CTC responds to COVID-19 crisis 
July 13, 2020
The June 18-19, 2020 meeting of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing was attended by ACSA CTC Liaison Doug Gephart, who filed the following report. During the June meeting of the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, staff presented an update on COVID-19-related actions that the body has taken. The CTC acted to provide flexibilities for teacher candidates, applicants, credential holders, employers, and educator preparation programs in April. Commission staff developed and held a number of webinars in the two weeks after the April meeting to share information about the flexibilities approved.   In addition, CTC staff provided support to the field in the following categories: Certification: Guidance for extensions, waivers, and deferrals — Certification staff developed guidance documents to help the field navigate the various flexibility options related to the CBEST deferral, extensions, Program Sponsor-Variable Term Waivers, and Clear Credential renewals. Additionally, throughout the stay-at-home orders, the Certification Division has offered expanded live chat hours for the field and educators to connect with credential analysts and answer their certification questions.  Certificated assignments — Despite the limitation that LEAs may face due to COVID-19, the requirement that teachers and service providers are appropriately credentialed remains. However, assignment staff has highlighted several options that LEAs can use for flexibility in assignments, including Local Assignment Options and Short-Term Waivers controlled at the local level. The guidance also provides clarification on various models for distance and online learning and the certification requirements when a live instructor is teaching students remotely or when instruction is software-based only.  Educator Preparation Program supports — Staff in the Professional Services Division prepared and hosted a number of webinars to inform preparation programs and employers of the COVID-related flexibilities available to them, to candidates and to completers. The webinars focused on specific topical areas such as teacher preparation, administrator preparation, induction, and Pupil Personnel Services/Speech Language Pathology programs.  Performance Assessment supports — Staff worked with computer-using educators and other faculty to offer a series of weekly webinars to provide instructional strategies for online learning and assessment to support candidates faced with working in an online environment. This series of informative webinars has been archived on the Commission’s YouTube Channel. Candidates who leave their programs and need assistance during Induction programs to complete and pass their performance assessments will be offered a series of trainings and webinars. These webinars will be offered throughout the summer and fall and will also be
archived on YouTube
Executive Order to assist credential candidates
On May 29, Gov. Gavin Newsom took a number of actions that will assist credential candidates impacted by the health and safety restrictions related to COVID-19. These actions, which are effective through Aug. 31, 2020, are separate from the actions adopted by the CTC at its April meeting. Guidance on Executive Order N-66-20 can be found on the COVID-19 Information Page on the Commission’s website,
. The EO addresses two groups of individuals working to earn credentials as educators: those candidates completing or who have completed their preparation and those applicants applying to enter educator preparation for the 2020-21 year. Candidates completing educator preparation — The EO suspended some of the Preliminary Credential requirements and moved these requirements to the Clear Credential for candidates in 2019-20. Postponement of the Performance Assessment requirement to the Clear Credential — The EO postpones to the Clear Credential the teaching performance requirement for Multiple and Single Subject candidates, and the administrator performance requirement for Administrative Services candidates for candidates who were completing their preliminary preparation in the program’s 2019-20 academic year. The order specifies that the candidate must have been enrolled in the educator preparation program in 2019-20, and meet the following four criteria:
  • Was placed or employed in a LEA impacted by COVID-19 related school site closures; and
  • Was in the process of completing the TPA/APA; and 
  • Was unable to complete the TPA/APA due solely to school closures; and 
  • Successfully completed all other preliminary credential requirements.
Postponement of the Reading Instruction Competency Assessment to the Clear Credential — Further, the EO postpones to the Clear Credential the Reading Instruction Competency Assessment for Multiple Subject and Education Specialist candidates who were impacted by testing center closures due to COVID-19. Candidates must have completed all credential and program requirements other than RICA and demonstrate that they were unable to complete it due to COVID-19.  Applicants for enrollment in Educator Preparation for 2020-21 — The executive order also removed two requirements for applicants to educator preparation programs for the 2020-21 year: basic skills and subject matter requirements. The EO suspends the requirement that an applicant seeking to enroll in a teacher preparation program must take the CBEST prior to enrollment. The Basic Skills requirement, which is most often met by passage of CBEST, must be met before any individual is recommended for a Preliminary Credential. Support and guidance for Educator Preparation Programs and Local Education Agencies related to the Executive Order — Commission staff developed and held a number of webinars in the two weeks after the EO was released. 
Considerations for 2020-21
During its April 2020 meeting, the commission approved flexibilities for candidates who had completed over half, to almost all, of the educator preparation program in the planned program delivery model. Candidates in 2020-21 may not have the opportunity to complete the majority of their preparation as the program was originally designed, including clinical practice in public schools. Candidates who begin their preparation programs this summer and fall may likely still be challenged to complete all the commission’s requirements for the credential sought if COVID-19 restrictions are still in place. 
Potential changes to the Accreditation Framework 
Given that it has been four years since adoption of the Accreditation Framework, the commission revisited the framework to ensure that the current system is accurately reflected in the Accreditation Framework language. Major changes to the accreditation process are:
  • Added new language to address the benefits to the education system.
  • Revised language to emphasize service to public schools.
  • Added language about the role of the commission liaison to the Committee on Accreditation.
  • Added language about recruiting and adding members from the Board of Institutional Review.
  • Added language to ensure a focus on process issues and candidate preparation. 
  • Added assurance that the issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion would be included in the commission’s strategic plan.   
  • Revised Evaluation of the Accreditation System language to emphasize continuous improvement. 
