Jan-Feb 2019 Committee on School Initiatives Item 4

Review of Proposed Amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 229, Accountability System for Educator Preparation Programs, §229.4, Determination of Accreditation Status  

February 1, 2019  

COMMITTEE ON SCHOOL INITIATIVES: ACTION
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION: ACTION  

SUMMARY: This item provides the State Board of Education (SBOE) an opportunity to review a State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) rule action that would propose an amendment to 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 229, Accountability System for Educator Preparation Programs, §229.4, Determination of Accreditation Status. The proposed amendment to 19 TAC §229.4 would adjust the performance standard for the accountability indicator for principal appraisals, would clarify performance standards, and would remove outdated provisions.
 
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: The statutory authority for the proposed amendment to 19 TAC §229.4 is the Texas Education Code (TEC), §§21.041(a), (b)(1), and (d), 21.0441(c) and (d), 21.0443, 21.045, as amended by Senate Bill (SB) 1839, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, 21.0451, and 21.0452(a)-(d).

TEC, §21.041(a), allows the SBEC to adopt rules as necessary for its own procedures.

TEC, §21.041(b)(1), states that the SBEC shall propose rules that provide for the regulation of educators and the general administration of TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B, in a manner consistent with TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B.

TEC, §21.041(d), allows the SBEC to propose a rule adopting a fee for the approval or renewal of approval of an educator preparation program (EPP), or for the addition of a certificate or field of certification to the scope of a program's approval. A fee imposed may not exceed the amount necessary, as determined by the SBEC, to provide for the administrative cost of approving, renewing the approval of, and appropriately ensuring the accountability of EPPs.

TEC, §21.0441(c) and (d), requires the SBEC to adopt rules setting admission requirements for EPPs pertaining to grade point averages.

TEC, §21.0443(a), states that the SBEC shall propose rules to establish standards to govern the approval or renewal of approval of EPPs and certification fields authorized to be offered by an EPP.

TEC, §21.0443(b), states that to be eligible for approval or renewal of approval, an EPP must adequately prepare candidates for educator certification and meet the standards and requirements of the SBEC.

TEC, §21.0443(c), states that the SBEC shall require that each EPP be reviewed for renewal of approval at least every five years. The SBEC shall adopt an evaluation process to be used in reviewing an EPP for renewal of approval.

TEC, §21.045(a), states that the SBEC shall propose rules establishing standards to govern the continuing accountability of all EPPs.

TEC, §21.045(b), states each EPP shall submit data elements as required by the SBEC for an annual performance report to ensure access and equity, and it states the minimum that the annual report must contain.

TEC, §21.045(c), states the SBEC shall propose rules necessary to establish performance standards for the Accountability System for Educator Preparation for accrediting EPPs, and that, at a minimum, performance standards must be based on §21.045(a).

TEC, §21.045(d), as amended by SB 1839, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, states that to assist an EPP in improving the design and effectiveness of the program in preparing educators for the classroom, the agency shall provide to each program data that is compiled and analyzed by the agency based on information reported through the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) relating to the program.

TEC, §21.0451(a), states that the SBEC shall propose rules for the sanction of EPPs that do not meet accountability standards, that the SBEC shall annually review the accreditation status of each EPP, and it states the parameters for the rules.

TEC, §21.0451(b), states that any action authorized or required to be taken against an EPP under §21.0451(a) may also be taken with regard to a particular field of certification authorized to be offered by an EPP.

TEC, §21.0451(c), states that a revocation must be effective for a period of at least two years, and that after two years, the EPP may seek renewed approval to prepare educators for state certification.

TEC, §21.0451(d), states that the costs of technical assistance required under TEC, §21.0451(a)(2)(A), or the costs associated with the appointment of a monitor under TEC, §21.0451(a)(2)(C), shall be paid by the EPP.

TEC, §21.0452(a) and (b), state that to assist persons interested in obtaining teaching certification in selecting an EPP and to assist school districts in making staffing decisions, the SBEC shall make certain specified information regarding educator programs in this state available to the public through the SBEC's Internet website.

TEC, §21.0452(c) requires that the Board develop an exit survey for EPP participants to complete before the participant may receive an educator certification.

TEC, §21.0452(d) requires the Board to develop surveys for distribution to educator program participants and school principals.

The full text of statutory citations can be found in the statutory authority section of this agenda.
 
EFFECTIVE DATE: The proposed effective date of the proposed amendment to 19 TAC §229.4 would be March 10, 2019. 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND JUSTIFICATION: The SBEC rules in 19 TAC Chapter 229 establish the process used for issuing annual accreditation ratings for all EPPs. The TEC, §21.045, states that the SBEC shall propose rules establishing standards to govern the approval and continuing accountability of all EPPs.

