NSTA/CAEP Science Teacher Preparation Standards: Report Compiler-Reviewer Workshop

Accreditation at the national level has been an integral part of science teacher preparation programs for many years. The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) is the accreditation organization for K-12 teacher education programs in the U.S. The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) serves as the Specialized Professional Association (SPA) collaborating with CAEP to establish content-specific standards for Secondary Science Teacher Preparation (SSTP) for the evaluation of science teacher education within Educator Preparation Programs (EPP). The NSTA-SSTP were specifically developed to prepare candidates to possess the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that research indicates first-year teachers need. NSTA-SSTP provide a baseline for candidates’ preparation to implement policies, standards, and pedagogy to positively impact PK-12 student learning. ASTE has included NSTA representation in its Executive Board for several years, and this partnership was strengthened in 2012 when an ASTE committee was constituted for the revision of the NSTA-SSTP for alignment with A Framework for K-12 Science Education (NRC, 2012).
34 states and the District of Columbia have signed partnership agreements with CAEP, requiring teacher education programs to report program data for this external review. Hundreds of universities outside these partnership states choose to submit SPA Reports for CAEP Program Review with National Recognition. Dissemination of accurate and timely information about the NSTA SPA Standards is well aligned with the ASTE mission. This workshop will contribute to the ASTE mission to promote leadership is science teacher education, by supporting program coordinators in collecting and reporting candidate data as an ongoing process of program improvement. ASTE is the first and most logical choice of a professional association to assist science teacher educators in ongoing program evaluation. Thus, the proposed NSTA/CAEP Science Teacher Preparation Standards: Report Compiler / Reviewer Workshop, relates to ASTE member interest in workshops related to policy and advocacy for science teacher educators.
Purpose and Workshop Overview
The purpose of this workshop is to provide support for science teacher educators who lead candidate and program assessment efforts at their respective institutions. Participants will gain deeper understanding of the NSTA-CAEP Standards for Science Teacher Preparation through analysis of sample program data reports. Suggestions on how to prepare a report for submission are included with helpful advice for developing an assessment system and presenting teacher-candidate data. The workshop provides in-depth examination of issues in science teacher education, in that the NSTA/SSTP assessments support science teacher candidates’ enactment of content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge and skills.
This workshop will build on participant feedback and instructional experience from the ASTE 2017 NSTA/CAEP Report Writers Workshop. The NSTA/CAEP Report Writers Workshop was not offered at ASTE 2018. This workshop, when offered at ASTE 2017, was well-received but attendance was quite low (8 participants). I will be recruiting new reviewers from the pool of upcoming report writers and will invite them to attend this free workshop. All participants of the ASTE 2017 NSTA/CAEP Report Writers Workshop strongly agreed or agreed that the content of this workshop was appropriate for the ASTE membership and matched the description given in the program. All respondents indicated that they learned from the workshop and found the content of the workshop applicable to their work. Participants found me prepared, qualified, and responsive to their needs and questions. I have deleted some of the content of the workshop, to allow more time for analysis of sample data, and have developed a more efficient pacing for leading collaborative teams through the analysis of data for the six standards. The 2018 NSTA/CAEP Report Writers Workshop will include and introduction to the revised standards (2020 NSTA Standards for Science Teacher Preparation), and an invitation for workshop attendees to provide feedback on these standards to the ASTE committee charged with the revision.
Rationale and Relevance of the Workshop
As of July 1, 2013, CAEP became the sole organization for accrediting teacher education programs in the United States. After several years of development, the former national organizations for accreditation (NCATE and Teacher Education Accreditation Council [TEAC]) combined into one organization. As part of the restructuring, new unit standards were developed (CAEP Board of Directors, 2013). Schools, institutions, and colleges of education, hereby known as Educator Preparation Providers (EPPs), are now expected to focus on outcome-based performances or learning outcomes. Previous to 2000, the emphasis in accreditation was on inputs, such as curriculum, faculty, and resources, rather than outputs (Eldridge, 2013). The focus then shifted to become more outcomes-based with the development of a conceptual framework and a system to assess whether or not EPPs were producing quality teachers. The CAEP organization is based on the idea that EPPs undergo continuous improvement, implement transformative initiatives, and provide evidence and inquiry with the purpose of assuring quality and motivating improvement. The new shared conceptual framework involves assessing whether candidates have met the learning outcomes with data to support them. This shift focuses the new standards on how teachers positively impact student learning while encouraging the EPPs to continually evaluate and improve their programs.
In order to receive accreditation from CAEP, an EPP must provide sound empirical evidence from assessments and a foundation or system where continuous improvement and innovation are required. The new CAEP standards are founded on “four critical points of leverage”: 1) Build partnerships and strong clinical experiences; 2) raise and assure candidate quality; 3) include all providers; 4) and insist that preparation be judged by outcomes and impact on P-12 student learning (Eldridge, 2013). Partnerships are the cornerstone of a professional development system in which candidates learn from EPPs and the teachers and schools in which they will teach. Candidate quality is vital to ensure that the best and brightest university students are attracted to the teaching profession. The acceptance of a quality candidate must also reflect America’s diverse population. EPPs should be encouraged through accreditation to become innovative in how candidates learn to teach. Ultimately, it is the impact that these candidates have on the P-12 students that will define how well a candidate is prepared to teach.
Content and Organization of the Workshop
The workshop will last two hours and allow attendees to work through sample assessments that are aligned with the NSTA-SSTP. Suggestions for developing an assessment system in general and how to collect data related to science education standards will be presented. Science education professors who must develop an assessment system specific to CAEP or to state standards can attend. Even if the CAEP standards are not required by a state, the information can be used to help science education professors develop an assessment system that is aligned with standards using the NSTA-SSTP as a model.
Learning Objectives

