Academic Achievement Necessary, But Not Sufficient

At its June 9-10, 2016 biannual meeting, the CAEP Board of Directors adopted language to clarify and refine the academic achievement component of CAEP’s Standard on Candidate Quality.

The intention of the CAEP Standards is to influence teacher preparation in ways that will have positive impacts on P-12 student learning.  CAEP’s academic achievement component (3.2) is based on research that associates teacher academic achievement with P-12 learners’ success, a relationship that is especially important for children at risk.  Academic achievement, appropriate professional courses, and strong clinical experiences combine to ensure well-prepared teachers who can bring all of America’s diverse students to higher performance levels.

CAEP partners with educator preparation providers (EPPs), and supports their efforts to improve programs and make data-driven decisions on how best to prepare educators.  High-functioning providers recruit teacher candidates from diverse populations and backgrounds, monitor their progress, and provide supportive instruction and services to help prospective educators reach the CAEP academic achievement standard by completion.  The CAEP Board approved the following actions:

  • Continued to define academic achievement through reading and mathematics assessments, and strengthened and expanded the standard to include assessment of prospective educators’ writing skills. These subjects will be assessed through national, state, or valid and reliable alternative EPP-created tools. CAEP recognizes there are a number of valid and reliable assessments that measure reading, mathematics, and writing.
  • All teacher candidates in a program must demonstrate academic achievement either at admission or sometime prior to graduation.
  • The average assessment scores of each year’s beginning group of candidates must be within the top 50% for the reading, mathematics, and writing (the writing top 50% requirement is effective by 2021), and the group average GPA must be 3.0.
  • CAEP will call on measurement experts for advice about the content and scoring of individual assessments that states and EPPs are using to ensure the assessments satisfy the requirement that EPPs demonstrate candidates’ academic achievement.
  • EPPs must monitor disaggregated data on enrolled candidates for branch campuses, if they have them, for technology-based preparation, and for individual preparation (licensure or certification area) programs. This requirement will ensure all campuses are preparing educators for later success.
  • Alternative arrangements for meeting this academic achievement component will be approved only under special circumstances and in collaboration with one or more states.  

CAEP Component 3.2 – as amended – takes effect July 1, 2016 and will be used by EPPs seeking CAEP Accreditation for either initial or advanced programs, and submitting self-study reports in fall 2017.  The discussion was informed by the Teacher Preparation Analytics’ CAEP Standard 3.2 Research, Study, and Analysis, report, and subsequent focus groups, interviews with stakeholders in the education field, as well as National Research Council’s Preparing Teachers: Building Evidence for Sound Policy