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California Policy Profile

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California

Teaching Standards and Leadership Standards

Teaching Standards

Is working with students with disabilities and meeting the needs of students with disabilities addressed in state teaching standards?

The California Standards for the Teaching Profession address the particular needs of students with disabilities in all five standards:

Standard 1: Engaging and Supporting All Students in Learning. Includes: Using a variety of instructional strategies, resources, and technologies to meet students’ diverse learning needs, including adapting materials and resources, making accommodations, and using appropriate assistive equipment and other technologies to support students’ diverse learning needs; and Monitoring student learning and adjusting instruction while teaching, including for students with special needs.

Standard 2: Creating and Maintaining Effective Environments for Student Learning. Includes: Promoting social development and responsibility within a caring community where each student is treated fairly and respectfully, including helping all students accept and respect diversity in learning differences and abilities.

Standard 3: Understanding and Organizing Subject Matter for Student Learning. Includes: Addressing the needs of English learners and students with special needs to provide equitable access to the content, such as by addressing the Individual Education Plan (IEP) goals and objectives of students with special needs, selecting materials, resources, and technologies to support subject matter instruction of students with special needs, and ensuring access to the critical concepts and themes in the academic content standards and state curriculum frameworks for students with special needs.

Standard 4: Planning Instruction and Designing Learning Experiences for All Students. Includes: Using knowledge of students’ academic readiness, language proficiency, cultural background, and individual development to plan instruction (including using knowledge of students’ individual cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development to plan instruction and make appropriate adaptations to meet students’ unique needs); Establishing and articulating goals for student learning (including determining learning goals that address all students’ diverse learning needs); Planning instruction that incorporates appropriate strategies to meet the learning needs of all students (including addressing the IEP goals and objectives of students with special needs and selecting materials, resources, and technologies to support the learning needs of students with special needs); and Adapting instructional plans and curricular materials to meet the assessed learning needs of all students (including strengthening existing plans for students with special needs).

Standard 5: Assessing Students for Learning. Includes: Collecting and analyzing assessment data from a variety of sources to inform instruction (such as using a range of assessment strategies to implement and monitor individualized student learning goals (including IEP goals); Reviewing data, both individually and with colleagues, to monitor student learning (such as using assessment results to plan instruction to support students’ IEPs); and Using assessment data to establish learning goals and to plan, differentiate, and modify instruction (such as working to differentiate goals and plans based on assessed needs of my diverse learners and addressing the specific needs of students with special needs).

Source: California Standards for the Teaching Profession, Commission on Teacher Credentialing

School Leadership Standards

Is knowledge of working with students with disabilities included in leader standards?

The 2013 Preliminary Administrative Services credential program standards introduce the California Administrator Performance Expectations (CAPE) that describe the set of knowledge, skills and abilities that beginning education administrators should have and be able to demonstrate. Aligned to the more sophisticated and complex California Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (CPSEL), the CAPE describe a foundation level of knowledge, skills and abilities targeted to a candidate preparing for their first administrative position that also prepares the candidate for ongoing/future learning in the CPSEL themselves.

The six broad CAPE areas include: (1) Visionary Leadership, (2) Instructional Leadership, (3) School Leadership, (4) Professional Growth and Development Leadership, (5) Systems Leadership and (6) Community Leadership. The CAPE specifically address knowledge of working with students with disabilities, such as:

  • “Examining and responding to equity issues related to race, diversity, and access, using inclusive practices”;
  • “Appropriate and ‘best’ instructional practices for all learners, including English learners and students with special needs”;
  • “Policies and practices for determining student learning needs, placing students in appropriate learning contexts, and ensuring full access to the curriculum for all students”;
  • “Understanding how district policies and specific laws (e.g., related to students with disabilities, English learners, parents/guardians, mandated reporting, confidentiality, liability) at the federal, state, and local levels affect individuals and schools, and how to ensure that the school operates consistently within the parameters of applicable laws, policies, regulations, and requirements.”

While the CPSEL do not specifically address required knowledge of working with student with disabilities, they do state that school administrators are responsible for promoting “the success of all students.” The CPSEL are used at the second level of the administrator credential, but not for preliminary administrator preparation or credentialing.

Source: California Professional Standards for Educational Leaders


Teacher and Principal Preparation

Teacher Preparation – Program Approval/Accreditation

Required course work in teaching students with disabilities/diverse learners

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing requires teacher preparation programs to prepare students by addressing specific knowledge and skills. Relevant Preliminary Credential Program Standards include:

Category B: Preparation to Teach Curriculum to All Students in California Schools

Standard 6: Pedagogy and Reflective Practice. Candidates learn how to use and interpret student assessment data from multiple measures of student academic performance to inform instruction. They learn how to plan and differentiate instruction based on student assessment data and diverse learning needs of the full range of learners (including students with special needs).

