ERIC Identifier: ED460124
Publication Date: 2001-11-00
Author: Earley, Penelope M.
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on
Teaching and Teacher Education Washington DC.
Title II Requirements for Schools, Colleges, and Departments of Education. ERIC Digest.
The Higher Education Act (HEA) was one of President Lyndon Johnson's "Great
Society" programs designed to provide financial support for low-income youth to
pursue postsecondary education. The HEA, like many large federal programs, is
periodically examined by Congress and updated through amendments. This process
is called reauthorization and occurs approximately every five years. In 1996
Congress began one of these reviews, which culminated in November 1998 with
President Clinton signing the Higher Education Amendments of 1998 (P.L.
During the review of HEA, concern about the quality of teacher education
emerged (Earley, 2000). Although Federal programs to strengthen the teaching
force through teacher preparation and professional development grants existed
for over 15 years in Title V of HEA, Congress used the 1996-1998 amendment
process as an opportunity to make major revisions in that portion of the law.
This was done by abolishing the Title V programs and creating a new Teacher
Quality section in HEA known as Title II. The new Title II had two purposes:
Sections 202-205 established grant programs for partnerships between K-12
schools and institutions of higher education and for states to improve teacher
quality, while sections 206, 207, and 208 laid out new accountability
requirements for states and institutions that prepare teachers (Higher Education
Amendments, 1998). It is the accountability provisions in Sections 207 and 208
that are the focus of this digest.
INFLUENCING THE POLICY AGENDA
Legislative decisions do not
occur in a vacuum, and often events that influence lawmakers are external to the
formal policy making process (Kingdon, 1995). In the case of the Title II
accountability provisions, a catalyst that brought focus to teacher education
was the 1996 release of What Matters Most: Teaching for America's Future by the
National Commission on Teaching and America's Future (NCTAF). This report
presented a framework for reforming teacher education. The National Commission's
recommendations stressed actions that should be taken by institutions of higher
education, state teacher licensing agencies, and local schools; however, members
of Congress felt national directives also were necessary (Earley, 2000; Miller
The high visibility given to What Matters Most in the press led to some vocal
opposition to teacher education (Earley, 2000). This opposition came primarily
from groups and individuals who supported elimination of teacher licensure and
endorsed a free-market approach to teacher recruitment and hiring (Ballou &
Pordgursky, 1997). Thus, as Congress considered how to revise HEA, the
information lawmakers heard about teacher education could be classified into
three general messages:
The current preparation of teachers is inadequate;
Teacher education should be guided by strong standards (as proposed by NCTAF);
Formal teacher education is unnecessary, as characterized by NCTAF critics.
Because the federal government is limited in its ability to impose
college-level curriculum or to set state licensure standards for educators, the
Congress focused on the first message. It addressed perceived deficiencies in
teacher preparation by mandating through Title II that any institutions
preparing teachers that receive funds through HEA for any purpose, and any
states that receive HEA monies submit to Congress annual reports on their
efforts to improve the quality of teaching. Sections 207 and 208 of the Higher
Education Amendments of 1998 detail these reporting requirements.
HIGHER EDUCATION REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
The provisions in
Title II, Sec. 207 and Sec. 208 are designed to gather information on, and rank
within states, institutions that prepare teachers. As Miller (2001) points out,
the reasoning behind these provisions is to urge college and university
presidents to direct energy and resources toward improving the teacher education
programs on their campuses. Consequently, each year that the law is in effect,
colleges and universities must report the following information to their state:
The pass rates of students who have completed a teacher education program on
each of the state's licensure examinations. (Examinations taken by fewer than 10
students are included only in aggregated data in order to protect public
disclosure of exam results when only a few students take the exam each year.)
The number of students enrolled in teacher education programs.
The number of hours each teacher education student is required to complete in
practice teaching and the faculty-student ratio in this part of the program.
Whether or not the college or university's teacher education program is approved
or accredited by the state.
Whether or not the state has identified the institution's teacher education
program as low-performing. In addition, the law specifies that institutions may
submit supplemental information about their program, such as characteristics of
students they enroll, the community they serve, the institution's mission, and
the like. The optional supplemental information may be used to present a broader
institutional picture than that given by exam pass rates and other quantitative
data. Colleges and universities must also make this information available to the
public, potential students, and prospective employers of their teacher education
graduates (Higher Education Amendments, 1998).
