WASHINGTON – The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) announced today that the state of Tennessee will partner with CAEP to better ensure that new teachers are prepared to be effective in the classroom on day 1. Tennessee joins 34 other states and the District of Columbia committed to the rigorous CAEP educator preparation standards, designed by deans, higher education faculty members, teachers, and K-12 administrators.
“States partnering with CAEP establish and enhance the public’s confidence that future teachers and educational leaders from teacher preparation programs meet challenging standards and are prepared to lead K-12 schools and classrooms successfully,” said CAEP President Dr. Christopher A. Koch. “CAEP Standards and processes were developed and agreed upon by professionals in the field. The rigor embedded in these standards focuses on ensuring high-quality strategies are part of successfully preparing caring and competent teachers ready to serve in the diverse classrooms in the United States.”
Tennessee’s state agreement with CAEP provides a formal process for accreditation through ongoing evaluation and program improvement. CAEP Accreditation ensures public accountability because an accredited educator preparation provider presents evidence that the program produces strong outcomes for candidates, completers, and the students served by the teachers.
“All new teachers should be ready for the classroom on day 1, but too often we know that is not the case,” said Dr. Candice McQueen, Tennessee Commissioner of Education, who is also a member of the CAEP board of directors. “This new partnership is one of many steps we are taking to better ensure that our new educators are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to teach as soon as they start their career. When educator preparation providers in Tennessee obtain CAEP Accreditation, they have demonstrated that they are meeting rigorous standards and outcome-based measures that serve as key indicators of success, and that means their programs are better ensuring that graduates are ready to be effective educators.”
Tennessee has taken a number of steps to systemically improve the quality of its educator preparation providers and expand their focus in alignment with the goals of K-12 schools. Over the past few years, Tennessee has implemented new educator preparation accountability systems – such as new annual reports and a redesigned report card – and more rigorous, outcomes-based, and ongoing review process. Tennessee also has launched and awarded grants through new programs that focus on increasing innovation and diversity in the teaching profession. Additionally, the department has helped educator preparation providers implement new expectations for teaching literacy as part of a statewide campaign to increase the number of students who are on track in reading by third grade.
“Teacher candidates, teachers, and educator preparation providers are the professionals who work hard every day to assure all K-12 students experience high quality instruction,” said Tennessee EPP Dean Lisa Zagumny. “CAEP Standards provide a framework for all accredited education programs to meet the same high standards and bolster public confidence in K-12 education and educator preparation.”
CAEP is the sole national accrediting body for educator preparation recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Accreditation is a nongovernmental activity based on peer review that serves the dual functions of assuring quality and promoting improvement. CAEP was created by the consolidation of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council. It is a uniform accreditation system intent on raising the performance of all providers focused on educator preparation. Currently, more than 850 educator preparation providers participate in the CAEP Accreditation system, including many previously accredited under former standards.
CAEP is recognized by the Council of Higher Education Accreditation, providing states and consumers quality assurance. It is the only national accreditor with a governing body that includes professionals who prepare teachers, state licensing authorities, those who hire teachers, and teachers themselves. CAEP has more than 750 trained volunteers. The 35 states that partner with CAEP and the District of Columbia are listed below: