The History of BTSA Induction
In 1988, policymakers in California became interested in supporting teachers in their first and second years of teaching. At that time, there were concerns about the lack of retention of new teachers in urban and rural environments, including an exceptionally high turnover of new teachers from minority populations. The problems were exacerbated by increasing class size, diversity of the student population, and increasing complexity of subject matter to be taught. The legislature enacted SB148, the Bergeson Act, to examine alternative models for supporting and assisting the professional induction of first- and second-year teachers. (California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, 1992).
The California New Teacher Project (CNTP) launched a pilot program from 1988-92 to provide individual mentoring, support, professional development, and teacher self-assessment.
In 1992, following the research pilot, the legislature authorized BTSA (Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment). This legislation also created a panel to review teacher credentialing. The panel included stakeholders from school administrators, universities, urban and suburban school districts, superintendents, teachers, school board members, and the California Department of Education. This panel (SB 1422) recommended a re-structuring of the teacher preparation process, including BTSA, which was designed to
- Provide an effective transition into teaching for first and second year teachers in California;
- Improve the educational performance of students through improved training,information and assistance for new teachers;
- Enable the professional success and retention of new teachers who show promise of becoming highly effective professionals;
- Identify teaching novices who need additional feedback, assistance, and training to realize their potential to become excellent teachers;
- Improve the rigor and consistency of individual teacher performance assessments and the usefulness of assessment results to teachers and decision makers;
- Establish an effective, coherent system of performance assessments that are based on a broad framework of common expectations regarding the skills, abilities, and knowledge needed by new teachers; and
- Examine alternative ways in which the general public and the education profession may be assured that new teachers who remain in teaching have attained acceptable levels of professional competence. (Education Code Section 44279.2)
In 1997, program leaders from BTSA and teacher education experts developed the California Standards for the Teaching Profession (CSTP) and the Standards of Quality and Effectiveness for BTSA Programs. The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and California Department of Education adopted these two sets of standards as policy statements on what constitutes good teaching, and what constitutes a quality Induction Program. New Professional Development sprung from the adoption of these two sets of standards, including Support Provider Training, staff development for new and experienced teachers of culturally and linguistically diverse students, and Site Administrator training. Formative assessments and teaching portfolios moved increasingly to standards-based, evidence-based formative assessment.
As the program infrastructure increased, CCTC and CDE increased accountability measures, both to demonstrate program impact on teacher quality and retention, and to serve as evidence for further expansion of the program. State and local surveys were mandated to help programs make necessary changes to accomplish these goals.
Class size reduction in 1998, coupled with the California Reading Initiative and the publication of What Matters Most: Teaching for America’s Future led to AB 1266, which updated the Education Code to include new requirements for the BTSA program:
- Enable beginning teachers to be effective in teaching students who are culturally, linguistically and academically diverse
- Ensure that a support provider provides intensive individualized support andassistance to each participating beginning teacher
- Establish an effective, coherent system of performance assessments that are based on the California Standards for the Teaching Profession.
- Ensure that an individual induction plan is in place for each participating beginning teacher and is based on ongoing assessment of the development of the beginning teacher
- Ensure continuous program improvement through ongoing research, development and evaluation.
Most importantly to the BTSA Induction Program, in 1998, SB 2042 passed. It was the first reform to teacher preparation and credentialing in more than 30 years. It established a two-tier structure for credentials, where teacher preparation programs (universities) grant preliminary credentials and district- or county-based programs grant the professional clear credential. SB 2042 Induction Programs now replace traditional BTSA programs. From 1998 – 2007, programs were responsible for fourteen program standards (which detailed how the program would be supported by the LEA) and teachers were responsible for six induction standards:
- Academic Content and Subject-Specific Pedagogy
- Using Technology to Support Learning
- Supporting Equity, Diversity, and Access to the Core Curriculum
- Creating a Supportive and Healthy Environment for Student Learning
- Teaching English Learners
- Teaching Special Populations
In 2008, Induction Program Standards were re-structured to several Common Standards (the same standards apply for Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) and Induction Programs. The Induction Standards for Teachers were re-structured to more holistic standards:
- Standard 5: Pedagogy
- Standard 6: Universal Access
At the same time, Induction became an Accredited Program that has a seven-year cycle of Accreditation. In that seven-year cycle, approved programs self-evaluate and modify their program based on survey data from all stakeholders, and then complete a site visit where documentation of all activities is confirmed by members of the Bureau of Institutional Review. The Accreditation Cycle includes:
- Program Assessment:
o The program submits a written description of program activities that meet each of the common standards and program standards for Induction.
o The program collects data on program effectiveness.
- Biennial Report
o The program reports data on program effectiveness
o The program proposes changed based on the assessment data
- Implement Changes
- Biennial Report (see above)
- Collect Data
o The program actively seeks additional data from all stakeholders
- Program Assessment (see above)
- Site Visit
o Members from the Bureau of Institutional Review complete a four-day site visit to verify all data submitted in the most recent Biennial Report and Program Assessment
In 2010, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing published standards for clearing the Education Specialist Credential. The San Mateo-Foster City School District was the first Induction Program in San Mateo County to receive accreditation for that program, and began offering the Induction Program for the Professional Clear Credential for Mild/Moderate and Moderate/Severe Preliminary Credentials in the 2011-2012 School Year. Education Specialist Level I credentials may be cleared if the teacher has the certificate for Autism Spectrum Disorder and verification of the technology, health, and constitution requirements on their credential document.
The San Mateo-Foster City School District offers a fully-accredited Induction Program for employees of the San Mateo-Foster City School District. We may be able, for a fee, to support teachers in non-public schools within the boundaries of this district. Please contact program coordinator, Beth Littrell, for details, email@example.com.
California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (www.ctc.ca.gov)
California Department of Education (www.cde.ca.gov)
Olebe, M. “A Decade of Policy Support for California’s New Teachers: The Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment Program. Teacher Education Quarterly, Winter, 2001.
Washington Unified School District website (www.wusd.k12.ca.us)