Strong sanctions are associated with Title II. Institutions that do not
submit reports or intentionally provide inaccurate information could be fined
$25,000. Moreover, each state is required by law to develop criteria to flag
low-performing colleges and universities. These criteria may or may not include
test scores, but once in place, if an institution is identified as
low-performing and has not improved after receiving technical assistance from
the state, it may lose eligibility to receive federal grants to support educator
professional development and may not enroll a student in its teacher education
program who receives student financial aid under Title IV of HEA.
States need to compile all data
submitted by colleges and universities. In addition, the state is expected to:
Describe its licensure requirements and all assessments that are used as part of
the teacher credentialing process.
Explain the extent to which there is alignment between the teacher education
licensure requirements and K-12 content standards.
Report the qualifying scores and percentage of candidates who pass each teacher
licensure exam for each program in the state. (This provision was subsequently
modified by the U.S. Department of Education to require that institutional
comparisons within states be done by "adjusted quartiles.") (U.S. Department of
The number of licensure waivers granted by the state disaggregated by teaching
subject and by high- and low-poverty school districts.
A description of any alternative routes to teaching in the state and the
percentage of students in these programs who pass the licensure exams.
The criteria used to approve a teacher education program unit.
Information about any and all subject matter examinations teachers or future
teachers must take. Beginning in 2001 and each year thereafter this information
must be reported to the U.S. Department of Education to be used by the Secretary
of Education in an annual report to the Congress on teacher quality.
IMPLEMENTING TITLE II
Title II states that the National
Center for Education Statistics (NCES) within the U.S. Department of Education
must establish a reporting system to comply with an implementation time line
specified by law. Since Title II requires consultation with states and
institutions of higher education in developing compliance guidelines, a
consultative committee of individuals from states, institutions of higher
education, and the policy community was appointed to help NCES construct a
reporting system (Higher Education Act, 1998; U.S. Department of Education,
2000). Many difficult questions arose: What is the appropriate definition of a
teacher education graduate or program completer? Should the definition of
faculty include only campus-based personnel or also include clinical faculty
employed primarily at the school site? Is information on "student teaching" or
on all clinical experiences within a future teacher's program to be included? Is
there a common definition for an alternate route to teaching? What constitutes a
licensure waiver? How will institutions in states that do not use a standardized
assessment instrument for licensure be ranked? How will the information be made
public by colleges and universities, the state, and the Federal government?
Struggling with these questions as well as the task of creating a common
reporting format for licensure exam scores proved to be significantly more
complex than anticipated, and the first Title II reporting deadlines were
adjusted, with Congressional approval, to April 2001 for institutions of higher
education and October 2001 for states.
Reporting guidelines for use by institutions and states covered under HEA,
Title II, were published in May 2000 (U.S. Department of Education, 2000), yet
some issues had not been fully resolved. What will be the cost to institutions
and states to comply with this law? Do the Title II reporting guidelines go
beyond or reinterpret provisions in Sec. 207 and Sec. 208? Inasmuch as Title II
data are not to be used for cross-state comparisons (U.S. Department of
Education, 2000), will the data available to the Secretary of Education in
October 2001 provide useful information for policymakers? Implementation of
Title II, the burden on institutions and states, and the quality of the data the
reports produce are being carefully monitored by the Congress (Miller, 2001).
However, there will be limited opportunity for significant changes in the Title
II requirements until the next reauthorization of the Higher Education Act in
2003 or 2004.
Ballou, D. & Pordgursky, M. (1997).
Reforming teacher recruitment: A critical appraisal of the recommendations of
the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future. Government Union
Review, 17(1), 1-51.
Earley, P.M. (January and March 2000). Finding the culprit: Federal policy
and teacher education. Educational Policy, 14(1), 25-39.
Higher Education Reauthorization Act of 1998, Pub. L. No. 105-244. [On-line]
Kingdon, J. (1995). Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies (2nd Edition).
Boston: Little Brown.
Miller, G. (2001). Preparing the next generation of teachers: Title II of the
Higher Education Act. Policy Perspectives, 2(5), 1-4.
National Commission on Teaching and America's Future (1996). What matters
most: Teaching for America's future. New York: Columbia University Press.
U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics
(2000). Reference and reporting guide for preparing state and institutional
reports on the quality of teacher preparation: Title II, Higher Education Act,
NCES 2000-089. Washington, DC.