Proposed changes for Initial Program Review preconditions 
Program sponsors who wish to add a new educator preparation program must provide a response to the Initial Program Preconditions as follows: Demonstration of Need. The program proposal must include a demonstration of the need for the program in the region in which it will operate. Such a demonstration must include, but need not be limited to, assurance by a sample of school administrators that one or more school districts will hire or assign additional personnel to serve in the credential category. Practitioners’ Participation in Program Design. The program proposal must include verification that practitioners in the credential category have participated actively in the design and development of the program’s philosophical orientation, educational goals, and content emphases.  The proposed revised language to these preconditions is as follows: Demonstration of Need. The program proposal must demonstrate the need for the type of program in the region in which it will operate or a need for educators prepared through a specific program delivery model.  Collaboration in Program Design and Implementation. The program proposal must include evidence of collaboration between postsecondary education institutions, employers of credentialed educators, and K-12 practitioners in the design of the program.  Raising the requirement for new programs to authentically include postsecondary education institutions, employers of credentialed educators, and K-12 practitioners in the initial design of the program will affirm collaboration between these groups is essential in preparing new educators.
Report on the Teaching Performance Assessment comparability study 
The 2015-16 state budget included an allocation of $1 million to support an equating/comparability study of all commission-approved Teaching Performance Assessment models. There are three commission‐approved Teaching Performance Assessment models in use within California’s Preliminary Multiple and Single Subject teacher preparation programs:
  • The FAST (Fresno Assessment of Student Teachers), owned and operated by CSU Fresno
  • The edTPA, owned by Stanford University
  • The CalTPA (California Teaching Performance Assessment), owned by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing
The CTC has an interest in determining the level of comparability across these approved TPA models and assuring that they each equitably assess candidates working toward a California Preliminary Multiple or Single Subject teaching credential. The study, conducted by HumRRO, compared various aspects of the TPA models, such as adherence to design standards, content validity and score data. While the study made some recommendations to each model owner, overall there were few substantial differences among the three TPA models. According to the final report, “it provides empirical evidence to support the Commission’s decision to approve multiple TPA models as a credentialing requirement for beginning teachers. Again, this is not to say that the models are equal, but rather that all models are likely to equitably identify teacher candidates who are “ready”—that is, possess the KSAs required for beginning teaching.”
Update on the work of the Bilingual Authorization Work Group 
In 2016, California voters passed Proposition 58 thereby allowing greater flexibility on how California public schools offer bilingual education and programs for English learners. Advocates from the bilingual education community expressed the need to review the current Bachelor of Arts standards and a panel of experts was convened to study this issue and offer suggestions for change. The first panel meeting took place virtually on May 28-29, 2020. The work group was charged with making recommendations to the commission for the following purposes:
  • To update the pedagogical knowledge, skills, and abilities needed by individuals seeking a Bilingual Authorization. The set of updated knowledge, skills, and abilities will serve as the “Bilingual Authorization Teaching Performance Expectations,” or BTPEs.
  • To update the set of Program Standards for the Bilingual Authorization, including clarifying and updating expectations for field work within Bilingual Authorization preparation programs.
During the two days, panel members spent time reviewing the current Bilingual Authorization program standards and participating in breakout activities. The work group members began the process to identify the knowledge and skills that a bilingual teacher candidate should have at the time of recommendation for the bilingual authorization.  The next panel meetings are scheduled for July 23-24 and Sept. 10-11, 2020. The panel will continue to analyze the current standards and provide draft revisions for the group to review and provide any additional input. Staff will bring draft standards to the commission when these are ready for CTC review and discussion.
Update on the work relating to the Child Development Permit
In Gov. Newsom’s 2019-20 budget, there were several proposals that would affect the early care and education field, including plans to transfer the work of several ECE-related programs to a single new agency to be known as the “Department of Early Childhood Development” under the department of Health and Human Services. The establishment of a Master Plan for Early Learning and Care development effort under the direction of the Department of Health and Human Services would provide statewide direction for ECE for the future. Recommendations from the Master Plan Committee are expected to be released in October 2020. Further, the governor’s budget established the Early Childhood Policy Council, an advisory body that includes parents, providers, and relevant state agencies.  In the governor’s May 2020 budget revision, however, the plan to consolidate the several ECE-related programs and agencies into a new single Department of Early Childhood Development under the Department of Health and Human Services has been changed in favor of consolidating and transferring the child care programs to the Department of Health and Human Services, and funding for the Early Childhood Policy Council was reduced. It is not yet clear what effects these changes may have on the field.
Initial Institutional Approval – Stage III: Yuba City Unified School District
The Yuba City Unified School District has completed Stages I and II of the IIA process and was approved as an eligible institution by the commission at its January 2020 meeting. This action allowed the YCUSD to move forward to Stage III in which responses to Preconditions and Common Standards were submitted, as linked in this item. Currently, the YCUSD seeks Provisional Approval from the commission. If approved, the YCUSD will seek COA approval of their proposed teacher induction program. 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 and the Commission Provisional Approval to the Yuba City Unified School District. Granting Provisional Approval would allow the YCUSD’s proposed induction program to be reviewed by the Committee on Accreditation for potential program approval in Stage IV. In addition, because induction programs are designed to be two years in length, staff recommends provisional approval be granted to the YCUSD for three years. After three years, an institution will have had an opportunity to have a cohort complete the program and to collect three years’ worth of data that includes completers of the program. The report from the focused site visit will be brought to the commission for consideration of full approval for the YCUSD in Stage V.
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