November 2023 Committee on School Initiatives Item 2

Review of Proposed Amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 229, Accountability System for Educator Preparation Programs

November 17, 2023

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

SUMMARY: This item provides the State Board of Education (SBOE) an opportunity to review the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) rule actions that would propose amendments to 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 229, Accountability System for Educator Preparation Programs. Chapter 229 establishes the performance standards and procedures for educator preparation program (EPP) accountability. The proposed amendments would provide for adjustments to the 2022–2023 Accountability System for Educator Preparation (ASEP) Manual, would clarify the system for accreditation assignments, would clarify provisions for continuing approval reviews, and would include technical updates.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY: The statutory authority for 19 TAC Chapter 229 is the Texas Education Code (TEC), §§21.041(a), (b)(1), and (d); 21.043(b) and (c); 21.0441(c) and (d); 21.0443; 21.045; 21.0451; and 21.0452.

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

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

TEC, §21.041(d), states that the SBEC may adopt a fee for the approval and renewal of approval of an EPP, for the addition of a certificate or field of certification, and to provide for the administrative cost of appropriately ensuring the accountability of EPPs.

TEC, §21.043(b) and (c), requires SBEC to provide EPPS with data, as determined in coordination with stakeholders, based on information reported through the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) that enables an EPP to assess the impact of the program and revise the program as needed to improve.

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

TEC, §21.0443, 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. 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. 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, states that the board shall propose rules establishing standards to govern the approval and continuing accountability of all EPPs.

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

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

The full text of statutory citations can be found in the statutory authority section of this agenda.

PREVIOUS BOARD ACTION: None.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND JUSTIFICATION: EPPs are entrusted to prepare educators for success in the classroom. TEC, §21.0443, requires EPPs to adequately prepare candidates for certification. Similarly, TEC, §21.031, requires the SBEC to ensure candidates for certification demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to improve the performance of the diverse student population of this state. TEC, §21.045, also requires SBEC to establish standards to govern the continuing accountability of all EPPs. The SBEC rules in 19 TAC Chapter 229 establish the process used for issuing annual accreditation ratings for all EPPs to comply with these provisions of the TEC and to ensure the highest level of educator preparation, which is codified in the SBEC Mission Statement.

Following is a description of the topics for the proposed amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 229. The relevant proposed rule text from 19 TAC Chapter 229 is presented in Attachment I. The proposed Figure: 19 TAC §229.1(c), which is the ASEP Manual, is presented in Attachment II. A detailed description is included below.

§229.1. General Provisions and Purpose of Accountability System for Educator Preparation Programs.

Update of ASEP Manual:

The proposed amendment to Figure: 19 TAC §229.1(c) would update the ASEP manual as follows:

Updates to the title would update the appropriate date to the 2022-2023 academic year.

Technical edits to the table of contents would update the title of Chapter 7 to match the corresponding change in the manual and capitalize the title of Chapter 5 to apply style standards for capitalization.

Updates to Chapter 1 would update the appropriate date to the 2022-2023 academic year.

Updates to Chapter 2 would update the small group aggregation to align with proposed 19 TAC §229.4(c)(4) that would provide that an EPP with a three-year cumulated group that is fewer than ten individuals, the group would be measured against the performance standard of the current year or an alternative performance standard of up to one candidate failing to meet the requirement, whichever is more favorable to the EPP. This would allow an EPP to miss the standard by one candidate without failing the performance standard for accountability purposes. The update would also include a diagram to provide a demonstration of the small group aggregation to provide transparency to the field.

Updates to Chapter 3 would update the appropriate dates to the 2022-2023 academic year. Additionally, an unnecessary year designation would be removed to simplify the annual update process.

Updates to Chapter 4 would provide a technical edit to correct the cross-reference to 19 TAC §229.2(19), regarding the definition of first-year teacher. Updates would also clarify that only teachers on standard, intern, and probationary certificates are included in the population of individuals that principals will complete surveys regarding preparation. This provides additional transparency to the field.

Updates to Chapter 5 would provide a technical edit to correct the worked example.

Updates to Chapter 6 would replace the term “license” with the term “certificate” to clarify that individuals apply for a teaching certificate, not license. This would provide consistency of language. Updates would also clarify that surveys related to Indicator 4b are only associated with individuals in the academic year in which they have been issued a certificate. This would provide clarity to the field that although candidates submit a survey when they apply for their certificate, the survey is not used for accountability purposes until the academic year in which they are issued that certificate.

Updates to Chapter 7 would add “Evaluation of Educator Preparation Programs by Teachers” to “New Teacher Satisfaction” in the title and the summary paragraph. This update was recommended by stakeholders to communicate the importance of the instrument for the purpose of increasing response rates. It also aligns with how the instrument is described to teachers. Updates would also clarify that beginning in the 2023-2024 academic year, the population included in new teachers submitting a survey will align with the same population as the principal survey. This was recommended by stakeholders and would ensure consistency in which individuals are included in surveys related to EPP accountability.

Updates to Chapter 8 would provide a technical edit to replace the term “petition” with the term “application” to align with the term regarding EPP commendation, Innovative Educator Preparation.

