This policy brief provides an overview of how teacher preparation programs are evaluated for the purposes of accountability and support. It describes efforts to change teacher preparation program evaluation by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation (CAEP), and National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ). To provide a national context for program evaluation efforts, Coggshall, et. al describe program evaluation measures as they relate to the Higher Education Act, Title II, Every Student Succeeds Act, and the Race to the Top competitive grant program. The document includes an overview of the current state of accountability and support in teacher preparation programs with respect to approval, accreditation, and certification of programs. The authors describe evaluation methods that use the evidence of the quality of program processes and impact on outcomes.
The described means of evaluating the quality of teacher preparation programs include:
- Examining candidate selection criteria, e.g. SAT/ACT scores, or GPA
- Reviewing teacher preparation program content, e.g. analysis of course syllabi
- Assessing clinical and student teaching experiences via surveys and document reviews
The described means to evaluate programs using the evidence of impact on outcomes include:
- Analyzing student achievement and the growth of the students who are taught by teacher preparation programs, e.g. value added modeling
- Analyzing teacher evaluation data, e.g. teachers’ summative evaluation scores
- Analyzing principal, employer, and graduate survey data, e.g. supervisor evaluations, recent graduate surveys
- Examining hiring and placement data, e.g. percentage of graduates hired as full-time teachers after graduation
- Data on persistence in teaching, e.g. percentage of graduates who leave the profession in the first 2 or 3 years
- Teacher candidate knowledge and skills outcomes, e.g. licensure exams
The brief also includes descriptions of the measures used by six states on the forefront of teacher preparation program evaluation: Louisiana, Texas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Ohio, and Florida. The authors include a table describing evaluation measures along with examples of their use, and their strengths and weaknesses. They advocate moving towards measures that provide more useful information and away from those considered to be input such as enrollment data or competitiveness rankings.. The brief recommends that a combination of measures is often ideal in allowing programs, accrediting bodies, and states to effectively evaluate programs.
Jane G. Coggsheall, Lauren Bivona, Daniel J. Reschly
National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality
Elementary (preparation to teach), High School (preparation to teach), Middle School (preparation to teach)
Coggshall, J. G., Bivona, L., & Reschly, D. J. (2012). Evaluating the Effectiveness of Teacher Preparation Programs for Support and Accountability. Research & Policy Brief. National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality.