The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing discussed during its Aug. 24-25 meeting how a host of factors — including how a Supreme Court decision could impede equitable access to higher education; attacks on educators, academics and the rights of students; and state-level challenges around housing, student transportation and changing facilities needs — are affecting the education field. Additionally, the CTC discussed how ongoing work to expand transitional kindergarten offerings could impact teacher retention and retainment efforts in California, as well as school communities as a whole.
Despite these challenges, commissioners celebrated the start of a new academic year and received updates on the Roadmap to Education Careers Initiative, conducted a study session on preparation program completer survey data and approved actions toward the launch of a Literacy Performance Assessment (LPA) pilot study.
Established by Assembly Bill 178, the initiative aims to alleviate the teacher shortage by providing more user-friendly ways of explaining pathways to those interested in a career in education and providing guidance to potential candidates..
In addition to providing career counseling and support, and upgrading its chat system to better serve users, online resources are now available, including a Basic Skills Calculator tool, created to help people understand the multitude of options available for meeting the Basic Skills Requirement, and the Career Pathways Wizard tool, which assists potential educators or experienced professionals from outside of the state navigate certification, program and assessment requirements.
A multi-year project that will ultimately upgrade the database used to process credential applications was also covered. The Educator Credentialing System will “automate the credentialing process, improve application processing times and streamline the experience for credential applicants,” according to a staff report. It will also allow for enhanced data gathering and the ability for the commission to track educators’ career progression as well as identify common stress points that cause people to leave the field.
Prep program data
Findings from the Learning Policy Institute’s report Educating Teachers in California: What Matters for Teacher Preparedness? and corresponding brief and residencies fact sheet were presented and analyzed.
The survey considers the responses of nearly 60,000 individuals who completed teacher preparation programs (TPP) and applied for their primary teaching credentials between 2016–17 and 2020–21. More than 90 percent of survey respondents rated their programs positively, LPI found. The state is also seeing an increasingly large and diverse pool of graduates from TPPs.
Read a full breakdown of the report on the CSBA blog.
Literature Performance Assessment pilot
Set to take place in spring 2024, the LPA pilot study is a chance to collect data on 170-240 Multiple Subject, Education Specialist and TK-3 candidates across multiple institutions. Organizers are hoping to include candidates at institutions using all three models: the California Teaching Performance Assessment (CalTPA), Educative Teacher Performance Assessment (EdTPA) and Fresno Assessment of Student Teachers (FAST).
By July 1, 2025, the CTC is required to approve a Teaching Performance Assessment (TPA) for preliminary Multiple Subject and Education Specialist candidates that assesses their competence in literacy instruction. The LPA will replace the currently adopted Reading Instruction Competency Assessment (RICA). For pilot participants, the current LPA would replace Cycle 2: Assessment Driven Instruction in the CalTPA and “candidates from preparation programs using the CalTPA would meet both the RICA and TPA requirements for earning a credential,” according to a staff report.
Though commissioners had concerns including what supports will be offered to candidates if they don’t pass the TPA and if students involved in the pilot will truly be a representative sample depending on how participants are selected, they approved the selection criteria for participation; approved the requested waiver for selected institutions that meet proposed criteria; decided that TPA and RICA requirements can be waived for candidates who successfully complete of the pilot assessment; and adopted a minimum performance level for successful completion of the revised LPA/CalTPA Cycle 2 (a score of at least 14 across the eight proposed rubrics) for use during the 2024 pilot. Candidates who do not pass the LPA will need to take and pass the current RICA and TPA models adopted by their program.
Other developments from the meeting include:
- CSBA Legislative Director Chris Reefe is one of 26 individuals serving on the 2023–24 Child Development Permit Workgroup along with leaders from institutions of higher education, local educational agencies and education associations and organizations. The group will develop recommendations on the structure and requirements of the Child Development Permit in alignment state’s Master Plan for Early Learning and Care and current needs in the field. On Aug. 25, the CTC affirmed the workgroup’s meeting plans and focus. All related materials can be viewed here. The workgroup’s recommendations will be presented to the commission by fall 2024.
- Pepperdine University student Ronald Wicks, who is pursuing a Multiple Subject Credential, was selected to serve as the commission’s educator preparation student liaison for 2023–24.
The CTC is scheduled to convene next on Oct. 12-13.