Teacher Preparation

Data on teacher prep grads will soon lead to consequences for some programs

More states tying teacher data back to teacher preparation, report says

Eleven states now tie teacher outcomes back to their preparation programs, and an increasing number of states are planning to use that data to decide whether to keep programs open, according to a new report by Bellwether Education Partners.

The report comes as many teacher preparation programs and experts are waiting on the U.S. Department of Education to finalize new federal regulations that could require all states to determine how graduates fare after completing teacher preparation programs and report that data publicly.

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The 11 states that currently track this data look at a variety of graduate information, including the academic growth of students taught by graduates (as measured by standardized tests), job placement rate of graduates, and the persistence rate once teachers begin teaching. Some states, like North Carolina, track outcomes by institutions, while other states, like Ohio, dig into individual programs within institutions.

The report said three states, Florida, Massachusetts, and Ohio, currently use graduate data to make decisions about programs. Florida’s program data, for example, is used with several other data points to determine if programs are reapproved, a process that takes place every five years. Massachusetts looks at data about program graduates, which this year will include teacher evaluation data, when determining whether to approve teacher preparation programs. In Ohio, the state currently only uses licensure test pass rates.

Six states plan to use this data in the future to make “consequential decisions” about programs. Delaware will roll out consequences this year, including a probationary period for programs that have poor outcomes. Tennessee will begin to use data from graduate reports when approving programs during the 2017-18 academic year.

Related: Ready for Day One? Maybe not: What two new reports show about teacher preparation

It’s likely that more states will begin to consider this data, whether or not it included in the DOE’s new regulations. In September, the United States Department of Education approved “educator equity plans” from 16 states, which are meant to identify the root causes of why poor and minority kids receive more inexperienced teachers and fix the problem. Several states said they would focus on determining the success of training programs as one of their main strategies. The Indiana Department of Education, for example, will survey new teachers and the principals that oversee those teachers to evaluate the effectiveness of Indiana’s educator preparation programs. Pennsylvania will track teachers who have been dismissed to determine if they are coming from a specific preparation program.

Experts have debated for years about whether student test scores can provide a reliable and fair measure of teacher performance or academic training. Some say that it’s hard to disaggregate other factors, like school-based professional development, from a teacher’s preparation program.

The authors of the Bellwether report said that looking at graduate data is critical to make systemic changes in teacher preparation. “Researchers are still debating how to track results and define a successful preparation program,” wrote the authors of the report. “But preparation programs will never be able to improve unless states track their results.”

What graduate outcomes do states track?

State Teacher Prep Grad Outcomes Tracked
Colorado Student academic growth, placement, mobility, retention, performance evaluation
Delaware Recruitment, candidate performance, placement, retention, graduate performance
Florida Placement rate of program graduates, retention rate of program graduates, results of district evaluations of graduates, achievement of pre-k through 12th-grade students of graduates, achievement of students of graduates by subgroups, production of teachers in critical shortage areas
Georgia Teacher effectiveness measures of program graduates, success rates of induction certificate teachers, candidate performance on state-approved content assessments, candidate performance on edTPA, completion rates, retention rates, employment yield rate, survey of employed graduates, employer survey
Louisiana Content and pedagogical knowledge, completer rating of program, program productivity and alignment to state needs of graduates, entry and persistence in teaching, placement and persistence in high-need subjects and schools, performance as classroom teachers, impact on K-12 students, demonstrated teaching skill, state value-added and overall evaluation scores, K-12 student perceptions
Massachusetts Candidate enrollment, program graduates, Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) pass rate, employment , faculty and staff, job placement and retention rates.
New Jersey Certification and licensure rates, hiring rate, persistence rate, school placement by: school classification, district factor group , classroom assignments by teacher-shortage area, compensation, Praxis II scores
North Carolina Demographics and academic profile of entering candidates, graduation rate, time-to-graduation rate, licensure assessment scores and pass rate, licensure rate, employment rate, retention rate completer satisfaction, employer satisfaction, completer effectiveness
Ohio Licensure test scores or pass rate, evaluation results of program graduates, edTPA assessment results, value-added data, candidate academic measures, field and clinical experiences, pre-service teacher survey results, resident educator survey results, resident educator persistence, excellence and innovation initiatives, national accreditation
Rhode Island Employed graduates, completer employment details, educator effectiveness, certified graduates, certification details, admission and progression, professional test data, GPA at admission, GPA at completion
Tennessee Placement rate, retention rate, assessment average score and pass rate , teacher effect data. (In October 2014, Tennessee’s State Board of Education passed Educator Preparation Policy 5.504, which changed the way the state approves educator-preparation providers. As part of that policy, the state will collect information from all educator-preparation programs for an annual report that is separate from, but includes much of the same data as, the Teacher Preparation Report Cards. The metrics required for the annual report are: recruitment and selection, placement, retention, completer satisfaction, employer satisfaction, completer outcomes, completer impact.)

This story was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education. Read more about teacher preparation.

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Jackie Mader

Jackie Mader is Mississippi bureau chief. She covers preK-12 education primarily in the rural South. Her work has appeared in the The Denver Post, the… See Archive