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JLEOC Approves Draft Bill Revising EPP Reporting Standards

Elizabeth Yelverton | NCASA

The Joint Legislative Program Oversight Committee (JLEOC) approved on Monday a draft bill that would make changes to the way the state collects data for Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs). Based on findings from a Program Evaluation Division report, which found the current approach to EPP reporting was inadequate and often inconsistent throughout the state’s colleges and universities, evaluators made four recommendations to improve performance measures, which were incorporated into a draft bill.

Section 1 of the bill draft would require the State Board to establish performance standards for EPPs based on data regarding the employment of EPP graduates, including: (1) the number of students employed as beginning licensed teachers within the first year of completing the program; (2) the number of students retained in the profession; and (3) the number of beginning educators with active status in the NC State Employee Retirement System at least three years after licensure. The bill draft also directs the State Board to include this information in its annual report on EPPs as a performance standard indicator.

Section 2 of the bill draft would direct the State Board to adopt a rule establishing a “small group exception” to performance data collected by EPPs with a small number of graduates, as such data is often insignificant or misleading due to the small number of program participants in the demographic group.

Section 3 of the bill draft would require the State Board to use a formulaic, performance-based weighted model for the purposes of comparing annual report card information between EPPs. Section 4 would direct the State Board to work with the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and the Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission (PEPSC) to develop the performance-based weighted model. The new model would apply beginning with data from the 2020-2021 academic year, while other sections of the bill would be effective when the bill becomes law.

Some members of JLEOC expressed concerns with certain aspects of the draft bill, such as possible additional burdens the new reporting requirements would place on the State Board. The bill draft was ultimately approved with authorization for legislative staff to make additional changes. The revised bill will be introduced for consideration and possible approval during the 2019 session of the General Assembly. 

Elizabeth Yelverton