased to at least 90 or more cases per month as the reports of misconduct received return to normal levels.
“Cases closed” is the number of matters closed by commission action, committee action or closed by staff where the commission has given formal delegation of authority. In December, 362 cases were closed, which dropped just below the normal range of 400-500 cases per month. This is due to the timing of commission cases from December, which will be completed after its February meeting.
“AG cases” refer to cases in which an educator requests an administrative hearing to challenge the recommendation for discipline made by the committee. An administrative hearing is an evidentiary proceeding where an administrative law judge hears and rules on the evidence. The commission is represented in these hearings by the Office of the Attorney General. The number of cases currently at the administrative hearing stage is 143.
Initial institutional approval
Mills College, an independent institution of higher education located in Oakland and commission-approved program sponsor, has offered educator preparation in California since the 1970s. On June 30, 2022, Mills College ceased to exist as an independent WASC-accredited institution. Northeastern University, a Boston-based institution, accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education, worked in collaboration with Mills College to continue to provide services to the Mills College community.
Northeastern University does not have commission approval to offer educator preparation programs and must now go through California’s CTC approval process. If Northeastern University completes the initial approval process, it would be the program sponsor with the proposed programs offered at the Mills College at Northeastern University campus in Oakland. Northeastern University seeks to offer four programs at the Mills College campus: Preliminary Administrative Services Credential, Preliminary Multiple Subject Credential, Preliminary Single Subject Credential, and Preliminary Education Specialist: Early Childhood Special Education. Commission discussion on this proposal centered on the appropriateness and need for an out-of-state university seeking approval to offer teacher credential programs in California. Consequently, this agenda item was tabled for further discussion at the next commission meeting in April.
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