Commission on Teacher Credentialing moves major initiatives forward

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing met April 19-21 to take action on items sent back for revision including the regulatory package for the PK-3 Early Childhood Education Specialist Instruction Credential, Teaching Performance Assessment standards for literacy instruction, and subject matter competence requirements.

PK-3 credential regulatory package adopted

A public hearing was held on the proposed regulations approved by the commission at its December 2022 meeting to implement the PK-3 Early Childhood Education (ECE) Specialist Instruction Credential and the accompanying program preconditions, standards, and Teaching Performance Expectations (TPEs).

Staff presented 12 proposed amendments and gave recommendations on whether to adopt or reject each, based upon their analysis. Public comment was divided between those who praised the work of the commission under pressing circumstances, and those who felt the process was too rushed and some of the education partner feedback was ignored. Staff explained the many rounds of review that were provided to all stakeholders and the representation of relevant parties in the workgroup including early childhood education experts, local educational agency and institutes of higher education representatives (IHEs), and representatives from CSBA and the Institute for Racial Equity and Excellence.

The commissioners acknowledged the fast pace and sense of urgency because transitional kindergarten is already being implemented. “There is no partner or interest group that got everything they want with this credential … but I think we all agree that this must be focused on developmentally appropriate practice,” said CTC Executive Director Mary Vixie Sandy.

David DeGuire, director of the CTC’s Professional Services Division, said the TPEs were available for multiple rounds of edits, and suggestions such as including more play-based learning were incorporated. “There’s been a lot of consensus but also different points of view, and we have deliberately gone back to look at how developmentally appropriate practices are reflected throughout the range of the TPEs,” he said. “We’ve gone back and looked at how our families are addressed — what do we expect candidates to be able to do and know when they are working with families? How do they appropriately address working with families who are different from the teacher — racially, ethnically, linguistically? We’ve tried to put in as much as we can to make this credential effective, and the proof of that is what will happen in the classroom.”

After staff noted that ongoing collaboration between LEAs, early childhood educators and IHEs will continue into the future, the commission approved amendments based upon staff recommendation — with the exception of the approval of the first presented amendment in Table 5 — and adopted the regulatory package.

Literacy TPAs adopted

The commission considered proposed revisions to the adopted California Teaching Performance Assessment (TPA) Design Standards, which are required before developing Literacy Teaching Performance Assessments as required by Senate Bill 488. SB 488 requires the commission to implement a TPA by July 1, 2025, to replace the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment and assess candidate competency in literacy instruction.

Staff recommended that CTC adopt the recommended changes — mostly in clarifying language to align with expectations of SB 488 — and authorize the use of the standards to direct development of literacy performance assessments. Revisions include the full range of placements in which candidates may serve and emphasize the full range of authorizations required by the preliminary multiple subject general education, PK-3 ECE and education specialist credentials.

The commission voted to adopt the revisions to the California Teaching Performance Assessment Design Standards and rename them the Performance Assessment Design Standards, with instruction to expand on the definitions of what constitutes “implicit bias” by referencing criteria in California Penal Code 422.55 and in Assembly Bill 1156 — School Prevention and Bullying Act of 2000.

Subject matter competence

The commission adopted proposed regulations in June 2022 to clarify and standardize implementation of options to the Subject Matter Competence requirement created in AB 130. The commission held a requested public hearing on these proposed regulations at its December 2022 meeting. After listening to testimony during the public hearing and reading comments submitted prior to the hearing, the CTC approved revised regulations and instructed staff to submit them to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) for approval.

In March 2023, staff received feedback from the OAL that substantive changes would be needed for the following issues:

  • Remove reference to subject matter domains in subdivision (a) paragraph (4) until the commission is able to approve revised subject matter requirements and domains and promulgate regulations for them.
  • Clarify that that the various types of science credentials are related to the Single Subject Science credentials as authorized in education code and not new credentials.
  • The phrase “or similar major” is too vague and undefined and would require standards for judging what constitutes a “similar major.” In an effort to move the current package along quickly, staff proposed to remove this phrase and to work to identify a term or definition for similar major that is acceptable to both the field and OAL in a future regulations package.

The commission adopted the revised regulations with a note that a list of acceptable majors that qualify for subject matter competence for the PK-3 ECE Specialist credential — including child and family studies, early childhood studies, human development and family science, child and adolescent development studies and family studies — will be added.

In other commission news:
  • Staff presented the annual report Teacher Supply in California, 2021–22: A Report to the Legislature, which saw a decrease in new teaching credentials issued compared to the previous few years. CSBA will post a follow-up blog post on details contained in the report.
  • Passing standard scores, also knows as “cut scores,” were set for California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET) in Dance and Theatre were adopted with a standard error of measurement of -2.
  • The commission adopted a draft strategic plan to guide the CTC’s work. The last strategic plan was adopted in 2014.