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Inventory of the Commission for Teacher Preparation and Licensing Records
R359  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Agency History
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization
  • Subjects
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Commission for Teacher Preparation and Licensing records
    Dates: 1917-1980
    Collection number: R359
    Creator: Commission for Teacher Preparation and Licensing
    Extent: 20 cubic feet and 2 bound volumes
    Repository: California State Archives
    Sacramento, California
    Abstract: The records of the Commission for Teacher Preparation and Licensing and its predecessors, the Commission of Credentials and the Dept. of Education-Committee of Credentials, consist of 20 cubic feet of textual materials and two bound volumes dating from 1917 to 1980. The record group contains minutes, agendas, investigative files, subject files, and correspondence.
    Physical location: California State Archives
    Language: English

    Administrative Information

    Access

    The records in the Investigative Files series (R359.02), the House Un-American Activities Committee Investigative Files series (R359.03), and the Committee of Credentials Minutes series (R359.06) are restricted because they contain records of investigations conducted and compiled by a state agency for licensing purposes and are restricted per California Government Code section 6254(f).

    Publication Rights

    For permission to reproduce or publish, please consult California State Archives staff. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement that may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives' collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Commission for Teacher Preparation and Licensing Records, R359.[series number], [box and folder number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

    Acquisition Information

    The California State Archives acquired the records of the Commission for Teacher Preparation and Licensing per state law.

    Agency History

    In 1917, the State Board of Education was given the ultimate authority in issuing and reviewing credentials of teachers employed in California. To aid in the fulfillment of this responsibility they established the Commission of Credentials through Chapter 540 of the 1917 California Statutes. The Commission would have three members to include the commissioners of elementary, secondary, and industrial and vocational education. The purpose of the Commission would be to review the applications of those wishing to earn teaching certificates in California. To carry out this duty they would be required to perform investigations of individuals with suspicious applications or questionable lifestyles. They also accredited teacher training programs and prepared credential examinations. Although the Commission was not directly under the control of the State Board of Education, they could not issue any credentials without the Board's final approval.
    Chapter 453 of the 1927 California Statutes slightly changed the Commission's membership and stated that it was to be an advisory board of the newly created Division of Teacher Training and Certification within the California Department of Education. The duties of the Commission remained largely unchanged. The State Board of Education retained control over the final decisions on credential approval.
    In 1963, the Department of Education took over the issuing of teacher credentials, bringing the Commission under its authority. The name of the Commission was changed to the Committee of Credentials, but its membership and duties remained the same. The State Board of Education continued to maintain some degree of influence over the Committee by retaining the ability to appeal their final decisions. In 1967, the Governor signed Chapter 1694, also known as the Professional Practices Act, which added more members to the Committee and clarified its investigative role, stating that it was necessary for the Committee to follow strict guidelines for due process. The law also indicated that the State Board of Education would create the policies for the Committee and that future meetings would be closed to the public.
    In 1970, sweeping changes were made to the administration of public education in California through the Ryan Act, also known as the Teacher Preparation and Licensing Law of 1970, or AB122 (Chapter 557). The new law created the Commission for Teacher Preparation and Licensing, an independent entity whose members would include public school teachers, school administrators, university faculty, local school board members, and private citizens, all appointed by the Governor. The Commission took on five major program areas in the area of credentialing, including accreditation of training programs, development of credential examinations, teacher licensing, evaluation and research, and teacher standards. To carry out this last duty they took over control of the Committee of Credentials, stating that it had a responsibility to ensure that immoral, criminal, or otherwise unhealthy behavior would lead to the revocation of teacher credentials. Since that time the Committee of Credentials has remained under the authority of the Commission for Teacher Preparation and Licensing.
    Chapter 698 of the 1982 California Statutes changed the name of the Commission to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Though there have been minor changes to the duties and membership of the Commission, it has remained largely the same to the present day.

    Scope and Content

    The records of the Commission for Teacher Preparation and Licensing and its predecessors, the Commission of Credentials and the Dept. of Education-Committee of Credentials, consist of 20 cubic feet of textual materials and two bound volumes dating from 1917 to 1980. The record group contains minutes, agendas, investigative files, subject files, and correspondence. This guide describes records of the Commission for Teacher Preparation and Licensing, as well as its predecessors the Commission of Credentials and the Dept. of Education-Committee of Credentials.
    TThe records of the Commission of Credentials, the first predecessor of the Commission for Teacher Preparation and Licensing, span from 1917 to 1962 and are organized into five series: Minutes, Investigative Files, House Un-American Activities Committee Investigative Files, Subject Files, and Correspondence. Investigative files make up the majority of the records within the collection and include detailed investigations of the professional and moral conduct of over 1,100 California public school teachers. The House Un-American Activities Committee investigative files include similar investigations that are focused on a group of about one hundred teachers that were subpoenaed to attend hearings on moral conduct in the spring of 1959. The investigative files are useful for understanding the reasons why teachers had their credentials denied or revoked and the social issues that were concerning the Commission of Credentials at the time of the investigations, such as Communist Party involvement or sexual orientation. Meeting minutes document the hearings of the teachers involved in the investigations. The subject files and correspondence also highlight the contemporary concerns of the Commission of Credentials.
    The most immediate predecessor to the Commission for Teacher Preparation and Licensing was the Committee of Credentials, whose records cover the years 1963 to 1971 and contain five series: Minutes, Agendas, Subject Files, Legislative Correspondence, and State Board of Education Correspondence. This series of minutes does not substantially differ from that found under the Commission of Credentials but is supplemented by a series of agendas that provide background information on teachers whose cases are to be heard at future meetings. Subject files and correspondence address issues important to the committee at that time, including teacher credentialing, public schools, legislation affecting the committee, relationships between the committee and outside agencies such as the State Board of Education, and the procedures for revoking teacher credentials.
    The records of the Commission for Teacher Preparation and Licensing span from 1974 to 1980 and include two series: Agendas and Subject Files. Agendas include materials related to important issues discussed at monthly meetings, such as legislation affecting public education in California and the credentialing of public school teachers. Subject files also address these topics as well as other agencies or individuals whose work was of interest to the commission. The records contained within this collection are highly useful for the study of public education in California and especially the history of teacher credentialing in the state.

    Organization

    This record group contains into two subgroups: Commission of Credentials records and Dept. of Education - Committee of Credentials records. The remainder of the records are arranged into two series.

    Subjects

    California Commission for Teacher Preparation and Licensing
    Teacher effectiveness
    Anti-communist movements

    Related Material

    State Board of Education Records