Letters on Effective Educators

EdVoice is committed to helping bring the best possible new educators into California’s public schools and to give existing teachers and school leaders the support they need to thrive and promote a culture of ongoing improvement. California must tear down red tape that keeps talented individuals out of teaching.  At the same time we must create innovative new paths to the classroom and provide the support to ensure all teachers and school leaders have the skills set they need to help all students succeed. 

 Science Based   Reading Instruction   and Credentialing 

September 14, 2021 - Governor Newsom - SB 488 - Support 

On behalf of EdVoice, we respectfully request your signature on SB 488, which clarifies the role of the state in maintaining content validity in licensure exams, accreditation criteria, and oversight of schools of education to ensure novice teachers are provided training in the science of reading so that all children become fluent readers and read to learn.

 Teacher Quality Data 

July 9, 2021 - State Board of Education

Our coalition has continuously advocated for more transparency to parents and the public on teacher quality and assignment data and for sound policies to ensure that fully prepared and properly assigned teachers are present in every California classroom. The addition of Tables 6-9 in the School Accountability Report Card (SARC) are a great first step towards including teacher quality data in our accountability system and implementing the requirements of section 52064.5(e)(2) of the California Education Code. 

 Shortening   Probationary Period 

July 6, 2021 - Senate Appropriations Committee - AB 388 - Oppose

We believe AB 388 raises reasonable policy issues relating to cumulative probationary service credit for adult education and part-time service and instructors in regional occupational centers or programs. However, AB 388 conflates the cumulation of probationary service credit with shortening the probationary period of all certificated staff in local educational agencies (LEA) serving populations of less than 250 students.

 Basic Skills   Credentialing   Requirement 

July 6, 2021 - Senate Education Committee - AB 312 - Oppose Unless Amended

AB 312 would lower the bar and establish an uneven standard to exempt teacher candidates, substitute teachers and emergency permit holders from the uniform requirement to demonstrate minimum proficiency in basic reading, writing and mathematics skills to teach in a California public school. California has a constitutional responsibility to ensure every public school classroom is staffed to ensure each individual student is taught by an educator that has a basic understanding of reading, writing, and mathematics.

 Science Based   Reading Instruction   and Credentialing 

June 15, 2021 - Assembly Education Committee - SB 488 - Support

SB 488 establishes a framework with transparency and legislative oversight to transition to a performance based candidate licensure requirement to demonstrate competency in science-based reading instruction. SB 488 maintains California’s statutory commitment to approaches supported by strong empirical evidence on the foundational skills and instructional strategies to support early reading and literacy. Importantly, the bill also clarifies the responsibility of the state in maintaining content validity in licensure exams, accreditation criteria, and oversight of schools of education to ensure novice teachers are provided training in the science of reading, as specified in statute.

 Shortening   Probationary Period 

March 16, 2021 - Assembly Education Committee - AB 388 - Oppose

AB 388 proposes changes to certificated service credit and shortens the mandated probationary timeframe to attain permanent status. We believe AB 388 raises reasonable policy issues relating to cumulative probationary service credit for part-time service and instructors in regional occupational centers or programs. However, AB 388 conflates concerns relating to probationary service credit as evidence to shorten the time to permanent status for all certificated staff in local educational agencies serving populations of less than 250 students.

 Basic Skills   Proficiency Exemption 

March 16, 2021 - Assembly Education Committee - AB 312 - Oppose Unless Amended

AB 312 would lower the bar and establish an uneven standard to exempt teacher candidates, substitute teachers and emergency permit holders from the uniform requirement to demonstrate minimum proficiency in basic reading, writing and mathematics skills to teach in a California public school. California has a constitutional responsibility to ensure every public school classroom is staffed to ensure each individual student is taught by an educator that has a basic understanding of reading, writing, and mathematics.

 Science Based   Reading Instruction   and Credentialing 

March 12, 2021 - Senate Education Committee - SB 488 - Support

SB 488 establishes a framework with transparency and legislative oversight to transition to a performance based candidate licensure requirement to demonstrate competency in science-based reading instruction. SB 488 maintains California’s statutory commitment to approaches supported by strong empirical evidence on the foundational skills and instructional strategies to support early reading and literacy. Importantly, the bill also clarifies the responsibility of the state in maintaining content validity in licensure exams, accreditation criteria, and oversight of schools of education to ensure novice teachers are provided training in the science of reading, as specified in statute.