Standard 7: Preparation to Teacher Reading-Language Arts. The program provides candidates with systematic, explicit instruction to meet the needs of the full range of learners (including students with special needs) who have varied reading levels and language backgrounds, as referenced in the Reading Instruction Competency Assessment (RICA) Content Specifications and Chapter 7 of the Reading/Language Arts Framework (2007).

Category C: Preparation to Teach all Students in California Schools

Standard 9: Equity, Diversity, and Access to the Curriculum for All Children. Candidates provide all students equitable access to the core curriculum and all aspects of the school community. The program provides opportunities for candidates to learn how to maximize academic achievement for students from all ethnic, race, socio-economic, cultural, academic, and linguistic or family backgrounds; gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation; students with disabilities and advanced learners; and students with a combination of special instructional needs.

Standard 13: Preparation to Teach Special Populations (Students with Special Needs) in the General Education Classroom. Candidates develop the basic knowledge, skills, strategies, and strengths-based approach for teaching the full range of students in the general education classroom, including all categories of special populations (such as students with disabilities). Candidates learn about the role of the general education teacher in identifying and teaching students with special needs, as well as relevant state and federal laws pertaining to the education of exceptional populations and the general education teacher’s role and responsibilities in developing and implementing tiered interventions. Candidates demonstrate skills in creating a positive, inclusive climate of instruction for all students with special needs in the general classroom and demonstrate skill in collaborative planning and instruction with education specialists and other school professionals.

Source: SB 2042 Multiple Subject and Single Subject Preliminary Credential Program Standards, California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (2009)

Clinical time in diverse settings/teaching special populations

Category D: Supervised Fieldwork in the Program

Standard 14: Learning to Teach Through Supervised Fieldwork. The teacher preparation program includes a developmental sequence of carefully planned, substantive, supervised field experiences in schools selected by the program sponsor. All candidates plan and practice multiple strategies for managing and delivering instruction that were introduced and examined in program and/or prerequisite coursework.

Source: SB 2042 Multiple Subject and Single Subject Preliminary Credential Program Standards, California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (2009)

Teacher Preparation – Accountability

Quality of teacher preparation programs

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing oversees the state’s educator preparation accreditation system that is designed to focus on the demonstrated competence of California’s educators. The system features ongoing data collection and a seven-year cycle of activities, including at least one site visit. The state produces an Annual Accreditation Report. The Commission’s Committee on Accreditation can determine at any point if program intervention or assistance is needed. The system includes a focus on:

  • Accountability: Continuous data collection, periodic site visits and focused intervention ensure ongoing program accountability and educator competence.
  • Ongoing Improvement: Analysis of data based on candidate competence is applied to ongoing program improvement and accreditation decisions.
  • Biennial Reports: Educator preparation programs collect data on candidate competence and report the results electronically every other year of the cycle. Reports are reviewed by Commission staff and reported to the Committee on Accreditation.
  • Program assessment: The program sponsor reports on indicators of candidate competence such as performance on assessments and feedback from employers. The report also includes program updates and provides a evidence-based rationale for any program changes. Reports are reviewed by trained educators with expertise in the credential area, are summarized by staff, and then reported to the Committee on Accreditation.
  • Site Visits: All data are provided to a trained team of evaluators. Team members provide expertise in credential areas. Site visits also include in-depth interviews of graduates, candidates, employers, and program faculty and administrators. Recommendations are provided to the Committee on Accreditation for final action.

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) contends that California neither monitors how well programs prepare teachers to be successful by means of collecting program-specific, objective data that reflect program performance, nor has established minimum performance standards that can be used for accountability purposes. Further, NCTQ says that the state does not provide the public with meaningful, readily understandable indicators of how well programs are doing.

Sources:

California Commission on Teacher Credentialing,

2012 State Teacher Policy Yearbook: Improving Teacher Preparation in California,

National Council on Teacher Quality

Principal Preparation – Program Approval/Accreditation

Require course work in leading a school/district that serves students with disabilities/diverse learners

Over 50 colleges and universities in California currently offer preparation programs leading to a Preliminary Administrative Services Credential. The Commission on Teacher Credentialing accredits these programs based on Standards of Quality and Effectiveness for Administrative Services Credentials.

Common Standards for California education preparation programs require field experience and clinical practice for prospective educators, including school administrators. Standard 7: Field Experience and Clinical Practice requires the program to offer “a planned sequence of field-based and clinical experiences in order for candidates to develop and demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to educate and support all students effectively so that P-12 students meet state-adopted academic standards…. Field-based work and/or clinical experiences provide candidates opportunities to understand and address issues of diversity that affect school climate, teaching, and learning, and to help candidates develop research-based strategies for improving student learning.”

