Teachers Underscore That Standards Need to Reflect Skills, Understanding, and Mindsets to Support Students in Current Classrooms
March 2, 2022—The California Standards for the Teaching Profession (CSTP) serve as a critical guide for teachers as they refine and extend their practice and develop and implement high quality instruction. In their new brief, Realizing the Potential of California Standards for the Teaching Profession to Transform Teaching & Learning: Recommendations from Teach Plus California Policy Fellows, Teach Plus teacher leaders set forth a series of recommendations to ensure the CSTP meet the needs of California’s diverse student population. With the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) preparing to adopt the new version of the CSTP in early 2022, the teachers focus their feedback on adding the essential missing elements to the standards to address the success of all students and teachers in the state.
“The CSTP play a significant role in shaping the teaching profession in California. They not only inform teacher preparation and candidates entering the profession, but also shape professional learning and evaluation for experienced teachers,” Teach Plus California Executive Director Sarah Lillis said. “As the needs of our students and our understanding for how to support them have evolved, It is essential for the revised CSTP to reflect that as well.”
The CSTP serve multiple purposes, from helping teachers to reflect on their practice and formulate professional goals to providing a common structure for accountability and the learning and development that takes place in the classroom. Knowing that the skills and attributes of today’s educators are significantly different from when the CSTP’s were last updated in 2009, the brief’s authors identified the following essential elements missing from the standards:
- The focus on affirming students’ voices, identities, and development to promote equity and inclusivity for every student and their family;
- The use of culturally responsive pedagogy for an instructional approach; and
- The support and affirmation of students’ well-being through social and emotional learning strategies.
“The CSTP should exemplify the tenets of educational transformation as we continue to reimagine and rebuild our schools,” said Teach Plus California Policy Fellow Leigh Dela Victoria, who coaches teachers in the Fontana Unified School District and one the brief’s co-authors. “The updated standards need to empower both teacher and student during the learning process while focusing on equity and affirmation.”
The teachers’ recommendations are:
- The CTC should maintain and reinforce the shifts in the CSTP to utilize more actionable and empowering language.
- The CTC should maintain and reinforce the shifts in the CSTP to prioritize culturally responsive pedagogy and approach students as complex, whole individuals with full social, emotional, and academic dimensions to serve.
- The CTC should develop a comprehensive CSTP rollout plan to ensure the standards’ shifts are understood and utilized at all levels from preservice training to professional development to educator assessment and reflection.
- The California State Legislature and Governor Newsom should invest in a comprehensive approach to rolling out the new CSTP by investing in the capacity of the CTC, as well as educator preparation programs and Local Education Agencies to incorporate the critical shifts in the standards.
“As state leaders determine priorities for the 2022-23 state budget, a strategic and focused rollout of the newly revised CSTP is essential,” said Ms. Lillis. “The CTC should invest in a robust rollout plan to highlight the standards while ensuring broad awareness among classrooms and school districts throughout the state.”
About Teach Plus
The mission of Teach Plus is to empower excellent, experienced, and diverse teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students’ success. Since 2009, Teach Plus has developed thousands of teacher leaders across the country to exercise their leadership in shaping education policy and improving teaching and learning, to create an education system driven by access and excellence for all. teachplus.org
Contact: Anya Grottel-Brown, firstname.lastname@example.org, 917-902-5902