 Science Based   Reading Instruction   and Credentialing 

August 10, 2020 - Assembly Appropriations Committee - SB 614 - Oppose

SB 614 eliminates the only California Education Code requirement that multiple subject teachers and education specialists study and successfully pass a licensure examination demonstrating competency in the strategies of reading instruction proven by scientific research to work for all students, including English Learners and children with dyslexia. Furthermore, SB 614 repeals the required study of methods of instruction proven to work by empirical, verifiable and replicable data on programs of instruction at scale that work for all students, including students with dyslexia.

 Science Based   Reading Instruction   and Credentialing 

July 27, 2020 - Assembly Education Committee - SB 614 - Oppose 

Our coalition writes in strong opposition to SB 614. This bill proposes to deny settled science by removing explicit language in the Education Code on the foundational reading skills of research-based reading instruction. SB 614 would also eliminate a uniform minimum state standard for reliable and valid evidence of individual competency in science-based reading instruction as a prerequisite to earning a teaching license in California. SB 614 would take California backward and sanction the failed whole language approach for teaching reading that resulted in California fourth grade students reading near the bottom of the nation in 1994, tied with Louisiana and only ahead of Guam.

 COVID-19 Impacts   on Credentialing 

April 16, 2020 - California Commission on Teacher Credentialing 

EdVoice believes it is reasonable for the Commission to require that all candidates pass the CBEST in an appropriate timeframe as exam modalities and COVID-19 social distancing rules permit. This is particularly important for the basic skills requirement, which serves as the only floor for minimum competency for a range of permits and waivers. EdVoice concurs with the Commission’s consideration of COVID-19 conditions as “good cause” in offering extensions for induction and clearing credentials, particularly for preliminary credential holders. Further, we recommend the Commission take this moment to consider deeply the clear credential requirements moving forward.

 Basic Skills   Credentialing   Requirement 

March 16, 2020 - Press Release - AB 1982 would lower the bar for teacher candidates to meet minimum basic skills proficiency.

EdVoice strongly opposes Assemblymember Cunningham’s (R-San Luis Obispo) proposed legislation AB 1982, which would lower the bar that currently ensures all teachers meet the minimum basic reading, writing and mathematics skills to teach in California public schools (see letter attached). The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals already upheld California’s basic skills measure as a valid prerequisite to employment in a variety of positions in public schools. In fact, the district court examining the evidence noted that the “CTC would be justified in raising the cut scores.” The math component requires teachers to only demonstrate knowledge of 7th grade math.

 Basic Skills   Credentialing   Requirement 

March 10, 2020 - Assembly Education Committee - AB 1982 - Oppose 

EdVoice is in opposition to AB 1982, which would significantly lower the bar for teacher candidates to meet demonstrated minimum proficiency in basic reading, writing and mathematics skills to teach in a California public school. Establishing a requirement for objective demonstration of minimum proficiency in basic skills is a state consumer protection policy to ensure the fundamental right in the California Constitution that every student has an equitable opportunity to a basic education, and provides a minimum guarantee to parents and stakeholders that the California educator workforce is competent in basic skills.

 Science Based   Reading Instruction   and Credentialing 

November 20, 2019 - California Commission on Teacher Credentialing 

We represent a coalition of educational equity, civil rights and community-based organizations committed to improving outcomes for California students and write to express serious concern regarding the Commission on Teacher Credentialing’s Item 3E for the November 2019 meeting. Eliminating the demonstration of competency of teaching foundational skills in reading as a prerequisite to licensure would remove a constitutional protection for California’s children at a time when the majority of the state’s children aren’t reading at grade level. 

 Science Based   Reading Instruction   and Credentialing 

November 19, 2020 - California Commission on Teacher Credentialing

EdVoice strongly opposes the proposals in Item 3E to eliminate or diminish content expectations for the individual licensure of California’s multiple subjects teachers and education specialists. Such an action would remove necessary protections for California’s most vulnerable students and leave nothing in its place. California should be a leader in the settled science on teaching reading and must ensure all of its children needing to learn how to read are being taught by a teacher who knows how to teach reading with scientifically proven methods.

 Eligibility for Golden   State Teacher Grant 

March 26, 2020 - California Student Aid Commission

EdVoice would like to express concern regarding an apparently mistaken interpretation of the Golden State Teacher Grant (GSTG) Program eligibility. Several stakeholders participating on a call last month were told that CSAC was not making GSTG eligibility available to all statutorily eligible candidates.
This is of great concern as there is nothing in statute specifically prohibiting district and university interns participating in a professional preparation program leading to a preliminary teaching credential approved by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing from being eligible for the grants.