Participants will… Instructor Activity Participant Activity
1. understand relationship between NSTA and CAEP Present background info about CAEP and NSTA Standards Participants listen, ask questions, respond to prior knowledge probes.

2. recall the types of assessment data that are prescribed for CAEP/NSTA SPA accreditation

3. analyze program assessments in relation to the six standards and 18 elements of NSTA/CAEP Present/Explain Standard 1 and Assessment Design For each standard, participants will work in groups to analyze sample assessments from three reports* (data and narratives) in relation to NSTA-SSTP.

For each standard, 2-3 different groups report-out, then instructor affirms and otherwise guides participant thinking.
Present/Explain Standard 2 and Assessment Design
Present/Explain Standard 3 and Assessment Design
Present/Explain Standard 4 and Assessment Design
Present/Explain Standard 5 and Assessment Design
Present/Explain Standard 6 and Assessment Design
4. distinguish between report options

5. recall four types of program report decisions Present/Explain Report Options and Program Decisions Participants listen, ask questions, and review final decisions on representative reports.*
6. recognize changes in the proposed 2020 NSTA-SSTP Present/Explain ASTE Committee’s revised Standards for Science Teacher Preparation Participants are provided digital copy of draft 2020 NSTA-SSTP and invited to provided feedback at www.nsta.org/preservice
Summarizing / Review Participants respond to review questions, ask question and complete workshop evaluation.

*Blind review of sample reports; program and reporter identities are not revealed
The workshop leaders will conduct a Level I and II evaluation (Guskey, 2002) to determine the effectiveness of this professional development workshop. Participants’ reactions to the workshop materials and format will be collected using a questionnaire administered at the end of the session. Participants’ learning will be determined throughout the workshop as they demonstrate their knowledge and skills for analyzing sample assessment reports (data and narratives) in relation to NSTA-SSTP. Additional items on the questionnaire will also ask participants to reflect on what they learned.
Support for Participants Following the Workshop
Michael Dias will be the presenter of the workshop. Dr. Dias is the current Chair of the NSTA/CAEP Audit Team and has reviewed and audited NSTA SPA Reports for seven years. He has presented these workshops twice a year for the past three years. He is the current trainer for audit team members and reviewers, and is charged by NSTA to implement the standards. Dr. Dias is the incoming Chair of the NSTA/CAEP Audit Team. Dr. Dias is available via email, phone or skype to all participants for post-workshop needs related to SPA Reports. In 2018, Dr. Dias provided individual assistance to 20 NSTA/CAEP Report Compilers, many of whom are ASTE members. Workshop and other resources for NSTA/CAEP Report Compilers, as well as reviewer guidelines, are available at www.nsta.org/preservice.
The workshop is offered free of charge to ASTE conference attendees. The workshop can accommodate 24 people. Handouts will be provided via dropbox folder and USB drive. A projector and screen are requested with a room that has round tables so participants can read, analyze, and work in groups. Wifi access for internet connection is requested but not required for this workshop.