Idaho Commits To Improving Educator Preparation Programs

A CCSSO Task Force Provides Ten Recommendations for Transforming Educator Preparation and Entrance into the Profession

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) has announced that Idaho and 24 other states have committed to advancing recommendations to dramatically transform educator preparation and entry into the education profession.

The new CCSSO report, Our Responsibility, Our Promise: Transforming Educator Preparation and Entry into the Profession was developed by state school chiefs working together to identify key areas they can change to ensure every teacher and principal is ready to prepare our students for college and careers the day they enter the education profession. While serving as President of CCSSO, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna chaired the state-led task force that prepared the report.

"This is all about improving the craft of teaching. For those who choose teaching as their life's work and passion, it is incumbent on us to provide the support and opportunities they need to be prepared as soon as they enter the classroom. This all begins with our teacher preparation programs," Superintendent Luna said. "We recognize that higher expectations for students mean higher expectations for our teachers and principals, so we must do more in our states to ensure the development of effective educators."

The report recommends states focus on licensure; program approval; and data collection, analysis, and reporting to improve the way we prepare our educator workforce.

The Task Force was composed of current and former school chiefs with input from the National Governor's Association and The National Association of State Boards of Education. An expert Advisory Group representing educator preparation, non-traditional programs, teacher unions, and other organizations involved in the preparation of teachers and principals provided input on the Task Force's recommendations. For more information, including a complete list of the members of the Task Force and quotes of support from outside organizations, please click here.

In Idaho, Superintendent Luna will bring these recommendations to the Idaho State Board of Education for review and approval. The State Board of Education and the deans of the Colleges of Education in Idaho received copies of the preliminary report.

The following are statements of support the Idaho State Department of Education has received for advancing the recommendations in the Our Responsibility, Our Promise report in Idaho:

Dr. Cori Mantle-Bromley, Dean of the University of Idaho College of Education: "The University of Idaho's College of Education fully supports the Task Force Report and its recommendations. We believe that our program direction aligns with the recommendations and can only be strengthened with increased availability of state data and with rigorous standards for all educator preparation programs. We are eager to participate in the implementation of recommendations."

Martin Schimpf, Provost of Boise State University: "Boise State fully embraces the principles of the CCSSO Task Force Report, which are to produce teachers who have deep content knowledge and how to teach it and principals with the skills required to lead transformation in their schools. Our new IDoTeach program for preparing the next generation of secondary education math and science teachers is only a first step in renewed efforts at Boise State to reform programs for teacher preparation, and to develop new programs in educational leadership."

Diane Boothe, President of the Idaho Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (IAACTE): "On behalf of the Idaho public/private deans and directors, we enthusiastically endorse the CCSSO initiatives and recommendations, and look forward to actively participating and facilitating improved teacher preparation in Idaho."

The following is a summary of the task force recommendations and what progress Idaho has already made in implementing some of these recommendations.

Recommendations For Licensure

  1. States will revise and enforce their licensure standards for teachers and principals to support the teaching of more demanding content aligned to college- and career-readiness and critical thinking skills to a diverse range of students.
    Idaho has made some progress in this area in recent years. For teachers, Idaho has embedded the Idaho Core Standards (Common Core State Standards) implementation into its framework, looked to effective instructional technology to support 21st Century learning, and will continue to look for proof of effective teaching. For administrators, the state is looking at requirements based upon current research and best practices and has proposed Proof of Proficiency to ensure that instructional leaders are conducting accurate evaluations that result in feedback that informs effective teaching.

  2. States will work together to influence the development of innovative licensure performance assessments that are aligned to the revised licensure standards and include multiple measures of educators' ability to perform, including the potential to impact student achievement and growth.
    Three of Idaho's teacher preparation programs have participated in a national study on performance assessments, directed by Stanford University. All Idaho programs are currently working with the State Department of Education to develop minimum standards using a common performance assessment in order to recommend teaching candidates for certification in the future.

  3. States will create multi-tiered licensure systems aligned to a coherent developmental continuum that reflects new performance expectations for educators and their implementation in the learning environment and to assessments that are linked to evidence of student achievement and growth.

  4. States will reform current state licensure systems so they are more efficient, have true reciprocity across states, and so that their credentialing structures support effective teaching and leading toward student college- and career-readiness.
    The Idaho State Department of Education is currently working with all states through the Interstate Agreement Committee to inform these processes going forward.

Recommendations For Approving Educator Preparation Programs

  1. States will hold preparation programs accountable by exercising the state's authority to determine which programs should operate and recommend candidates for licensure in the state, including establishing a clear and fair performance rating system to guide continuous improvement. States will act to close programs that continually receive the lowest rating and will provide incentives for programs whose ratings indicate exemplary performance.
    The Idaho State Board of Education has already approved a state review process that moves Idaho closer to fully implementing this recommendation. In Fall 2014, the state will initiate program reviews on a two- to three year cycle. The purpose of the state reviews will be to ensure that teacher preparation programs are equipping new teachers to address the implementation of Common Core State Standards, effective use of student data, and appropriate integration of educational technology. The full review schedule is online here.

  2. States will adopt and implement rigorous program approval standards to assure that educator preparation programs recruit candidates based on supply and demand data, have highly selective admissions and exit criteria including mastery of content, provide high quality clinical practice throughout a candidate's preparation that includes experiences with the responsibilities of a school year from beginning to end, and that produce quality candidates capable of positively impacting student achievement.

  3. States will require alignment of preparation content standards to PK-12 college- and career-ready standards for all licensure areas.
    Currently in Idaho, a minimum of 20% of the P-12 Standards are reviewed annually to ensure alignment.

  4. States will provide feedback, data, support, and resources to preparation programs to assist them with continuous improvement and to act on any program approval or national accreditation recommendations.
    The State Department of Education has fully deployed a statewide longitudinal data system in K-12 education and works with the State Board of Education to expand this system into higher education.

Recommendations For Data Collection, Analysis, And Reporting

  1. States will develop and support state-level governance structures to guide confidential and secure data collection, analysis, and reporting of PK-20 data and how it informs educator preparation programs, hiring practices, and professional learning. Using stakeholder input, states will address and take appropriate action, individually and collectively, on the need for unique educator identifiers, links to non-traditional preparation providers, and the sharing of candidate data among organizations and across states.

  2. States will use data collection, analysis, and reporting of multiple measures for continuous improvement and accountability of preparation programs.
    Idaho currently has a plan in place to collect multiple measures of candidate effectiveness and track ongoing improvement within preparation programs. We are working to incorporate similar accountability measures into non-traditional preparation programs as well.