 Eminence Credential 

November 15, 2019 - California Commission on Teacher Credentialing 

Teacher effectiveness is indeed an important policy issue. However, the proposed additional requirements are entry qualifications, which would create additional barriers to teacher entry for content experts recommended by local school districts’ governing boards, without any filter for effectiveness. Eminence credential holders are not displacing highly effective 20-year veteran educators. In nearly all cases they are merely filling a vacancy that would otherwise be filled with an unqualified substitute, wavier or out-of-field educator.

 Science Based   Reading Instruction   and Credentialing 

September 20, 2019 - California Commission on Teacher Credentialing

There is strong evidence to suggest in agenda item 5B that the majority of teacher preparation programs are not delivering instruction based on the scientific consensus about what works when teaching children how to read. Unfortunately, options being considered appear to be proposing the dilution or elimination of the focus on foundational skills and science-based reading instruction.

 Paid Pregnancy Leave   for K-14 Staff

September 10, 2019 - Governor Newsom - AB 500 - Support

EdVoice is in support of AB 500 (Gonzalez), which would require K-14 districts to provide employees paid leave, when required to be absent, for at least six weeks due to pregnancy, as specified. Most employees not covered by state disability insurance (SDI) do not receive additional paid leave for pregnancy and pregnancy-related health complications, unlike private employees. This means employees are forced to exhaust their sick or vacation leave for pregnancy and childbirth, which depletes their accrued leave and limits their ability to fully recuperate prior to returning to work.

 Science Based   Reading Instruction   and Credentialing 

July 2, 2019 - Assembly Education Committee - SB 614 - Oppose 

Our coalition is is strong opposition to SB 614. This bill proposes to repeal explicit language in the Education Code on the foundation skills of research-based reading instruction. SB 614 also would eliminate evidence of competency in science-based reading instruction as a prerequisite to earning a teaching credential in California, with no consistently applied alternative in place to safeguard kids. And, SB 614 would make it more difficult for career-changers and teachers from out-of-state to demonstrate competence in the proven science of reading instruction.

 Intern Credential   Program and Pathways 

May 10, 2019 - Assembly Appropriations Committee - AB 221 - Oppose 

Our coalition writes in opposition to AB 221. AB 221 would result in new General Fund costs to school districts and counties to bring all recruitment and training in-house, hire more emergency permit waiver teachers more often, re-open collective bargaining agreements to force reassignments of existing teachers with more seniority to teach in high poverty schools, and increase class sizes. Instead, California should provide districts more tools to recruit and retain teachers, promote a diverse teaching corps, and provide equity of opportunity across the state.

 STEM Professional   Teaching Pathways 

April 16, 2019 - Assembly Education Committee - AB 578 - Support

EdVoice is in support of AB 578, which would establish the California STEM Professional Teaching Pathways grant program to help recruit, train, support and retain qualified science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professionals into the teaching profession. California is facing a serious shortage of teachers – especially in STEM subjects. The shortage, which some survey data show affects nearly 75% of school districts, is especially concentrated in districts that serve the state’s most vulnerable students. Attracting high-achieving, qualified people to the teaching profession is clearly a critical need and one that AB 578 seeks to address.

 Intern Credential   Program and Pathways 

February 2, 2019 - Assembly Education Committee - AB 221 - Oppose 

AB 221 would also disproportionately impact teachers of color. State-approved intern credentialing programs, including TFA, are the most diverse pipelines to teaching in the state. While the general California teaching population is 38% people of color, 61% of current TFA teachers are people of color. Multiple research studies agree that students of color do better when they have at least one teacher of the same race. Eliminating one of the most diverse pipelines to teaching in California, then, will not only exacerbate the shortage of effective teachers, it is a callous disservice to students of color in poverty.

 ESSA Definition of   Ineffective Teacher 

August 25, 2017 - State Board of Education

On behalf of EdVoice, I write in strong opposition to the proposed definition of “ineffective teacher” in the revised draft of the California State Plan for the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The Superintendent’s latest proposed definition is reckless and has no policy, analytical or legal basis for its support. It is only consistent with the process of its release as a sleight of hand “correction” to a quickly edited and re-posted 104-page memo during summer recess. California students and teachers deserve better.The definition provides no tie to demonstrated effectiveness based on student outcomes as intended by ESSA.

 ESSA Definition of   Ineffective Teacher 

August 25, 2017 - State Board of Education

Our coalition of organizations take issue with the use of the phrase “full credential,” as it will result in the arbitrary labeling of thousands of intern credentialed teachers as ineffective. We urge the Department to refrain from using credential type to define ineffective teacher. Effectiveness should be defined by measures of teacher impact on student performance. We encourage the California Department of Education to utilize student outcomes and to more accurately measure and define teacher effectiveness/ineffectiveness.