CTC report looks at teaching assignments
July 11, 2022
The June meeting of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing was attended by ACSA CTC Liaison Doug Gephart, who filed the following report.
Currently, state law requires all schools to conduct teacher assignment monitoring to ensure that all teachers hold the necessary credential(s) for their teaching assignments. The passage of Assembly Bills 1219 and 1505 back in 2019 required charter schools to be subject to the same credentialing provisions and assignment monitoring requirements as non-charter public schools. AB 1505 also required the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to examine assignments in noncore classrooms to understand misassignments and credentialing needs. Findings from the CTC’s study were presented and approved for transmittal to the Legislature.
In traditional schools, there are nearly 30 percent more misassignments in core settings, whereas in charter schools this disparity falls to 11 percent. When examining the specific subjects that comprise the misassignments in noncore classes, the results across all public schools show that the majority of misassignments occurred in courses that fall outside of the statutory subject areas provided by Education Code. However, this excludes educators teaching on the basis of emergency, intern and waiver certificates from being appropriately assigned to these courses.
Physical education courses saw the second highest number of misassignments in public schools. This subject area comprises almost a quarter of the misassignments in noncore classes. Performing arts — which includes dance, music and theatre courses — has the second most misassignments in charter schools with 20 percent of the 763 total misassignments. In traditional schools, performing arts represents only 7 percent of the total, or 479 total misassignments. Analysis of available assignment data shows that core courses are more often misassigned than noncore courses and demonstrates that there are proportionally more misassignments in noncore settings at charter schools than in traditional schools. This indicates that there is a more prominent assignment issue in core settings than in noncore settings.
Educator Performance Assessment: Concerns and supports
The commission participated in a study session (for informational purposes only) which invited panels of experts and practitioners to the table to discuss the history, current research and use of performance assessments in the field of education.
Teachers who have completed their credential coursework and subjected to mandatory teaching performance assessment have routinely expressed concerns over the negative impact these assessments have on their self-confidence, as evidenced by candidate surveys which include but are not limited to the following concerns:
  • Lack of representative educators and leadership of color in the preparation process tends to leave a gap in the candidate’s ability to see the educators as meaningful role models.
  • Stress level created by performance assessment deters from candidate’s ability to progress smoothly through the credentialing process.
  • Concern the non-student panelists’ comments and reflections do not reflect the true impact on credential candidates.
  • Who determines the knowledge within the assessment tool?
  • Program providers need to be held responsible for the complete preparation of teacher candidates.
  • Success on assessment is a reflection on the level of support or lack of support candidates received during their education and preparation.
  • Centralized scoring bypasses the participation and involvement of credential candidates and faculty to connect education and training to assessment outcomes.
  • Lack of evidence that ED TPA results in improved learning for students.
  • However, institutes of higher education, the CTC and the Department of Education have expressed the following support for the ED TPA for the following reasons:
  • Performance assessments create a common, high-level standard for qualifying credential candidates to effectively teach students.
  • Ensuring the profession is comparable to other professions who have established exams to enter the profession.
  • Assessment creates a measure of standards to fulfill when a credential candidate applies the preparation and training in the classroom.
  • Candidate success on the assessment is a reflection on the quality of their education and preparation. If true, the candidate’s lack of success also reflects on the lack of quality education and preparation.
CalTPA for Education Specialist Mild to Moderate Support Needs
In fall 2020, the CTC approved staff recommendations to:
1) Confirm the expectation that Mild to Moderate Support Needs and Extensive Support Needs credential programs begin their administration of the Education Specialist CalTPA in fall 2022.
2) Add an additional year for Early Childhood Special Education, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and Visual Impairments to develop performance assessment guides.
3) Directed staff to include successful demonstration of proficiency on a performance assessment as a requirement for the five education specialist preliminary credentials in its regulation rulemaking package, establishing the new Education Specialist credential and bridge authorizations.
In May 2022, the review of the Education Specialist CalTPAs for MMSN and ESN consisted of two separate analyses: a content review and a standard setting review for compliance with the commission’s Assessment Design Standards.
