State Partnership Program FAQ

What is the State Partnership Program?

The State Partnership Program was established in the late 1980s to integrate state and national professional educator preparation standards, increase the rigor of teacher education reviews, and reduce the expense and duplication of effort that occur when states and NCATE conduct two separate reviews. In 2000, the mission of the State Partnership Program  was expanded to include a commitment on the part of NCATE and its partner states to align state teacher education standards with NCATE’s national, professional standards for teacher preparation. This alignment had been recommended in recent education reform reports, including the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF).

Today, the State Partnership Program also provides support to States in implementing a system of accountability for teacher education. States often defer to NCATE standards or using them to jump start their own standard setting process. In fact, many states rely on NCATE’s program review process in lieu of their own. When states make decisions about the quality of institutions’ programs by using NCATE’s findings, it saves the state significant time and expense.

How can a state form a partnership with NCATE?

A state considering a partnership with NCATE should first contact NCATE State Relations staff. Following a discussion with the staff about how to configure the partnership, the state completes the online State Partnership Agreement Form and submits it to NCATE. Every seven years the state and NCATE renew their partnership.  

See also: Becoming a Partnership State.

Does my state have a partnership with NCATE?

NCATE maintains partnerships with 50 States, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. To find out whether your State is a partner, and what kind of partnership it holds, see State Partnership Types.

Which state agency is the official NCATE partner?

State Partnerships are formed with the state agency responsible for approving teacher education institutions’ right to operate programs that lead to teacher licensing. This agency is usually the State Department of Education, but may also be an independent professional standards board. In some states, the higher education commission may join the partnership if that governing body has oversight of public teacher education institutions.

How can I contact my state agency regarding the partnership with NCATE?

All contact information is listed in the State Contact Directory.

How long is an NCATE partnership in effect?

Partnerships that are renewed or established in 2002 or later will remain in effect for seven years. NCATE notifies the state of requirements and timelines for continuing the partnership.

I am the state contact for the state agency that holds the partnership with NCATE, and our partnership is up for renewal soon--what do I do?

States due to renew their partnership should contact Shari Francis, Vice President for State Relations.

See also: Becoming a Partner State.

See also: Staff Contact Directory.

What is the State Partnership Board, and what does it do?

The NCATE State Partnership Board (SPB) meets each fall to approve new and continuing state partnerships, establish policy for the NCATE State Partnership Program, and ensure the state’s perspective in NCATE governance. The SPB is comprised of a majority of state education policy makers; the chair of the board is always a chief state school officer. The State Partnership Board conducts an in-depth review of the agreement and supporting materials submitted by new and renewing partner states and declares that the partnership will be established, renewed, renewed conditionally or postponed. A report of the decision is sent to the state director of teacher education and/or the chief executive officer of the state professional standards board.

What decisions can be rendered by the State Partnership Board after consideration of a partnership agreement?

After reviewing a state’s partnership application, the State Partnership Board (SPB) will declare one of the following actions:

  1. Full partnership to be renewed in seven (7) years.

  2. Conditional partnership to be reviewed and reconsidered by NCATE staff within timeframe set by the SPB.

  3. Conditional partnership to be reviewed and reconsidered by the SPB during its next annual meeting.

  4. Postponed partnership in which the SPB takes no action and the state must resubmit the agreement the following year.

  5. Denial

States may request a one-year delay in renewing the partnership by sending a letter to the NCATE Vice President for State Relations. The existing partnership would remain in effect during this year. 


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