Workgroup to study modifying TPAs
January 8, 2024
The December meeting of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing was attended by ACSA CTC Liaison Doug Gephart, who filed the following report.
Teacher candidates are prohibited from receiving an authorization to teach if they do not pass the Teaching Performance Assessment. This restriction is in direct conflict with Education Code 44320.2 that calls for teaching performance assessment scores to be one source of data that informs the preparation program’s decision to recommend a candidate for a credential. In addition to passing a teaching performance assessment, candidates must also pass their coursework and clinical practice, observations of teaching, information gathered from supervising teachers, coursework assignments and other embedded assessments. Teachers earn their teaching authorizations through the collective educations, training and experiences of these multiple measures and should not be restricted from obtaining their credential due to an outcome of a singular measure. The Commission on Teacher Credentialing has the flexibility to allow programs to use these multiplier measures of classroom readiness for candidates who do not meet the performance assessment passing standard.
ACSA, CTA and other stakeholders have expressed their concern over the number of teacher candidates who did not earn their teaching authorization due to the results of the Teaching Performance Assessment. More to the point, ACSA submitted a letter to the CTC recommending that it “utilize the Performance Assessment Workgroup … to truly unpack the ramifications of the current structures of all performance assessments, including the Administrator Performance Assessment.” Additionally, ACSA supported the recommendation to adjust the Standard Error of Measurement (SEM) to a -1.0 to the Teaching Performance Assessment scoring, which would allow an additional 2,000 teacher candidates to qualify for their teaching credential.
Further, if a preparation program determines, based on the multiple measures of candidate performance it has collected, that a candidate should be recommended for a preliminary credential, then the program would document the measures used to determine that the candidate has demonstrated proficiency in each of the seven Teaching Performance Expectations domains and is considered to be classroom ready. The teacher preparation program would work with the candidate to develop an Individual Development Plan to further support the teacher during induction.
The commission will convene a Performance Assessment Workgroup in January to address the accountability model for preparation programs and address how the accreditation process will safeguard candidates who spend valuable time and money to undertake preparation program training. ACSA will be an active participant in the workgroup to help ensure a fair and equitable outcome for credential candidates.
Commission makes adjustments to accreditation cycle
Senate Bill 488 requires the CTC to update its literacy and reading standards for the preparation of teaching candidates and their corresponding Teaching Performance Expectations (TPEs). Additionally, the bill requires the commission to review teacher preparation programs, certify that the programs are providing instruction aligned to the updated standards and TPEs, and to develop a new literacy performance assessment to replace the current Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA).
Conducting a quality review to certify 236 programs with literacy instruction will be intensive and will require workload adjustments for staff, as they are already responsible for conducting regular accreditation activities for a system that oversees approximately 850 programs offered by 252 program sponsors. Overloading staff with an additional layer of certifications could result in a less than rigorous review. Allowing institutions sufficient time to focus on the critical area of literacy instruction and the modifications and/or improvements needed for their programs will benefit the credential candidates they prepare, as well as the students they serve.
To accommodate the workload for both institutions and for CTC staff, the commission approved the following accreditation cycle timeline:
  • All regular accreditation site visits for institutions currently scheduled for Green Cohort in 2024-25 will be rescheduled for 2025-26.
  • All other Green Cohort activities will continue to be completed in 2023-24. This includes program review already submitted and common standards review due on Feb. 29, 2024.
  • All other cohorts’ accreditation site visits will be adjusted by one year.
  • All program review, preconditions and common standards activities for all cohorts, with the exception of the Green Cohort, will be moved by one year. These activities will be adjusted for the out years for the Green Cohort as well.
  • Submission of data to the Accreditation Data System will not be affected. Institutions and programs will still be required to submit to the ADS system annually, as regularly scheduled.
Classified grant program
The 2021-22 state budget appropriated $125 million one-time funds, available for five years through June 30, 2026, to expand the existing California Classified School Employees Teacher Credentialing Program. The program provides grants to TK-12 local educational agencies (LEAs) to recruit and support non-certificated school employees to become certificated classroom teachers. The program is designed to address the state’s teacher shortages in math, science, special education and bilingual education, and provide those classified school employees who are familiar with and already working in school settings an opportunity and incentive to complete their undergraduate education and teacher preparation to become a credentialed California teacher.
Per authorizing legislation, the 2021 classified grant funds increased the annual grant award per participant from $4,000 to $4,800 for up to five years. Administration costs are capped at 10 percent of the grant award, and program completers are required to complete one school year of classroom instruction in the school district, charter school or county office of education for each year that the participant received assistance for books, fees and tuition while attending an institution of higher education under the classified grant program.
Program summary:
  • Ninety percent of the annual 5,208 slots were awarded to LEA grantees.
  • Programs enrolled a total of 2,063 participants, including 29 replacement participants.
  • After one year, 51 participants completed the program and earned a preliminary teaching credential.
