Report 2010-119 Recommendations and Responses in 2012-041

Report 2010-119: Commission on Teacher Credentialing: Despite Delays in Discipline of Teacher Misconduct, the Division of Professional Practices Has Not Developed an Adequate Strategy or Implemented Processes That Will Safeguard Against Future Backlogs

Department Number of Years Reported As Not Fully Implemented Total Recommendations to Department Not Implemented After One Year Not Implemented as of Most Recent Response
Commission on Teacher Credentialing 1 22 6 0

Recommendation To: Teacher Credentialing, California Commission on

The Commission should seek a legal opinion from the attorney general to determine the legal authority and extent to which the committee may delegate to the division the discretionary authority to close investigations of alleged misconduct without committee review, and take all necessary steps to comply with the attorney general's advice.

Response

The commission submitted a request to the attorney general on May 2, 2011. However, in its one-year response, the commission indicated that it was not waiting for the attorney general's opinion to begin increasing the number of cases presented to the committee. It stated that it had taken steps to increase the number of cases the committee was reviewing from 50-60 cases to 100 cases each month by May 2012 to determine if that workload was possible for the committee.

At its August 2012 meeting, the division informed the commission that since May 2011, it has been presenting all cases to the committee and that the practice was working. As a result, the commission adopted the following policy: All matters where the committee has jurisdiction to investigate shall be presented to the committee. Any exceptions to this policy shall only be made where the commission has explicitly granted staff specific authority to take such an action with sufficient clarity that the staff's action is a ministerial duty. Since this policy made the commission's request for a formal opinion from the attorney general unnecessary, it also approved the withdrawal of the request at its August 2012 meeting.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: August 2012
  • Response Date: August 2012

Recommendation To: Teacher Credentialing, California Commission on

Once the Commission has received the attorney general's legal advice regarding the extent to which the committee may delegate case closures to the division, the commission should undertake all necessary procedural and statutory changes to increase the number of cases the committee can review each month.

Response

This recommendation was resolved by the commission's actions described under recommendation 1.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: August 2012
  • Response Date: August 2012

Recommendation To: Teacher Credentialing, California Commission on

The division should provide the training and oversight, and should take any other steps needed, to ensure that the case information in its database is complete, accurate, and consistently entered to allow for the retrieval of reliable case management information.

Response

As indicated in its six-month response, the commission provided training to its staff to ensure that they consistently and accurately enter information into the database. Additionally, in its one-year response, the commission stated that most of the management and supervisory team in the division were replaced and it is in the process of recruiting a new management team. According to the commission, management duties will include routine or scheduled reviews of data.

In an August 2012 update, the commission provided its newly developed policy and procedures for reviewing data to ensure its accuracy. The commission also stated that it selected a random sample of 60 case files and reviewed 23 key data points for each file, creating a possibility of 1,380 errors. According to the commission, it developed, completed, and saved documentation of this review, during which it found a very low rate of error—only seven errors in total. Finally, in keeping with the procedures that the division developed, the commission plans to complete this data audit annually.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: August 2012
  • Response Date: August 2012

Recommendation To: Teacher Credentialing, California Commission on

To adequately address the weaknesses in its processing of reports of misconduct, the division should revisit management's reports and processes for overseeing the investigations of misconduct to ensure that the reports and practices provide adequate information to facilitate reduction of the time elapsed to perform critical steps in the review process.

Response

As indicated in its one-year response, the commission developed a variety of case aging reports designed to show the age of cases and to provide management with the information necessary to oversee and monitor the investigation of all reports of misconduct. These reports appear to include information about critical steps in the review process. Additionally, the committee recently reviewed a plan on setting performance measures for critical stages of the division's business processes. The plan also presents proposed targets to perform vital tasks and a proposed report on performance measures, with targets, cycle time, and volume. According to the plan, these measurements will be displayed in a data dashboard, an executive level information display that is designed to be easy to read. However, the commission stated that to implement the dashboard requires revisions to the database, which will not be completed until the summer of 2012. In an August 2012 update, the commission stated that it has implemented the dashboard, which is described more fully under recommendation 5.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: August 2012
  • Response Date: August 2012

Recommendation To: Teacher Credentialing, California Commission on

The division should ensure that its reports and practices provide adequate information to facilitate prompt requests for information surrounding reports of misconduct from law enforcement agencies, the courts, schools, and knowledgeable individuals.

Response

In its one-year response, the commission stated that at its January 2012 meeting, it reviewed a “dashboard measurement” tool for setting performance measures for critical stages of the division's business processes. It also presented proposed targets to perform vital tasks, such as for requesting documents related to the misconduct from the appropriate entities, as well as a sample report on performance measures that displays targets, cycle times, and volumes. However, the commission stated that to implement the dashboard requires revisions to the database, which will not be completed until the summer of 2012.

In an August 2012 update, the commission indicated that it had actually developed and was using two dashboards to provide data about the promptness of handling cases. According to the commission, one dashboard is for the commission's use in exercising its oversight responsibilities for discipline cases and measures three key stages of the division's workload: intake of mail, case management, and review by the committee. It also stated that each item on the dashboard gives three critical measurements: volume of work, average time for the work, and the goal for timely action. Further, the commission indicated that it developed and is using a second dashboard that focuses on key areas within the intake unit, which experiences the highest volume of work, to provide managers and staff with an easy to view method of seeing progress and problems.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: August 2012
  • Response Date: August 2012

Recommendation To: Teacher Credentialing, California Commission on

The division should ensure that its reports and practices provide adequate information to facilitate an understanding of the reasons for delays in investigating individual reports of misconduct without having to review the paper files for the cases.

Response

The commission modified its database to include a “Cause for Delay” activity and it incorporated this activity into three of the reports its database generates. According to the commission, this will allow management to determine whether a case is delayed, whether the delay is caused by an external agency, and the reason for the delay. Although the commission has built the activity into the database, it stated that due to certain warranty issues surrounding its database, it cannot implement the activity until the end of May 2012. Since its April 2012 response, the commission developed procedures on the activities staff will perform to track the “cause for delay” in the database. In June 2012, it conducted training related to these procedures and, according to the commission staff began entering the reasons for delays as they reviewed cases. Finally, in an August 2012 update, the commission stated that its information technology section developed a report on causes for delay.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: August 2012
  • Response Date: August 2012

Current Status of Recommendations

All Recommendations in 2012-041