NAICU Washington Update

CAEP Issues New Teacher Preparation Standards as Congress Conducts HEA Hearings

April 11, 2014

Teacher preparation continues to be a hot policy topic in Washington. While both the House and Senate education committees have held hearings on teacher preparation reform, and new teacher education regulations are still sitting at OMB, a new accreditor issued new standards designed to transform teacher preparation before any changes in law or regulation.

New Accreditation Standards

The newly formed Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) issued new standards for educator preparation in January that place a greater focus on four areas: who is entering as teacher candidates; outcomes and impacts of the teacher on student learning; identifying the processes in preparation that links to better outcomes; and continuous program improvement, not just accreditation every seven years. The CAEP website ( contains detailed information about each standard and the evidence necessary to meet the standards. These standards will be phased into the accreditation process over the next couple of years with 2016 as the target date for compliance at accredited teacher preparation programs.

CAEP explains that the impetus for change in teacher preparation comes from the challenges the profession is facing right now which include: higher expectations for student learning, higher expectations for the quality of classroom teachers, lack of quality of entering teacher candidates when compared to the past, low stature of the profession, need to improve the evidentiary base, and the need to respond to the significant criticism facing institutionally-based teacher preparation. Within this context, CAEP strives to be a model accreditor, and help change the profession for the future.

According to the American Association for Colleges of Teacher Education, of the 1400 institutions with teacher preparation programs, 60 percent have specialized accreditation. Whether through specialized accreditation or state approval processes, institutions with teacher preparation programs need to get ready for the new standards.

NAICU strongly encourages its members with teacher preparation programs to engage in the outreach, clinics and webinars that CAEP will host over the next several months to inform institutions about the coming changes, and to respond to requests for feedback as they tease out how institutions can provide evidence of meeting specific standards. NAICU also encourages you to be purposeful in your work—be sure to document changes to teacher preparation programs, and link those changes to how they will improve the program.

Broadly, institutional leaders need to consider three questions:

  • What will these changes mean for your teacher preparation programs?
  • How can you prepare for this wave of change?
  • Are the right people on campus aware of these changes?

CAEP was formed by the merger of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). While a two-year transition is underway, CAEP will make its first appearance before the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) in June. CAEP must earn Department of Education approval as a specialized accreditor, and is being treated as a new accreditor in review, despite the merger.

Meanwhile on Capitol Hill . . .

As Congress moves toward the next Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization, teacher preparation reform is one of the main focus areas. In preparation, both the House and Senate Education Committees have held hearings on teacher education.

Both hearings included witnesses from private colleges. Vanderbilt University was invited to testify because it is one of the four institutions deemed exceptional by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) survey. [See Washington Update article]  Marcy Singer Gabella, professor of the practice of education and associate chair for teacher education in the Peabody College of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University, discussed how federal policy leaders might support the ongoing development of successful models of teacher preparation.  Mary Brabeck, the Gale and Ira Drukier dean and professor of applied psychology at New York University, was invited to speak at the Senate hearing as chair of the CAEP Board.

Testimony in both hearings reflected the reality that state, local and institutional players are working together to improve teacher preparation and student learning outcomes. While opening statements from committee members reflected their concern about the state of the profession and its impact on student learning, members did not appear eager for an intrusive federal role into teacher preparation to drive improvements.

However, both committees would like feedback on the data collection for states and institutions required by Title II of HEA. They would like to know what is useful, what isn’t, and what’s too much. If your institution has particular feedback about the Title II report cards, please let us know.

Video and testimony from the House hearing is available here:



Video and testimony from the Senate hearing is available here:

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