The content review was conducted by subject matter experts for Education Specialist programs. Each performance assessment is comprised of two instructional cycles and was purposefully modeled after the general education CalTPA. Standard setting allows the CTC to make an informed decision when establishing passing standards instead of arbitrarily selecting a minimum passing standard. It was important to the Design Team to keep the assessments more similar than different in the expectations for teacher performance.
Continued suspension of Preconditions 3 and 6
The CTC has agreed to extend for one academic year the suspension of the preconditions requirement that student teachers must satisfy subject matter competence prior to daily whole class instruction.
Education Code section 44259 requires demonstration of subject matter competence prior to issuance of a preliminary credential. Precondition 6 (Multiple and Single Subject) and Precondition 3 (Education Specialist) require that candidates demonstrate subject matter competence prior to daily whole class instruction. The Commission acted in April 2020 to suspend these preconditions in order to meet the needs of candidates who were impacted by testing center closures caused by the pandemic.
There are two major reasons cited by institutional personnel for requesting these preconditions be suspended for one additional academic year. First, while most testing centers are now open, some programs are reporting that candidates are still experiencing difficulty taking some exams at times and locations when the candidate is available. Second, institutions need additional time to implement the new options efficiently and effectively.
Additionally, despite efforts from commission staff and program personnel to provide accurate information, many candidates have misunderstood the new law, believing that the subject matter requirement has been eliminated entirely. As a result, some candidates had postponed signing up for necessary examinations. Flexibility will apply to all candidates in a student teaching pathway (including residencies) who are admitted to a credential program for enrollment in the academic year 2022-23. It would not apply to any new candidates admitted for enrollment in academic year 2023-24 or beyond, including any candidate admitted with a start date of May 1, 2023, or later.
Initial institutional approvals
Stage III: Santa Maria Bonita School District: As part of the initial institutional approval process, Santa Maria Bonita School District has issued responses to preconditions and standards questions for its proposed teacher induction program. Provisional approval was granted by the commission.
Stage II: Gateway High School: Gateway High School is a college preparatory, public charter school in San Francisco, based on the paired principles that all students can learn at high levels and that all students learn differently. Approval of Stage II allows an institution to move forward to Stage III in which Common Standards and Preconditions will be submitted for review. The commission granted Stage II approval to Gateway High School.
Stage II: Eligibility Requirements for The Charter School of San Diego: The Charter School of San Diego seeks Stage II approval in order to offer a teacher induction program. CSSD is an academic intervention alternative charter school centered on student motivation. Approval of Stage II allows an institution to move forward to Stage III in which Common Standards and Preconditions will be submitted for review. In addition, although there is important information about the proposed program contained in the submission for Stage II, review of the Common Standards and applicable program preconditions and standards will occur in subsequent stages. The commission granted Stage II approval.
TPEs/Program Standards for Early Childhood Ed Specialist
The commission approved the staff recommendation to adopt the proposed Teaching Performance Expectations and Preparation Program Standards for the PK-3 ECE Specialist Credential.
At the April 2022 CTC meeting, staff presented the background and rationale for the commission’s recent work to develop a reoriented ECE Specialist Credential that would authorize service in any of grades PK-3 and described the development process in which the ECE Credentialing Workgroup engaged to develop the drafts presented to the CTC for initial review at that meeting. Public input was collected on the draft expectations through a survey that was conducted in late February-early March 2022.
The PK-3 ECE Specialist Credential integrates the job role expectations of early childhood educators from preschool through grade three. The two sets of existing related TPEs (i.e., the ECE TPEs and the Multiple Subject TPEs) cover the full range of grade levels PK and K-12. The PK-3 ECE Specialist Credential Teaching Performance Expectations draw from, integrate and align with not only the ECE TPEs and the Multiple Subject TPEs, but also with the Early Childhood Education Specialist TPEs, the Literacy TPEs, and standards from the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
The TPEs describe the set of knowledge, skills, and abilities expected of a teacher credential candidate at the point of being recommended for state licensure. It is a fundamental responsibility of educator preparation programs approved by the commission to assure that candidates have multiple opportunities to learn, practice and be assessed on their progress towards meeting the TPEs by their preparation programs.
As such, it is the role of the commission to set and adopt quality and effective standards for preparation programs. The preparation program must first design a program for candidates that meets those standards in a manner that best fits their local context, and then to develop and submit a response to the program standards for review and approval by the Committee on Accreditation.
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