CTC evaluating credential pathways for universal TK rollout
October 18, 2021
The September meeting of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing was attended by ACSA CTC Liaison Doug Gephart, who filed the following report.
The 2021 state budget expansion of Transitional Kindergarten to all 4-year-olds essentially establishes universal preschool in California and is a major step forward in realizing the goals and vision of the Master Plan. When fully implemented, universal TK is expected to serve as many as 250,000 4-year-olds, including most of those currently being served in the State Preschool Program.
State initiatives expanding access to state preschool and universal preschool kindergarten (UPK) have placed an urgent need to establish multiple, accessible pathways to a permit or credential authorizing service in state preschool and transitional kindergarten.
Given the urgent staffing need for additional qualified teachers for new and expanded TK access, creative, flexible and feasible credentialing options that meet the expectations required to teach young learners are needed. The Commission on Teacher Credentialing will be establishing a coherent approach to credentialing that would accommodate the staffing needs of both UPK and the CSPP in two parts.
Part 1 - Pathways to Success: Establish pathways that recruit and prepare teachers from multiple sources, including current Multiple Subject credential holders interested in teaching in early childhood as well as Child Development Permit teachers who already have a bachelor’s degree and who are currently teaching 4-year-old children in State Preschool programs.
Current credential options for teaching in early childhood education settings include the following credentials and permits:
  • Child Development
  • Early Childhood Special Education Credential
  • Multiple Subject Credential
  • Multiple Subject Credential for Transitional Kindergarten Apportionment
  • Early Childhood Specialist Credential
Part 2 - Updating the Child Development Permit: The CTC issues six levels of Child Development Permits: 1) Assistant; 2) Associate Teacher; 3) Teacher; 4) Master Teacher; 5) Site Supervisor; and 6) Program Director. Each permit level has its own set of issuance requirements that build from one level to the next, authorizing the holder to perform different levels of service in state-subsidized Child Care and Development Programs.
Based on commission feedback and discussion during the September 2021 meeting, staff will take the following steps:
1. Facilitate a survey of LEA employers during fall 2021 regarding how they are currently implementing the provisions of Education Code Section 48000(g) regarding staffing TK classrooms.
2. Appoint a broadly representative ECE Work Group.
ACSA conveyed a number of stakeholder concerns regarding Dual Transitional Kindergarten Credentialing, including:
  • Clear standards for micro-credential alignment should be established with a focus on competency-based measures as opposed to professional learning modules.
  • A single, state-level definition and criteria for micro-credentials is needed because any entity can market a “micro-credential.”
  • CTE has an existing dual pathway to credentialing. What lessons have we now learned by implementing that model that can be applied to the projected TK credentialing process?
  • What are the cost-effective implications for educators on either side of the pathway including but not limited to current incomes and cost of completing credentialing requirements?
  • What funding opportunities currently exist to support teachers to earn the new credential authorization? Perhaps the Golden State Grant would be applicable?
  • How will the completion of the micro-credential be documented? Will the CTC maintain a record of the credential once completed?
  • The new micro-credential should not create new barriers to teaching and staffing universal TK classrooms.
  • CTC needs to create new, less onerous options for teachers seeking ways to meet the apportionment requirements of EC48000.
  • Licensing requirements and apportionment requirements should be clearly defined thereby avoiding confusion and misinterpretation by credential holders and employers.
  • The timeline for universal TK must be expedited to enable the greatest level of implementation throughout the state without delay.
Institutional approval: Los Altos School District
Los Altos SD is seeking to offer a teacher induction program. Los Altos School District is an elementary school district located in Santa Clara County that serves approximately 4,500 K-8th grade students, from the nearby communities of Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View and Palo Alto, across seven elementary schools and two junior high schools. The Los Altos Teacher Induction Program will provide in-person support to all candidates during classroom observations and weekly meetings with their mentor. Candidates may decide to participate in additional professional learning opportunities, in or out of the district, which support their Individual Learning Plan. The Los Altos Teacher Induction Program will be housed in the Curriculum and Instruction office at the district office. In-person services will be provided at the district office and at all nine schools.
Local solutions to the shortage of Special Education teachers
Grantees expressed overwhelming enthusiasm and gratitude for the Local Solutions grant program and the opportunities the funds have provided to improve the number and quality of special education teachers. Many programs have already identified promising practices such as signing bonuses, tuition reimbursement and strong mentoring programs that are already improving special education in the grantee LEA. The following are sample responses from grantees regarding effective program practices:
“The most effective practices for recruitment include the signing bonus and tuition assistance incentives. These additional funds attract special education teachers to vacancies and are especially beneficial for rural districts and more difficult to staff low incidence specialties. The Community of Practice has been a consistent line of direct support and collaboration for educators during an exceptionally difficult time. Participants report appreciation of sessions and connecting with facilitators and colleagues.”
“The in-person, real-time coaching has been reported to be the most effective part of the new teacher support program, especially this year when most other elements of the program were greatly modified or eliminated (i.e., PLCs, ongoing clinics for new teachers).”
“Over 95 percent of new teachers polled stated that they felt that coaching provided them with vital emotional support on top of help developing good instructional practices and relationships with colleagues and supervisors.”
“New Teacher Academy, which is offered in July for these teachers, has proven to be a powerful training. These teachers are receiving training prior to their contracted days giving them a head start on their assignment.”
“Without this opportunity they would not have had support to really focus on the essential components of early success for their classroom. Through planning, class management, curriculum training, classroom setup and learning their support methods, it has proven valuable.”
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