Updates to Chapter 9 would shift language about the applicability of the Index system from an option for status determination to the way that the status determination is made. This aligns with the contents of updated 19 TAC §229.4(b).

§229.3. Required Submissions of Information, Surveys, and Other Data.

The proposed amendment to §229.3(f) would strike §229.3(f)(3) as it was never utilized to measure Indicator 3 in ASEP. This would provide clarity as to which data submissions are used for accountability. The subsequent provisions would be renumbered accordingly.

§229.4. Determination of Accreditation Status.

The proposed amendment to §229.4(a)(4)(A) would prescribe that EPPs that do not meet the performance standard for the frequency, duration, and documentation of field supervision due to only one candidate failing to receive the minimum number of observations will still meet that standard for accountability purposes. This would prevent a program from failing this standard due to not having documentation for field supervision for only one candidate. This is responsive to stakeholder input about flexibility in the standards for small programs.

The proposed amendment to §229.4(b) would clarify that ASEP accreditation statuses are assigned to EPPs based on the Index system prescribed in the manual. The proposed amendment would also remove outdated language which allowed EPPs to receive the better of the two systems for the 2021-2022 academic year. This would provide clarity to the field as to the assignment of ASEP statuses and remove outdated language.

The proposed amendment to §229.4(b)(1) would remove language regarding the ASEP system used for accountability that began in the 2021-2022 academic year as one of the two systems as options, as all programs will now be assigned statuses based on the Index system. The subsequent provisions would be renumbered or relettered accordingly.

The proposed amendment to §229.4(b)(2) would remove outdated language regarding the ASEP system that was in place through the 2021-2022 academic year. This would provide transparency to the field as to how EPPs are assigned ASEP accreditation statuses. The subsequent provisions would be renumbered accordingly.

The proposed amendment to §229.4(b)(4) would remove outdated language regarding the ASEP status of Not Rated: Declared State of Disaster. This would provide clarity to the field by removing language that is no longer operable.

The proposed amendment to §229.4(c)(4) would prescribe that when there is a small group with fewer than 10 individuals in a cumulative three-year period for that group, the candidate group will either be measured against the performance standard of the current year, or a performance standard where up to one candidate can fail to meet the requirement, whichever one is more favorable to the EPP. This would allow for standards that are not 100% to not function as though they are 100% for small groups.

The proposed amendment to §229.4(c)(5) would clarify that if an EPP is assigned Accredited-Probation due to carry over status, the status will not be counted against the program as a consecutively measured year for purposes of revocation. This would ensure that a program is not revoked due to a carryover status.

§229.6. Continuing Approval.

The proposed amendment to §229.6(b) would prescribe that an EPP has up to four months to comply with SBEC rules and or TEC, Chapter 21, following a continuing approval review, or the TEA staff will recommend the EPP be sanctioned. This would ensure transparency and consistency in the field regarding how long an EPP has to get into compliance after a continuing approval review.

§229.7. Informal Review of Texas Education Agency Recommendations.

A technical edit is proposed in §229.7(a) and (b) to update a cross reference to §229.5.

SBOE Review of Proposed SBEC Rules

Under 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: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The TEA staff has determined that there is no additional fiscal impact on state and local governments and there are no additional costs to persons or entities required to comply with the proposal.

LOCAL EMPLOYMENT IMPACT: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The proposal has no effect on local economy; therefore, no local employment impact statement is required under Texas Government Code (TGC), §2001.022.

SMALL BUSINESS, MICROBUSINESS, AND RURAL COMMUNITY IMPACT: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The proposal has no direct adverse economic impact for small businesses, microbusinesses, or rural communities; therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis, specified in TGC, §2006.002, is required.

COST INCREASE TO REGULATED PERSONS: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The proposal 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.

TAKINGS IMPACT ASSESSMENT: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The proposal does not impose a burden on private real property and, therefore, does not constitute a taking under TGC, §2007.043.

GOVERNMENT GROWTH IMPACT: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. 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 elimination of existing employee positions; would not require an increase or decrease in future legislative appropriations to the agency; would not require an increase or decrease in fees paid to the agency; would not create a new regulation; would not expand or repeal an existing regulation; 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 BENEFIT AND COST TO PERSONS: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The public benefit anticipated as a result of the proposal would be an accountability system that informs the public of the quality of educator preparation provided by each SBEC-approved EPP. There is no anticipated cost to persons who are required to comply with the proposal.

DATA AND REPORTING IMPACT: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The proposed amendment would have no additional data and reporting impact and would strike the data requirement in §229.3(f)(3) as it was never utilized to measure Indicator 3 in ASEP.

PRINCIPAL AND CLASSROOM TEACHER PAPERWORK REQUIREMENTS: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The TEA staff has determined that the proposal would not require a written report or other paperwork to be completed by a principal or classroom teacher.

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 amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 229, Accountability System for Educator Preparation Programs

Staff Members Responsible:
Emily Garcia, Associate Commissioner, Educator Preparation, Certification, and Enforcement
Mark Olofson, Director, Educator Data, Research, and Strategy

Attachment I:
Text of Proposed Amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 229, Accountability System for Educator Preparation Programs

Attachment II:
Text of Proposed Figure: 19 TAC §229.1(c)