Educator Excellence

Retain, Support, and Retain Effective Educators

The CA CC works closely with the California Department of Education (CDE) and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) in supporting the state’s efforts to ensure an excellent educator work force that is prepared to help each student learn and thrive.

Impact Stories

Helping California Prepare the Next Generation of School Administrators for Success

Helping California Prepare the Next Generation of School Administrators for SuccessIn 2012, a statewide task force released a report on educator excellence recommending improvements to California’s school administrator preparation system. The California Comprehensive Center worked with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and other education and policy stakeholders to complete a comprehensive revision of the system by modifying the policies, processes, and expectations that are central to administrator preparation in the state. Beginning in 2017, every educator preparing for administration has been touched by improvement efforts to California’s school administrator preparation system. By 2022, an expected 9,800 new, highly-skilled administrators will comprise almost 40% of California’s school administrators.
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Work Highlights

21st Century California School Leadership Academy

Annotated Literature Review on Professional Learning for PrincipalsIn July 2019, SB 75 was signed into law, in which the California Department of Education and the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence shall establish a process, administered by the department, to organize and offer professional learning opportunities, and to select, subject to approval by the executive director of the state board, providers of high-quality professional learning for administrators and other school leaders to receive grants in a manner that ensures the availability of professional learning through the 21st Century California School Leadership Academy (CSLA), free of charge, to local educational agencies that receive federal Title II funds on a statewide basis.

To support the CDE and CCEE in planning a 21st CSLA, the CA CC developed an:

The Initial Impact of the California Administrator Performance Assessment (CalAPA) Policy on Preparation Programs

The Initial Impact of the California Administrator Performance Assessment (CalAPA) Policy on Preparation ProgramsAuthors: Karen Kearney (CA CC), Heather Mattson (CA CC), Rebecca Cheung (Principal Institute, UC Berkeley), and Reino Makkonen (REL-W)

In this study, The Initial Impact of the California Administrator Performance Assessment (CalAPA) Policy on Preparation Programs, researchers sought to examine the initial impact of the California Administrator Performance Assessment (CalAPA) policy by identifying early changes in administrator preparation programs’ practices.

Major findings in the areas of Coursework, Fieldwork, Resources, and Support are complemented by a discussion section that provides related commentary about key issues in the field of education to examine and a considerations section that identifies several short-term and long-term actions that policymakers, state-level agencies, and educators in the field may want to think about carrying out.

The study’s findings can be used by administrator preparation programs, policymakers, and the education field at large to inform possible refinements to the performance assessment policy; inform ways that preparation programs integrate and implement the performance assessments, and help determine how best to support administrator candidates through the preparation and assessment process.

Greatness by Design (GbD)

Greatness by Design (GbD)The CA CC works closely with the CDE and the CTC to implement recommendations from the state’s Educator Excellence Task Force report, Greatness by Design- Supporting Outstanding Teaching to Sustain a Golden State (GbD).

Recommendations focus on: Recruiting and Equitably Distributing Excellent Educators, Preparing Educators, Inducting Teachers and School Leaders, Offering Ongoing Professional Learning, Evaluating Educators, and Providing Leadership and Career Development Opportunities.

Also, see a GbD summary developed by the CA CC.

Quality Professional Learning Standards (QPLS)

To activate GbD recommendations, the CA CC provides support to CDE’s Professional Learning and Support Division in building the awareness and understanding of educators, policymakers and stakeholders that professional learning is the state’s key educator improvement strategy. This work has a specific focus on applying the Superintendent’s  Quality Professional Learning Standards (QPLS) to state, regional, and local efforts that target the implementation of continuous educator learning across career stages. They describe quality criteria that shape a coherent professional learning system that is guided by equity and is reflected in both state and local plans and activities (e.g., ESSA, Educator Equity, administrator preparation and support, and Local Control Accountability Plans).

The CA CC collaborated with CDE staff to create resources for LEAs and other stakeholders to learn about and apply the QPLS:
Quality Professional Learning Standards (QPLS)

Administrator Preparation and Induction

The CTC is California’s agency for licensing teachers, administrators and other educators. The CA CC has engaged with the CTC in a multi-year process to update and refine the state’s administrator preparation and induction system. By organizing and convening stakeholder panels and conducting public review and comment periods, program and professional standards, expectations and support documents have been developed, approved by the Commission and are now requirements for program accreditation and administrator certification.

The following shape the updated and revised Administrative Services Credential Programs:

  • Administrative Services Credential Standards – Preliminary Program Standards and Clear Induction Program Standards describe the system of administrator preparation, including requirements for Program Sponsors for accreditation and standards and expectations for candidates and new administrators.
  • California Professional Standards for Education Leaders (CPSEL)California Professional Standards for Education Leaders (CPSEL) are standards that express expectations for administrators at the professional level. They are the foundation for the new induction program geared for credential candidates who have successfully completed preliminary preparation and are finalizing their preparation in an induction program while simultaneously serving in their first administrator positions
    • Descriptions of Practice (DOP) enhance the usefulness of the CPSEL by illustrating what individual elements within each of the six CPSEL look like across a continuum of practice—ranging from practice directed toward the standard to practice exemplifying the standard. The continuum can be used for a variety of purposes, including developing formative assessments, planning leadership preparation and induction activities, professional learning or coaching.
  • California Administrator Performance Expectations (CAPE) define the knowledge, skills and abilities expected to be demonstrated by candidates at the end of the preliminary preparation period. The CAPE are used as the basis for the design and development of the new California Administrator Performance Assessment (CalAPA).
    • Clear Administrative Services Credential Induction Modules provide information and examples about administrator induction programs and practices to credential program leaders and candidates of the new Clear Administrative Services Credentials, induction coaches, employers and others engaged in guiding and supporting beginning administrators.
    • California Administrator Content Expectations (CACE) are non-regulatory guidance that describe the underlying content knowledge needed by the administrative services candidate to successfully meet the performance expectations.

Educator Evaluation

Teacher Evaluation

  • The California Comprehensive Center at WestEd (CA CC) supported the California Department of Education (CDE) with a two-year state pilot focused on teacher evaluation by providing design and implementation coaching on the content of the pilot sessions, developing of evidence-informed tools and resources, facilitating key sessions for pilot participants, and documenting the pilot for the CDE team.

Principal Evaluation
Educator Evaluation

  • The CA CC also published a series of resources on principal evaluation as part of the Center’s support of the Integrated Leadership Development Initiative (ILDI), a state cross-agency partnership. The resource collection provides examples and features of effective principal evaluation systems employed by states and districts, including considerations for developing local systems, examples of implementation and resources in support of these systems, and literature reviews identifying themes and perspectives that might be useful to practitioners and policymakers working to improve district principal evaluation systems.