The U.S. Department of Education has put forth a new plan to evaluate teacher prep programs. The new plan is about making sure teacher prep programs are producing quality teachers, not just a lot of new teachers.
The biggest part of this new plan is allow more public information about the teacher prep programs. In Tennessee, this is already happening. Recently, the state of Tennessee released information on the state’s teacher prep programs.
From the DOE’s press release:
The proposal would require states to report annually on the performance of teacher preparation programs – including alternative certification programs – based on a combination of:
- Employment outcomes: New teacher placement and three-year retention rates in high-need schools and in all schools.
- New teacher and employer feedback: Surveys on the effectiveness of preparation.
- Student learning outcomes: Impact of new teachers as measured by student growth, teacher evaluation, or both.
- Assurance of specialized accreditation or evidence that a program produces high-quality candidates.
I think providing teacher and employer feedback for teacher preparation programs is great for a few reasons. If a teacher gets out of a program and finds that it was lacking, there should be a way to let others know the program is lacking. The same goes for school districts. If they are receiving top-notch teachers from a school, let others know!
It also means that universities could gain or lose applicants to their universities based on their ranking. Especially for those teachers who want to go back to graduate school to further their education. The rankings from individual school could sway students to go else ware.
From the executive summary of the 2014 Report Card on the Effectiveness of Teaching Training Programs:
Out of the five programs that are consistently outperforming other programs, only two of those come from traditional teacher training programs. I think it’s time for higher education programs to step up their game to produce only the best teachers.