The state’s administrative service credentialing program standards require candidates to have experience dealing with issues of equity and diversity. Standard 4: Equity, Diversity and Access: “The professional leadership preparation program provides each candidate with an opportunity to examine and reflect upon principles of educational equity and diversity and their implementation in school sites, including access to curriculum content and school practices for all students, teachers, staff, parents or caregivers and community members…. Through coursework and fieldwork, candidates examine their personal attitudes toward race, gender and socio-economic status; learn about ways to examine and confront issues around race, equity and diversity; and take leadership roles in discussions about equity, diversity and access. The program prepares candidates to facilitate and lead stakeholders to provide equitable access to the core curriculum and the school community. The program provides opportunities for candidates to learn how to maximize academic achievement for students for all ethnic, race, socioeconomic, cultural, academic, linguistic or family backgrounds; gender, gender identity and sexual orientation; students with disabilities and advanced learners; and students with a combination of special instructional needs.” The program also must provide each candidate with an opportunity to learn about federal, state and local laws, policies and practices that ensure appropriate accommodations for a diverse student population.

Source: Standards of Quality and Effectiveness for Administrative Services Credentials, Commission on Teacher Credentialing

Principal Preparation – Accountability

Are programs reviewed based on outcomes of graduates’ success? Can school principals be linked back to institutions of higher education and preparation programs?

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing oversees the state’s educator preparation accreditation system that is designed to focus on the demonstrated competence of California’s educators. The system features ongoing data collection and a seven-year cycle of activities, including at least one site visit. [See above, Quality of Teacher Preparation Programs.]


Teacher and Principal Certification/Licensure

Teacher Certification/Licensure – Structure

Is a specific certificate, license or endorsement related to special education required?

California does not distinguish between elementary and secondary special education teachers. The state offers only K-12 special education certification. However, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing issues a two-level special education teaching credential. A five-year Level I Education Specialist Instruction Credential is the first document issued after an individual has met basic credential requirements. The Level II credential is issued once all credential requirements have been completed.

Teaching candidates must have an academic undergraduate major not in the field of education and must demonstrate subject matter competence by examination (for Multiple Subject candidates) and/or through a state-approved series of coursework or examination (for Single Subject candidates).

California state statute (Chap. 517, Stats. 2006) requires all candidates for a preliminary Multiple and Single Subject Teaching Credential to pass an assessment of their teaching performance with K-12 public school students as part of the requirements for earning a teaching credential. All candidates who start a Commission-approved multiple and single subject teacher preparation program as of July 1, 2008 must meet the teaching performance assessment requirement.

The state supports three approved teaching performance assessment models. These assessments are designed to measure the candidate’s knowledge, skills and ability with relation to California’s Teaching Performance Expectations (TPEs) – which describe expected candidate performance at the level of a beginning teacher – including demonstrating his/her ability to appropriately instruct all K-12 students in the Student Academic Content Standards. Each of the three models requires a candidate to complete defined tasks relating to subject-specific pedagogy, designing and implementing instruction and student assessment, and a culminating teaching experience or event.

Sources:

2012 State Teacher Policy Yearbook: Improving Teacher Preparation in California,

National Council on Teacher Quality,

California Commission on Teacher Credentialing,

CTC Education Specialist Instruction Credential

Teacher Certification – Examination

Does the state require teachers to pass a basic skills exam for initial certification? What are the pass rates on the exams? Does the state require Praxis II or another pedagogical assessment for licensure? Does it include anything about teaching diverse learners or special populations?

California requires all candidates to pass a basic skills examination for initial licensure. Candidates have several options to meet this requirement, including the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) or three subtests of the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET). CBEST is required for most certification. CSET is required for subject matter examination.

The pedagogical assessment for licensure is the Teaching Performance Assessment, which requires candidates to demonstrate they have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to effectively instruct California K-12 students. Each of the approved Teaching Performance Assessments requires candidates to demonstrate they can effectively teach diverse learners and students with special needs.

There is an annual report to the Commission with outcomes data on all the Commission’s examinations. The most recent report is available at http://www.ctc.ca.gov/commission/agendas/2014-02/2014-02-6F.pdf.

Sources:

Overview of California Testing Requirements, Praxis Website,

Commission on Teacher Credentialing, Examinations

Teacher Certification/Licensure – Requirements

Is professional development around working with special populations required to move from initial to a professional license?