At its October 2016 meeting, the SBEC adopted rules to phase in new performance standards for certification examinations and principal appraisals to be used as indicators in the accountability system for EPPs. Under the current rules, principal appraisals were not used for accountability determinations during the 2016-2017 academic year (AY) and were calculated for reporting purposes only. In summer 2018, Texas Education Agency (TEA) staff provided EPPs with completed reports using the 2016-2017 AY data reflecting their candidates' performance on principal appraisals. After TEA staff reviewed the reported 2017-2018 AY data for those indicators, the SBEC proposed changes to the performance standards as described below to clarify, simplify, and update the standards.

The proposed amendment to §229.4 is intended to reflect the performance standards for the 2017-2018 AY and beyond, so the amendment includes removing all references to the performance standards for the 2016-2017 AY.
 
Certification Examinations of EPP Candidates  

The proposed amendment to §229.4(a)(1) would clarify that the performance indicators for the pedagogy and professional responsibilities (PPR) examinations and the non-PPR examinations are separate performance indicators within the accountability system. The examinations assess different performance standards and, therefore, are measured independently. This amendment does not reflect a change in interpretation of the rule but instead provides a clarification.

The proposed amendment to subsection (a)(1)(B), re-lettered as subsection (a)(1)(A), would add language to indicate that the performance standard for both PPR and non-PPR examinations would be the percentage of individuals admitted after December 26, 2016, who passed an examination within the first two attempts. This is not intended as a substantive change to the meaning of the rule but simply a clarification of the impact that the effective date of previous rulemaking had on the method for calculating pass rates.
 
The performance indicator of certification examinations is based on the percentage of candidates who passed an examination that was approved by the EPP and required for the certification field in which the EPP is preparing or has prepared the candidate within the first two attempts. The pass rates in subsection (a)(1)(B)(i), reorganized as subsection (a)(1)(B), for PPR exams are currently structured to increase at a rate of 5% each year, with an 85% rate for 2017-2018 AY, as shown in renumbered subsection (a)(1)(B)(i), and a 90% rate for 2018-2019 AY and beyond, as shown in renumbered subsection (a)(1)(B)(ii).

The pass rates in subsection (a)(1)(B)(ii), reorganized as subsection (a)(1)(C), for non-PPR exams are currently structured to increase at a rate of 5% each year, with a 75% rate for 2017-2018 AY, as shown in renumbered subsection (a)(1)(C)(i); an 80% rate for 2018-2019 AY, as shown in renumbered subsection (a)(1)(C)(ii); an 85% rate for 2019-2020 AY, as shown in renumbered subsection (a)(1)(C)(iii); and a 90% rate for 2020-2021 AY and beyond, as shown in renumbered subsection (a)(1)(C)(iv).

Principal Appraisals of First-Year Teachers from EPPs  

The performance standard is based on the percentage of first-year teachers from EPPs who were appraised as "sufficiently prepared" or "well prepared." The performance standard in §229.4(a)(2) is currently structured to increase at a rate of 5% each year as illustrated below:

  • 70% for 2016-2017 AY
  • 75% for 2017-2018 AY
  • 80% for 2018-2019 AY
  • 85% for 2019-2020 AY
  • 90% for 2020-2021 AY and beyond.

The proposed amendment to §229.4(a)(2) would establish the performance standard for principal appraisals at 70% beginning with the 2017-2018 AY without annual increase, thus the proposed striking of subsection (a)(2)(A)-(E). This sustained performance standard would allow for consistency and stability over time. It would also be in keeping with the changes that have been made to performance standards in the Kindergarten-Grade 12 accountability system. Moreover, the actual data for the 2017-2018 AY shows that a 70% pass rate is sufficient to identify EPPs with a significant number of low-performing candidates as evaluated by principals or other instructional leaders.

Field Supervision Observation  

The proposed amendment to §229.4(a)(4) would clarify that the frequency and duration of field supervision shall provide one accountability performance indicator, and the quality of field supervision shall provide a separate accountability performance indicator for accountability purposes. The proposed amendment would also strike the reference to §228.35(f) and reference §228.35(g) instead.

The proposed amendment to subsection (a)(4)(A)(iii) would move current language establishing the 95% compliance rate for performance standard frequency, duration, and required documentation for the 2017-2018 academic year to subsection (a)(4)(A).

 The proposed amendment to subsection (a)(4)(B)(ii) would move current language establishing the 90% performance standard for quality of field supervision for the 2017-2018 academic year to subsection (a)(4)(B).  

