CTC: state’s teacher prep system meets NCATE goals

Despite broad national support for a newly launched program for overhauling how teachers are trained in the U.S., staff at the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing reported Thursday that the state's system already largely meets recommended standards.

An expert panel assembled by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education released in November a sweeping set of criteria for revamping preparation programs and especially by emphasizing clinical practices.

But a closer look at what NCATE has proposed and what California already requires found the CTC's previous efforts have paid off in key areas:

  • More rigorous accountability: The CTC's accreditation system is already one of the most rigorous in the nation.

  • Strengthening candidate selection and placement: California's standards already specify the criteria for candidate selection and placement.

  • Supporting partnerships: The concept of partnerships between the educator preparation and the employing school districts is already addressed in the CTC's standards.

Teri Clark, acting director of the CTC's Professional Services Division, told the commission Thursday that while additional actions could be considered, the agency is working to ensure the NCATE proposal is fully evaluated.

An advisory group is scheduled to begin a study of the issues related to teacher preparation later in 2011. An agenda item is planned for the April 2011 Commission meeting to present the plan for the study and the Design Principles could be included in the charge to the advisory panel.

Meanwhile in other action, the CTC moved ahead on draft preparation program standards of teacher librarians - standards that have not been updated since 1991 when information services was a far different field from today.

An advisory committee was formed last year to help refine the revision and their initial work was offered Thursday and received favorable review.

Among the key proposals is a standard that requires the training program to ensure that graduating candidates can demonstrate competency in six critical areas of service provided in effective library media programs:

  • teaching for learning;

  • multiple literacies such as reading, information, technology and media;

  • information and knowledge;

  • leadership and advocacy;

  • program administration;

  • and, diversity and equity.

The advisory committee, which is also meeting this week, plans to have a final draft ready in May, which could go to the commission as an informational item in June and for action in August.

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