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Findings by State - Arizona

Overview

Scope of Review in Arizona
  2817 New teachers from the state's higher education institutions included in Review (2010)
  7 Institutions evaluated by NCTQ in the 2013 Review
-10 elementary programs, undergraduate (UG) and graduate (G)
-10 secondary programs, undergraduate (UG) and graduate (G)
  5 Institutions with sufficient data for an overall program rating
-Collectively supplying 97% of the state's traditionally trained teachers
-6 elementary programs, undergraduate (UG) and graduate (G)
-8 secondary programs, undergraduate (UG) and graduate (G)
43% Institutions sharing information for the Review
Big "take-aways" about teacher preparation in Arizona:

  • Highly rated programs -- Programs at Arizona State University (graduate secondary) and the University of Arizona (undergraduate secondary) are on the Teacher Prep Review's Honor Roll, earning at least three out of four possible stars. Across the country, NCTQ identified 21 elementary programs (4 percent of those rated) and 84 secondary programs (14 percent) for the Honor Roll.

  • Selectivity in admissions -- The Review found that only 10 percent of elementary and secondary programs in Arizona restrict admissions to the top half of the college-going population, compared to 28 percent nationwide. Countries where students consistently outperform the U.S. typically set an even higher bar, with teacher prep programs recruiting candidates from the top third of the college-going population.

Some worry that increasing admissions requirements will have a negative effect on the diversity of teacher candidates. By increasing the rigor and therefore the prestige of teacher preparation the profession will attract more talent, including talented minorities. This is not an impossible dream: 83 programs across the country earn a Strong Design designation on this standard because they are both selective and diverse, although no such programs were found in Arizona.

  • Early reading instruction -- Just 17 percent of evaluated elementary programs in Arizona are preparing teacher candidates in effective, scientifically based reading instruction, an even lower percentage than the small minority of programs (29 percent) providing such training nationally. 

  • Elementary math -- A mere 19 percent of evaluated elementary programs nationwide provide strong preparation to teach elementary mathematics, training that mirrors the practices of higher performing nations such as Singapore and South Korea. None of the evaluated elementary programs in Arizona provide such training. 

  • Student teaching -- Of the evaluated elementary and secondary programs in Arizona, 73 percent entirely fail to ensure a high quality student teaching experience, in which candidates are assigned only to highly skilled teachers and receive frequent concrete feedback, while 27 percent earn a perfect four stars. 71 percent of programs across the country failed this standard, and just 7 percent earned four stars.

  • Classroom management -- 31 percent of the evaluated Arizona elementary and secondary programs earn a perfect four stars for providing feedback to teacher candidates on concrete classroom management strategies to improve classroom behavior, compared to 23 percent of evaluated programs nationwide. 

  • Content preparation -- None of Arizona's elementary programs earn three or four stars for providing teacher candidates adequate content preparation, compared to 11 percent of elementary programs nationwide. The results are better at the high school level, with 40 percent of Arizona secondary programs earning four stars for content preparation, compared to 35 percent nationwide.

  • Outcome data -- None of Arizona's evaluated programs earn four stars for collecting data on their graduates, compared to 26 percent of evaluated programs in the national sample. The state does not connect student achievement data to teacher preparation programs, administer surveys of graduates and employers or require administration of teacher performance assessments (TPAs), and programs have not taken the initiative to collect any such data on their own.


Arizona Elementary Teacher Prep Rating Distribution

Arizona Secondary Teacher Prep Rating Distribution

Programs that earned 3-star rating or more
Arizona State University - Graduate Secondary
University of Arizona - Undergraduate Secondary
Consumer Alert: Programs earning no stars

Endorsers of the Review in Arizona

John Huppenthal, Superintendent of Public Instruction

Arizona's Teacher Prep Review was made possible by the following foundations and organizations

Arizona funders
B&L Foundation (the foundation was dissolved in 2012)
The Rodel Charitable Foundation of Arizona

A limited portion of funds was provided by national funders
Carnegie Corporation of New York
Gleason Family Foundation
Laura and John Arnold Foundation
Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
Searle Freedom Trust
The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
The Teaching Commission
Anonymous (2)

Institution List

Institutions with Teacher Training Rated
Arizona State University Annual new teacher production (2010):  1572
Undergraduate Elementary
Graduate Elementary
Undergraduate Secondary
Graduate Secondary
Undergraduate Special Education
Grand Canyon University Annual new teacher production (2010):  103
Graduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Graduate Secondary
Northern Arizona University Annual new teacher production (2010):  619
Undergraduate Elementary
Graduate Elementary
Undergraduate Secondary
Graduate Secondary
Undergraduate Special Education
Ottawa University - Phoenix Annual new teacher production (2010):  92
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Undergraduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Prescott College Annual new teacher production (2010):  39
Graduate Elementary
Graduate Secondary
University of Arizona Annual new teacher production (2010):  392
Undergraduate Elementary
Undergraduate Secondary
Graduate Secondary
Graduate Special Education
University of Phoenix Annual new teacher production (2010):  0
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Graduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Graduate Secondary Some standard scores available

Institutions with Teacher Training Not Rated

Arizona Christian University
Rio Salado College
The University of Arizona South

State Context

Good preparation does not guarantee that teachers will ultimately be effective, but there is much that states can do to ensure that new teachers are classroom ready. The tables below are drawn from NCTQ's 2013 State Teacher Policy Yearbook (Full State Report here) and offer a summary of Arizona's teacher preparation policies, identifying strong policies and those in need of improvement.

Each state has a set of laws, rules and regulations that govern how teachers are prepared for the classroom. These policies establish guidelines for admission to teacher preparation programs, set standards for what teachers should know and be able to do in order to be licensed, and can be used to hold preparation programs accountable for the quality of teachers they produce.

Although states regulate most aspects of how teachers are prepared, where in each state this authority lies is not standard across the country. And in some states, authority for different components of teacher preparation rests with different entities.