The frequency/duration and quality components of field supervision assess different performance standards and, therefore, are measured independently. This amendment would not reflect a change in interpretation of the rule, but instead would provide clarity of the existing interpretation.

Small Group Exception for the Performance of an EPP Candidate Group 

The proposed amendment to §229.4(g) is intended to clarify the mechanics of the small group exception but is not intended to change the meaning or interpretation of the rule.

The proposed amendment to subsection (g)(3) would indicate that if the current year's EPP candidate group has between one and 10 candidates, then the current performance of the group would be combined with the prior year's group performance.

The proposed amendment to subsection (g)(4) would indicate that if the two-year cumulated EPP candidate group has between one and 10 candidates, then the two-year group performance would be combined with the group performance from the year preceding the prior year, and that the three-year cumulated group performance must be measured against the standards in the current year, regardless of how small the cumulated number of group members.

The years in which an EPP has no candidates in a candidate group are not counted for purposes of calculating group performance under the small group exception.
Action Plan for EPPs That Fail to Meet a Required Performance Standard
 

The amendment would strike §229.4(h) to remove the requirement that an EPP that fails to meet a performance standard develop and send to TEA an action plan to address the deficiencies to improve. There are many factors that can lead to an EPP failing required performance standards, and it is TEA staff's position that how a program chooses to address deficiencies is a matter for the EPP director/legal authority. This proposed amendment would remove TEA staff from internal workings of EPPs and allow more time to support programs and respond to direct inquiries.

The SBEC did not adopt the language that was proposed in §229.4(a)(1)(A) and §229.4(g) that changed the word "individual" or "individuals" to "candidate" or "candidates," but reverted to the original text to clarify that for accountability purposes, an individual does not have to be considered a candidate to be included in the performance standard.

SBOE Review of Proposed SBEC Rules  

Under the TEC, §21.042, the SBEC must submit a written copy of each rule it proposes to adopt to the SBOE for review.  The SBOE may reject the proposed rule by a vote of at least two-thirds of the members of the SBOE present and voting but may not modify a rule.

FISCAL IMPACT: The proposed amendment represents clarification and stabilization of the accountability system for EPPs in rule and does not include any new increases to the rigor of performance standards or accountability indicators beyond what already exist. Therefore, the TEA staff has determined that there is no additional fiscal impact on state and local governments and there are no additional costs to entities required to comply with the proposed amendment. There is no direct adverse economic impact for small businesses, microbusinesses, and rural communities; therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis, specified in Texas Government Code (TGC), §2006.002, is required. There is no effect on local economy; therefore, no local employment impact statement is required under TGC, §2001.022. The proposed amendment does not impose a cost on regulated persons, another state agency, a special district, or a local government and, therefore, is not subject to TGC, §2001.0045.

GOVERNMENT GROWTH IMPACT: The TEA staff prepared a Government Growth Impact Statement assessment for this proposed rulemaking. During the first five years the proposed rulemaking would be in effect, it would not create or eliminate a government program; would not require the creation of new employee positions or the elimination of existing employee positions; would not require an increase or decrease in future legislative appropriations to the agency; would not create a new regulation; would not require an increase or decrease in fees paid to the agency; would not expand an existing regulation, but does limit the impact of certain aspects of regulation by repealing an anticipated increase in standards that could have negatively affected certain EPPs; would not increase or decrease the number of individuals subject to its applicability; and would not positively or adversely affect the state's economy.

PUBLIC AND STUDENT BENEFIT: The public and student benefit anticipated as a result of the proposed rule action would be additional clarity, stability, and predictability regarding the accountability performance standards for EPPs, and an accountability system that informs the public of the quality of educator preparation provided by each SBEC-approved EPP.

PROCEDURAL AND REPORTING IMPLICATIONS: The proposed amendment would have no reporting or procedural implications.

LOCALLY MAINTAINED PAPERWORK REQUIREMENTS: The proposed amendment would have no additional locally maintained paperwork requirements.  

PUBLIC COMMENTS: In accordance with the SBEC rulemaking process, a summary of comments received by the SBEC on its proposed rules is shared with the SBOE under separate cover prior to this SBOE meeting.

MOTION TO BE CONSIDERED: The State Board of Education:

Take no action on the proposed amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 229, Accountability System for Educator Preparation Programs, §229.4, Determination of Accreditation Status.
 
 Staff Members Responsible:
 Ryan Franklin, Associate Commissioner, Educator Leadership and Quality
 Mark Olofson, Director, Educator Data and Program Accountability
 Christie Pogue, Director, EPP Accreditation and Policy Development

Attachment:                
Text of Proposed Amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 229, Accountability System for Educator Preparation Programs, §229.4, Determination of Accreditation Status