Peering around the Corner: Analyzing State Efforts to Link Teachers to the Programs That Prepared ThemReport as inadecuate

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Bellwether Education Partners

States, programs, and schools have long focused on the inputs of teacher preparation--the rules for candidates and the preparation programs they attend--because inputs were thought to predict teacher effectiveness, and because they were often the best option available. But in the early 2000s, policymakers began trying to evaluate preparation programs on the basis of graduate outcomes. In 2011, the U.S. Department of Education took another step to encourage states to link preparation programs to outcomes. The department announced that it would begin the process of regulating Title II and Title IV of the Higher Education Act to address teacher-preparation accountability and reporting. Title II affects how states and institutions report on the quality of preparation programs and requires states to identify their low-performing programs. Title IV includes student-aid programs like TEACH Grants, a loan-forgiveness program for teachers attending "high-quality" preparation programs. During the rulemaking process, the department pushed to include completer outcomes in states' definitions of program quality, and to use those definitions to determine which programs were "high-quality" in the context of TEACH Grants. Researchers are still debating how to track results and define a successful preparation program, but preparation programs will never be able to improve unless states track their results. State policymakers considering this work would be wise to learn from early implementation efforts. This report reviews the challenges and trade-offs that states face in their efforts to link completer outcomes to preparation programs. After reviewing the challenges and trade-offs, the report looks at seven important questions for 11 states that have attempted to link outcomes to programs, based on the most recent information the authors could find. The 11 states include: Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Tennessee. Herein the authors present their distillation of lessons from these states and what policymakers can learn from these early adopters.

Descriptors: Teacher Education Programs, Outcomes of Education, Accountability, Program Effectiveness, Teacher Competencies, Educational Legislation, Federal Legislation, Higher Education, Grants, State Standards, College Graduates, Statistical Analysis, Reports, Evaluation Methods, Program Evaluation, Teacher Effectiveness, Teacher Placement, Employment Level, Teacher Persistence, Employers, Satisfaction, Teacher Attitudes, Measurement Techniques, Decision Making

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Author: Mitchel, Ashley LiBetti; Aldeman, Chad


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