CTC discusses CalAPA, clinical practice and pass rates
August 19, 2019
The August meeting of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing was attended by ACSA CTC Liaison Doug Gephart, who filed the following report. The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing discussed passing scores for the California Administrator Performance Assessment during its August meeting.  The CalAPA was piloted by 23 institutions and 304 candidates in the 2016-17 academic year, then revised during summer 2017 based on the pilot test findings, and subsequently field tested by 23 programs and 438 candidates during the 2017-18 academic year. During 2018-19, implementation was required of all programs, with candidates required to fully complete and submit all three cycles of the CalAPA. However, 2018-19 was deemed a “non-consequential” year — candidates were not required to meet a passing standard in order to be recommended for the preliminary Administrative Services Credential or Certificate of Eligibility.  Rather than adopt a cut score based upon one non-consequential assessment, CTC commissioners requested another standard setting session that would include diversity analysis, cost of retaking the assessment by candidates, and consider a higher Standard Error Measurement in order to gather more data over time. Clinical practice requirements All multiple subject and single subject preliminary programs were required to transition to the new standards by fall 2017. To address some of the issues that arose almost immediately, staff developed and issued a clinical practice guidance document that was shared with the public in September 2017.  Clinical practice is considered a “teacher candidate’s work in authentic educational settings and engagement in the pedagogical work of the profession of teaching, closely integrated with educator preparation course work and supported by a formal school-university partnership.” The multiple and single-subject program standards do not specify how clinical practice hours should be divided, how much of the time should be spent in early fieldwork and how much in a student teaching placement.  Several essential questions have arisen with respect to the implementation of CTC standards and while these questions have been presented to the commission, staff suggested and the commission approved the development of a survey to gather additional data as well as conduct focus group sessions to hear from program personnel about the challenges and opportunities of the current clinical practice requirements. Examination passing rates The CTC was presented with its annual report on passing rates of commission-approved examinations.  Overall, all examinations show a fairly steady passing rate pattern for the past five years, 2013-14 to 2017-18, according to the staff report. The difference between the first-time passing rate and the cumulative passing rate for the CBEST, RICA, and CSET examinations clearly indicate that candidates persevere to take and pass the examinations, thus increasing the cumulative passing rates over time. The CBEST hit an all-time low in the number of tests given in 2012, though the number of CBEST administrations has been steadily increasing since then, which would indicate renewed interest in teaching. The CBEST is typically the first exam taken by individuals seeking a teaching credential. Update on integrated undergraduate teacher prep In the 2016-17 fiscal year, the Legislature approved $10 million for competitive Integrated Undergraduate Teacher Preparation Program grants. These grants focus primarily on teacher development in order to address teacher shortages in special education, STEM, bilingual, and other shortage areas; and provide expanded and streamlined options for earning a preliminary California teaching credential. In total, 87 teacher preparation programs were proposed. Legislation requires programs where candidates engage in professional preparation, concurrently with subject matter preparation, while completing baccalaureate candidates can meet subject matter competency. Most of the programs reported two essential themes regarding the effectiveness of implementation strategies:  1.  Collaboration: Many programs noted the importance of collaboration across departments, with community college colleagues, admissions offices, and with existing activity centers and networks on campus. 2.  Recruitment: Programs acknowledged the importance of marketing materials focusing on education, working with admissions and counseling offices, and increased articulation within the program. Commission staff will continue to monitor the programs via annual required data reports for three more years.  Initial institutional approvals  The commission has established a practice of considering and approving institutions that provide educator preparation programs provided the institution adheres to a strict set of criteria over three distinct phases. Consistent with this practice, the CTC approved the initial phase of approvals for the following programs: Alder Graduate School of Education: Alder Graduate School of Education began as a pilot program to train teachers in Aspire Public Schools. In 2015, Alder GSE became a separate nonprofit from Aspire Public Schools named Aspire University which was later renamed Alder Graduate School of Education. In 2019, the Western Association of School and Colleges’ Senior College and University Commission granted Alder GSE Initial Accreditation for a period of six years. Alder GSE plans to offer various preliminary multiple subject and single subject educator preparation programs. Lake County Office of Education (LCOE): Lake County Office of Education is located in Lakeport, CA and is comprised of six school districts: five unified and one elementary district. LCOE seeks to offer two educator preparation programs: a preliminary multiple subject intern program and a preliminary education specialist mild to moderate intern program – these programs will be housed within Teach Lake County, a unit within the COE.  Folsom Cordova Unified School District: Folsom Cordova Unified School District includes the cities of Folsom and Rancho Cordova. FCUSD is comprised of elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, a high school/adult school, a community day school, and a community charter school. FCUSD seeks to offer a teacher induction program. Commission fees increased The CTC is referred to as a “special fund” agency because the daily operations of the agency are supported by fees collected as the result of issuing credentials and administering the various educator preparation examinations for candidates. The Commission last adjusted its fee in 2012 to $70. Commissioners took this action in recognition of the need to address the Commission’s operating budget deficit of $5 million during the 2012-13 fiscal year.  The 2015-16 Budget Act amended Education Code section 44235 and raised the statutory limit for credential application fees to from $70 to $100. Commission took action to align the credential application fee of $100 in regulations to ensure the added revenue will allow the CTC to maintain essential functions.

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