NSTA/CAEP Preservice Standards: Preparing Your Program Report

Professional Development Workshop Proposal for ASTE 2017
NSTA/CAEP Preservice Standards: Preparing Your Program Report

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 national accreditation organization for K-12 teacher education programs. 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.

Seventeen states have signed partnership agreements with CAEP, requiring all teacher education programs within those states 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 scholars led the 2012 revision of the NSTA/SPA Standards. ASTE is the first and most logical choice of a professional association to assist science teacher educators in ongoing program evaluation.

The purpose of this workshop is to provide support for science teacher educators who lead candidate and program assessment efforts at their respective institutions. We will help participants understand 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 data.

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 Objective 1: Participants will understand relationship between NSTA and CAEP. Instructors will present background info about CAEP and NSTA Standards. Participants listen, ask questions, respond to prior knowledge probes.

Learning Objective 2: Participants will recall the types of assessment data that are prescribed for CAEP/NSTA SPA accreditation.
Learning Objective 3: Participants will analyze program assessments in relation to the six standards and 18 elements of NSTA/CAEP. Instructors will present and explain assessment design for each of the six standards and their 18 corresponding elements. 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.

Learning Objective 4: Participants will distinguish between report options. Learning Objective 5: Participants will recall four types of program report decisions. Instructors will present and explain Report Options and Program Decisions. Participants listen, ask questions, and review final decisions on representative reports.*

Learning Objective 6: Participants will use AIMS for program reporting.
Instructors will demonstrate use of AIMS online to request shell and manage program reporting. Participants log-in to the AIMS system, observe structure and protocol for use.

Instructors will review and summarize the workshop content. 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.

Jeanelle Day and Michael Dias will be the presenters of the workshop. Dr. Day is the current Chair of the NSTA/CAEP Audit Team, and she has presented these workshops 3-4 times a year for the past 3 years. She is the current trainer for audit team members and reviewers, and is charged by NSTA to implement the standards. Dr. Day is currently a Board of Examiners member and makes site visits to ensure compliance with CAEP standards. Dr. Dias is the incoming Chair of the NSTA/CAEP Audit Team. He is the senior Audit Team member and has reviewed and audited program reports for 5 years. Drs. Day and Dias are available via email, phone or skype to all participants for post-workshop needs related to SPA Reports.

In the past, each participant has been charged $100, a discount from the cost of attending workshops held at various NSTA conferences. These funds went directly to NSTA. Presenters will revisit this matter with NSTA officials to determine if the participant fee is required. We prefer not to charge participants. The workshop can accommodate 30-35 people. Handouts will be provided. 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.