Academic year: Any period of 12 consecutive months, as defined by the state.
Aggregate pass rate: See definition of “pass rate.”
Alternative route to certification or licensure: As defined by the state.
Cohort of program completers: Individuals who met all requirements of a state-approved teacher preparation program in a given academic year. (See definition of “program completer.”)
Cut score: The minimum score required by the state to pass a teacher certification or licensure assessment.
Elementary school: [A] day or residential school which provides elementary education, as determined under State law. (See section 14101(14) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.)
High and Low Poverty Districts: High poverty districts are defined as those districts eligible for Title I concentration grants under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Low poverty districts are defined as all other districts in the state.
Initial certification: As specified in State Questionnaire Ic. – as defined by the state.
Institution of Higher Education: Section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act provides a general definition of “institution of higher education,” as follows:
“For purposes of this Act, other than Title IV [Student Financial Assistance], the term ‘institution of higher education’ means an educational institution in any State that —
1)admits as regular students only persons having a certificate of graduation from a school providing secondary education, or the recognized equivalent of such a certificate;
2)is legally authorized within such State to provide a program of education beyond secondary education;
3)provides an educational program for which the institution awards a bachelor’s degree or provides not less than a 2-year program that is acceptable for full credit toward such a degree
4)is a public or other nonprofit institution; and
5)is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association, or if not so accredited, is an institution that has been granted preaccreditation status by such an agency or association that has been recognized by the Secretary for the granting of preaccreditation status, and the Secretary has determined that there is a satisfactory assurance that the institution will meet the accreditation standards of such an agency or association within a reasonable time.”
Section 101(b) defines additional institutions that are included:
“For purposes of this Act, other than Title IV, the term ‘institution of higher education’ also includes —
1)any school that provides not less than a 1-year program of training to prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation and that meets the provision of paragraphs (1), (2), (4), and (5) of subsection (a); and
2)a public or nonprofit private educational institution in any State that, in lieu of the requirement in subsection (a)(1), admits as regular students persons who are beyond the age of compulsory school attendance in the State in which the institution is located."
Pass rate: The percentage of program completers who passed assessment(s) taken for initial certification or licensure in the field of preparation.
Single assessment pass rate: The proportion of program completers who passed the assessment among all who took the assessment.
Aggregate pass rate: The proportion of program completers who passed all the tests they took in each of six skill or knowledge areas, among all program completers who took one or more tests in each area.
Summary pass rate: The proportion of program completers who passed all tests they took for their area of specialization among those who took one or more tests in their specialization areas.
Program completer: A person who has met all the requirements of a state-approved teacher preparation program. Program completers include all those who are documented as having met such requirements. Documentation may take the form of a degree, institutional certificate, program credential, transcript, or other written proof of having met the program’s requirements. In applying this definition, the fact that an individual has or has not been recommended to the state for initial certification or licensure may not be used as a criterion for determining who is a program completer.
Reporting to the general public: Making the information in institutional and state reports available widely and publicly to members of the public interested in the performance of the institution’s teacher preparation program. For institutions, this includes providing the required information in publications such as “school catalogues and promotional materials sent to potential applicants, secondary guidance counselors, and prospective employers of the institution’s graduates.” (See section 207(f)(2) of Title II.)
Reporting to the Secretary: Submitting annual state reports to the Office of Postsecondary Education in the U.S. Department of Education.
Reporting to the state: Submitting annual institutional reports to the state agency, commission, or board, in the state in which the institution is located, that is responsible for preparing the state report under section 207.
Secondary school: “A] day or residential school which provides secondary education, as determined under State law, except that it does not include any education provided beyond grade 12.” (See section 14101(25) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.)
State: Any of the states of the United States, as well as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Freely Associated States (the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau).
Student: An individual enrolled in a teacher preparation program leading to an initial state teaching certificate or license.
Sufficient content knowledge: For a subject-area teacher, having “sufficient content knowledge” means that the teacher holds at least a bachelor’s degree and demonstrates a high level of competency in all subject areas in which he or she teaches through—
Completing an academic major in each of the subject areas in which he or she provides instruction, or
Passing the state’s assessments of subject-area knowledge (however a state chooses to define “passing” for this purpose).
Summary pass rate: See definition of “pass rate.”
Supervised practice teaching: Practice teaching or internship in elementary or secondary schools required either by the state or the entity offering the program as a condition for completion of a teacher preparation program or for being considered for initial state licensure or certification and supervised by faculty as defined below.
Supervising Faculty: All persons who the institution regards as having faculty status, who were assigned by the teacher preparation program to provide supervision and evaluation of student teaching, and who have an administrative link or relationship to the teacher preparation program.
Teacher certification/licensure assessment: A test or other structured method that measures the qualifications of prospective teachers, has a pass-fail outcome, and is used by the state for teacher certification or licensure.
Teacher preparation program: A state-approved course of study, the completion of which signifies that an enrollee has met all the state’s educational and/or training requirements for initial certification or licensure to teach in the state’s elementary or secondary schools. A teacher preparation program may be either a regular program or an alternative route to certification, as defined by the state. Also, it may be within or outside an institution of higher education.
In applying this definition, states and institutions may not determine that a teacher preparation program concludes after an individual has passed all examinations the state uses for initial certification or licensure, unless the state or institution requires that an individual pass these examinations before it will confer a degree, institutional certificate, program credential, transcript, or other proof of having met the program’s requirements.
In addition, for the purpose of reporting, the guide considers all regular teacher preparation programs at a single institution of higher education to be a single program.
Teaching candidate: A completer of a teacher preparation program who has taken one or more assessments used by the state in which the program is located for initial teacher certification or licensure.
Test closure date: The date, specified by the state, after which test results will not be included in pass rates for an academic year cohort.
Waiver: Any temporary or emergency permit, license, or other authorization that permits an individual to teach in a public school classroom without having received an initial certificate or license from that state or any other state. See pages 15-17 for a detailed explanation of the waiver reporting requirement