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Debate Continues Over Proposed EPP Accountability Model

Elizabeth Yelverton | NCASA Legal Affairs & Policy Manager

Members of the Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission (PEPSC) met on Thursday morning with specific instructions from the State Board of Education to reconsider changes to the proposed Educator Preparation Program (EPP) Accountability model. PEPSC recently submitted a report to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee (JLEOC) proposing a weighted EPP Accountability model based on three main “domains”—EPP performance, retention rates, and stakeholder perceptions. However, members of the State Board of Education voted during its monthly meeting on January 6 not to approve PEPSC’s proposed model, and instead send the model back to PEPSC to reconsider adding diversity as an accountability measure, among other changes. After discussing feedback received from the NC Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators (NCACTE) regarding further changes to the proposed model, PEPSC members decided not to vote on changing its accountability proposal, but rather, send the State Board’s recommendations to a PEPSC subcommittee for further discussion.

In July 2019, the NC General Assembly approved House Bill 107 (H107) to make changes to the performance standards that all EPPs must meet in order to continue recommending candidates for licensure and avoid sanctions. Specifically, H107 requires the State Board to work with the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and PEPSC to develop a “formulaic, performance-based weighted model” to compare annual report card information for each EPP. The bill further requires the State Board to report on the development of this weighted model, as well as other items, in a report to JLEOC by February 15, 2020.

Since October 2018, DPI and PEPSC have discussed which accountability measures should be included in the final proposed EPP accountability model. Representatives from both groups have continued to debate whether diversity should be included as an initial accountability measure in order to encourage more diverse teaching candidates, or simply studied until EPPs have a better understanding of the impact that including diversity will have on their overall performance. The report submitted to JLEOC prior to the State Board meeting in February notes PEPSC’s recommendation to “postpone implementation of a model that includes a diversity domain until more data can be collected to test the implications of the additional measures on the model.” PEPSC is expected to submit an amended report to JLEOC in the weeks ahead if any additional changes are made to the proposed accountability model.

Elizabeth Yelverton