In California, induction is the required means in by which beginning teachers with a preliminary credential earn a clear (professional) license. California Induction Program Standard 6(b) specifically addresses the requirement that new teachers develop the knowledge and skills to teach special populations initially gained in this area during preliminary preparation.

Source: Induction Program Standards, Commission on Teacher Credentialing

Principal Certification/Licensure – Requirements

Is prior teaching experience required to become a principal and/or a superintendent? Is specific coursework or other evidence required around working with special populations?

California has a two-tier credential structure. The state requires teaching experience to become a principal or superintendent. Individuals may obtain a five-year preliminary Administrative Services Credential by satisfying the following requirements:

(1) Possessing a prerequisite credential (a valid California teaching, designated subjects teaching, pupil personnel services, teacher librarian services, speech-language pathology services, clinical or rehabilitative services or school nurse services credential) which requires a bachelor’s degree.

(2) Five years of successful, full-time experience in a California school. (This experience may be teaching, pupil personnel work, librarianship, health services, clinical or rehabilitative services, or a combination of teaching and school services equal to five years.)

(3) Completing one of the following:

  1. An approved program of specialized and professional preparation in administrative services resulting in the formal recommendation of the program sponsor, or
  2. A one-year Commission-approved administrative services intern program consisting of supervised in-service training resulting in the formal recommendation by the California college or university where the program was completed, or
  3. Achieve a passing score on the California Preliminary Administrative Credential Examination (CPACE).

(4) Satisfy the basic skills requirement.

(5) Verify employment in an administrative position.

Sources:

California Education Code §44270.1

Commission On Teacher Credentialing,

Operating in the Dark, George W. Bush Institute, 2012


Teacher and Principal Induction

Teacher Induction

Is mentoring required for all new teachers (special education) and for how many years? If so, do program guidelines/requirements specifically address teaching diverse learners?

The Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) System is co-administered by the California Department of Education and the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. All first- and second-year teachers are required to participate in an induction program; however, if the employing school district verifies that induction support is not available, the new teacher must complete an approved university Clear Credential program (very similar to BTSA induction). In addition, there is an early completion option for “experienced and exceptional” candidates. [California Education Code § 44279.25]

Teachers eligible to participate in a BTSA induction program are beginners who hold a California preliminary (or single subject) teaching credential or those who were trained out of state and who have less than two years of teaching experience. [California Education Code §§ 44279.1, 44279.4]

California Induction Program Standard 6(b), Teaching Special Populations, specifically addresses the requirement that new teachers develop the knowledge and skills to teach special populations. Program Standard 6: Universal Access: Equity for all Students reads, in part:

“Participating teachers protect and support all students by designing and implementing equitable and inclusive learning environments…. To ensure academic achievement for special populations, [they] adhere to their legal and ethical obligations relative to the full range of special populations (students identified for special education, students with disabilities, advanced learners and students with a combination of special instructional needs) including the identification and referral process of students for special services. [They] implement district policies regarding support services for special populations. [They] communicate and collaborate with special services personnel to ensure that instruction and support services for special populations are provided according to the students’ assessed levels of academic behavioral and social needs. Based on assessed student needs, [they] provide accommodations and implement modifications. [They] recognize student strengths and needs, use positive behavioral support strategies, and employ a strengths-based approach to meet the needs of all students, including the full range of special populations…. [They] instruct special populations using adopted standards-aligned instructional material and resources (e.g., varying curriculum depth and complexity, managing paraeducators, using assistive and other technologies).

Sources:

Review of State Policies on Teacher Induction (2012), New Teacher Center

Induction Program Standards, Commission on Teacher Credentialing

Principal Induction

Is coaching/mentoring required for all new principals/administrators/ superintendents and for how many years? If so, do program guidelines/requirements specifically serving diverse learners?

In October 2011, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing approved making induction a requirement for all new school administrators seeking to move to a professional license. Specifically, the new policy established induction as “the sole pathway” to an administrator Clear Credential.

Source: 5B Action, Professional Services Committee, Recommendations for the Administrative Services Credential Advisory Panel


Teacher and Principal Professional Development Standards

Teacher Professional Development Standards

Does the state have professional development standards for teacher PD?

California is currently developing professional learning standards for teachers, based in part of the final report of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction’s Task Force on Educator Excellence (September 2012).

Sources:

EdSource blog, “Evolving from professional development to professional learning,” Ellen Moir, May 23, 2013

Greatness By Design, Final Report of the Task Force on Educator Excellence, September 2012

Principal Professional Development Standards

Does the state have professional development standards for leadership PD?

Our review did not identify any standards for the professional development or learning of school administrators or principals. California Professional Standards for Educational Leaders address the knowledge, skills and dispositions that school leaders should possess.

Source: California Professional Standards for Educational Leaders