THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
Higher Education Committee
Joseph P. Frey
Teaching Standards Development
January 26, 2010
Goals 1, 2, and 3
Issue for Discussion
To provide the Board of Regents with information on national and international teaching standards models and their potential link to teacher preparation.
Reason(s) for Consideration
The item is being presented to the Board of Regents at its February 2010 meeting for discussion.
At its November 2009 and December 2009 meetings, the Board of Regents endorsed several new initiatives for improving teaching and learning in New York State, including the following elements:
- the implementation of a performance-based assessment for initial certification as a teacher;
- revision of the annual professional performance review for teachers based on newly developed teacher standards; and
- the creation of a teacher career ladder structure that districts could use to compensate teachers based on State-developed standards of teacher effectiveness.
Development of statewide teaching standards will serve as a basis for preparation program alignment and inform the assessment of program graduates and practicing teachers, including performance assessments to be developed.
At your January 2010 meeting, the Department received recommendations from the Board of Regents regarding a process for the development of teaching standards that will provide the framework for the redesign of teacher preparation programs, new performance-based assessments, the new performance review, and the new career ladder including the Board’s leadership and participation in a working group to develop draft teacher standards.
The Board leadership requested that staff provide information from a review of sample international, national, state, and local standards.
Staff have reviewed a sample of standards’ models and prepared attachments providing comparisons of current New York State regulations and city, state and national teaching standards’ models that are respected in the field, with several cited in the writings of Linda Darling-Hammond. A review of the states showed that 39 states have teaching standards, six states have preparation program standards and one state only has teaching standards in the area of technology. A review of these attachments will inform the Board and its partners regarding teaching standards models to determine which model might be most appropriate for New York. These tables clearly illustrate that there are many ways of looking at expectations for teachers. The expectations range from Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching to teacher standards established by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. The standards models vary in the extent to which they break down to specific, measurable elements within the initial set of base standards.
Additionally, staff conducted research to inform New York State’s movement to the development of statewide teaching standards compared to selected countries. Countries were selected from those identified in the most recent international assessments; PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) and TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Sciences Study) because their student performance ranked in the top ten, others were chosen because of the heterogeneous characteristics of their population and Regents suggestions. The eight countries chosen were: Australia, Canada, China, Finland, France, Japan, United Kingdom, Singapore, and the United States. The review of the educational system of the top countries, which included Singapore and Finland, and the policies regarding the preparation, licensure and support of teachers, revealed significant cultural and policy differences when compared to the United States (New York State). This review shows that there are three basic and consistent similarities related to improving teacher preparation to ensure the academic success of their students:
1) They have rigorous selection criteria to ensure the right people become teachers,
- Average academic performance of recruited candidates in top 10 percent of the academic cohort
- Teaching respected as one of the top 3 career choices
- Rigorous selection process from qualifying cohort
- Larger numbers of teaching applicants in comparison to those chosen
- Teaching salary in line with other professional salaries
2) They provide professional development to develop these people into effective educators,
- Minimum of 20 weeks of coaching for all newly hired teachers
- 10 percent of work time is provided for professional development opportunity
- Continuing opportunity for teacher reflection with colleagues
- Teachers regularly invite colleagues to observe and coach
- Best coaches are selected as teacher leaders
- As much as $50 per student is set aside for educational research each year
3) They put into place systems and targeted support for new teachers to ensure that every child is able to benefit from excellent instruction.
- Clear P-12 student performance standards
- All schools assess and are knowledgeable in their strengths and weaknesses
- There is minimal performance variation between schools and mechanisms in place to support all failing students
- Funding and support are focused where it can have the most impact.
Top performing countries indicate that there is still a need to improve teaching in their schools and further improve student achievement. Certain countries maintain close oversight of teacher preparation by approving a limited number of teacher preparation institutions. They rely on these institutions to prepare teachers to be effective in the classroom by maintaining a curriculum of preparation that will provide cutting edge instructional preparation, including appropriate technologically supported methodologies. Other countries rely more on the process of recruitment – ensuring that only top students enter the teaching profession. Finally, most high-performing nations focus attention on the induction period to ensure effective support of new teachers.
The following is a brief explanation regarding the information included in the attachments:
Attachment 1: This table lists 11 general pedagogical topics typically found in teacher preparation and aligns the New York State pedagogical core regulations as they relate to the listed topics. The columns to the right list various respected standards models ranging from national models to large city models and aligns the standards in each model with the general pedagogical topics and the pedagogical core requirements in New York State regulations.
Attachment 2: This table lists the same pedagogical topics aligned with the New York State pedagogical core regulations as in Attachment 1 but aligns them with the standards identified for teaching in selected countries.
Attachment 3: Shows a selection of competencies under Part 52 regulations for teacher preparation programs and how these competencies are currently assessed. These are shown with a comparable teaching standard that could be used to reflect our current competencies and how these could be evaluated using certain performance indicators.
Attachment 4: Provides two examples of how standards are linked to performance indicators and rubrics used to assess the level of competence. The first example shows how Danielson’s first domain, Planning and Preparation, aligns with INTASC principles 2 and 8. This principle is expanded to sub-principle 1f (Assessing Student Learning) and then to its elements (Congruence with Instructional Goals, Criteria and Standards, and Use for Planning) aligned with the rubrics used to assess levels of competence. The second example provides a list of the six principles in the Teach for America Teaching as Leadership Framework that is used as a basis for assessing highly effective teachers in their program. This chart is included to illustrate the expansion of one principle to illustrate the rubrics used to determine teacher performance at the Pre-novice, Novice, Beginning Proficiency, Advanced Proficiency, and Exemplary levels.
With the direction of the Regents, work will center on identifying the major areas where specific content knowledge and pedagogical skills are required, along with what performance indicators would be appropriate for each area as well as a rubric to distinguish levels of performance for use in the performance evaluation function (APPR). This work would be closely coordinated with the Regents initiatives around raising academic standards for students to ensure that the knowledge and skills required of teachers align with these new academic standards.
Coordination with NYSUT Initiative
The New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) and several New York school districts have been awarded a grant from the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) to help teachers and their unions lead classroom reform and improve teacher quality.
The AFT Innovation grant will assist five union/district teams (Albany, Plattsburgh, Marlboro, Hastings and Poughkeepsie) in creating comprehensive pilot programs that will link three critical elements: high teaching standards, a comprehensive teacher evaluation system, and professional development that targets individual teachers' needs. These efforts could also lead to changes in teaching assignments and how teachers are prepared; enable teachers to receive more effective professional training; and provide more support for beginning teachers to increase teacher retention.
The Regents teaching standards work group might benefit from including representatives from the AFT grant project. We anticipate these representatives would help foster discussions of common elements in the groups’ respective charges and identify any opportunities for collaboration.
It is recommended that the Board of Regents enter into conversation internally and with the field to provide the opportunity for the development of statewide teaching standards.