Accreditation Alignment Issues
NCATE and the ELCC
Under NCATE, individual educational leadership preparation programs within colleges or schools of education are reviewed for recognition status by a specialized professional association (SPA) using nationally recognized standards. The Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) is the NCATE-SPA for leadership preparation and is governed by the National Policy Board for Educational Administration (NPBEA – www.npbea.org). ELCC provides both standards and guidelines to programs for the preparation of educational leaders, including expectations for program evaluation. Together, these standards and guidelines clarify expectations against which individual programs can be compared and the kinds of data and outcomes for program implementation and impact assessments.
ELCC requires seven types of assessments and recommends specific evidence:
- state licensure assessment or other content-based assessment;
- assessment of content knowledge in educational leadership, using comprehensive examinations, essays, and case studies;
- assessment of ability to develop supervisory plan for classroom-based instruction, such as school improvement plans, needs assessment projects, and faculty intervention plans;
- assessment of internship/clinical practice using faculty evaluations of candidates’ performances, internship/clinical site supervisors’ evaluations of candidates’ performances, or candidates’ formative and summative logs and reflections;
- assessment of ability to support student learning and development, such as post-graduate 360 surveys, employer satisfaction surveys, and community feedback surveys of candidates or graduates;
- an assessment of the candidates’ application of content knowledge in educational leadership (such as action research projects and portfolio tasks); and
- an assessment of candidates’ abilities in organizational management and community relations (such as, school-based strategic plans, school simulations, and school intervention plans).
When reviewed by ELCC, programs are rated on their use and quality of these seven types of assessment. Quality is determined by:
- the extent to which the assessment description and scoring guides are aligned to specific ELCC standard elements;
- how the scoring guide is used to measure progress;
- how aggregated data are aligned to specific ELCC standards and the assessment scoring guide; and
- whether results show both areas of candidate success and provide an improvement plan for areas in which candidates are not successful.
To encourage that evaluation data are used for program improvement and improved graduate preparation, ELCC requires that programs describe how their faculty “are using the data from assessments to improve candidate performance and the program, as it relates to content knowledge; pedagogical and professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions; and student learning”(National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, 2008, p. 2). Thus, data collection, analysis and use must be documented and their relationship to program decisions should be noted.