  • Sixty-five participants exited the grant program early and did not earn a preliminary credential.
SPED grant program
The Local Solutions to the Shortage of Special Education Teachers Grant Program was included in the 2018-19 state budget for the recruitment, preparation and support of new special education teachers. Authorizing legislation provided a total of $50 million for competitive grants to eligible local education agencies and provided up to $20,000 per participating teacher to grantees to implement locally identified solutions to address the shortage of special education teachers.
This grant program allowed eligible LEAs the opportunity and flexibility to design and implement local solutions to meet their needs for credentialed special education teachers. Identifying, recruiting and preparing new special education teachers and assisting special education candidates with tuition garnered the most participants. Most funds were expended for recruitment of candidates, tuition assistance and signing bonuses. The next largest areas of expenditure were for induction programs; local support structures for new special education teachers that are unique to each LEA; and the preparation of mentor teachers, who are instrumental to the success of support programs for educators. Most programs have indicated that offering signing bonuses and tuition reimbursement/payment are very effective recruitment strategies. However, having a strong mentoring program to support participants is almost universally noted as the practice that is improving special education across grantee LEAs.
ACSA is highly supportive of grant programs that will increase the supply of credentialed teachers and administrators, and has submitted letters to the CTC expressing an urgency for the commission “to compare programs in a holistic way to uncover the merits and opportunity challenges in a clear and distinguishable way. This would help the legislature in their budget deliberations to determine which types of policies and grants were most helpful in maximizing state funds to move more candidates towards a credential.”
Committee on Accreditation 2022-23 Report
Currently, there are 252 CTC-approved program sponsors offering 878 different and active educator preparation programs, and many of those are offered through various pathways. In order to manage the workload, the commission has organized all of the institutions into a “color cohort” on a seven-year cycle. The infrastructure for the data system was built in 2017 with institutions submitting initial data in summer 2018. Institutions continue the reporting process by submitting data every summer, and the system is refined and improved each year. Data dashboards have been developed to ensure more effective use of the data contained in the data system. The Committee on Accreditation (COA) is comprised of 12 members of the education community; six from postsecondary education and six K-12 practitioners, who have been appointed by the commission. While the CTC sets policy for accreditation, the COA implements the accreditation system and makes accreditation decisions for institutions offering educator preparation in California. The following institutions are no longer approved program sponsors as a result of withdrawing their remaining approved programs:
  • Bard College (closed educator preparation in October 2022).
  • Mills College (closed educator preparation in January 2023).
  • Tustin USD (closed educator preparation in January 2023).
  • Holy Names University (closed educator preparation in May 2023).
Annual report card on teacher preparation
The commission was presented with the Annual Report Card on California Teacher Preparation Programs for the Academic Year 2021-22, as required by law.
Of the total enrollment in all education segments, nearly three-quarters of candidates were female. Of the total enrollment at California State University institutions, more than two-fifths (46 percent) were Hispanic/Latino of any race candidates, and about three-tenths (30 percent) were White candidates. Of the total enrollment at University of California institutions, Hispanic/Latino of any race and Asians made up half of enrolled candidates. Of the total enrollment at private/independent institutions, more than two-fifths (41 percent) were White candidates, and three-tenths (30 percent) were Hispanic/Latino of any race candidates. Overall, all three higher education segments reported that half or more than half of their candidates identified themselves as non-White in the academic year 2021-22.
For California State University, there has been a significant increase of Hispanic/Latino of any race candidates — 37 percent in 2017-18 to 46 percent in 2021-22, an increase of 9 percentage points. In contrast, the percentage of White candidates had a dramatic decrease in the last five years — 43 percent in 2017-18 to 30 percent in 2021-22, a decrease of 13 percentage points.
There has been a steady trend of about 70 percent of female enrollment in the past five years. Hispanic/Latino of any race candidates stayed steady around 30 percent of the total enrollment in the past five years. Candidates who identified themselves as White continued to decline (by nearly 10 percentage points) from 2017-18 to 2021-22.
There has been a slight decline in the proportion of male candidates, 33 percent in 2017-18 down to 31 percent in 2021-22. There has been a significant increase (by 15 percentage points) in candidates who identified themselves as Hispanic/Latino of any race between 2017-18 and 2021-22. In contrast, the biggest decline (by 27 percentage points) in the past five years was in the proportion of candidates who identified themselves as White.
There has been a steady upward trend of program completers in the Traditional and Alternative LEA-based routes in the past four years. Despite the decrease of program completers in 2021-22, there was a five-year percent change increase between 2017-18 and 2021-22 in both the Traditional and Alternative LEA-based routes (11 percent and 47 percent, respectively). For the Alternative IHE-based route, there was a five-year percent change decrease of 18 percent between 2017-18 and 2021-22. Overall, the number of program completers increased by 5 percent between 2017-18 and 2021-22.