Scope of Review in Connecticut
||New teachers from the state's higher education institutions included in Review (2010)
Institutions evaluated by NCTQ in the 2013 Review
-14 elementary programs, undergraduate (UG) and graduate (G)
-14 secondary programs, undergraduate (UG) and graduate (G)
Institutions with sufficient data for an overall program rating
-Collectively supplying 60% of the state's traditionally trained teachers
-7 elementary programs, undergraduate (UG) and graduate (G)
-6 secondary programs, undergraduate (UG) and graduate (G)
||Institutions sharing information for the Review
Big "take-aways" about teacher preparation in Connecticut:
- Highly rated programs -- The graduate secondary program at Southern Connecticut State University is 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 none of the elementary and secondary programs in Connecticut 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 Connecticut.
- Early reading instruction -- Just 14 percent of evaluated elementary programs in Connecticut 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. The state should find this especially alarming given that Connecticut requires elementary teacher candidates to pass one of the most rigorous tests of scientifically based reading instruction in the country.
- 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 Connecticut provide such training.
- Student teaching -- Of the evaluated elementary and secondary programs in Connecticut, 8 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 61 percent earn four stars. 71 percent of programs across the country failed this standard, and just 7 percent earned four stars. However, Connecticut's high level of performance reflects the fact that one aspect of this standard was waived for Connecticut programs because state regulations preempt programs from taking an active role in the selection of cooperating teachers.
- Classroom management -- Only 14 percent of the evaluated Connecticut 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 Connecticut's elementary programs earn three or four stars for providing teacher candidates adequate content preparation, compared to 11 percent of elementary programs nationwide. At the high school level, only 17 percent of Connecticut secondary programs earn four stars for content preparation, compared to 35 percent nationwide. The major problem at the secondary level is that programs' requirements for "general science" or "general social science" certifications do not ensure that candidates are prepared in the content of every subject they will be licensed to teach.
- Outcome data -- Although none of Connecticut's evaluated programs earn four stars for collecting data on their graduates (compared to 26 percent of evaluated programs in the national sample), they all earn partial credit for their efforts to administer surveys of graduates or employers. But in the absence of state efforts to connect student achievement data to teacher preparation programs or require administration of teacher performance assessments (TPAs), programs have not taken the initiative to collect any such data on their own.
Connecticut Elementary Teacher Prep Rating Distribution
Connecticut Secondary Teacher Prep Rating Distribution
Programs that earned 3-star rating or more
Consumer Alert: Programs earning no stars
No 0-star rated programs
Endorsers of the Review in Connecticut
Steven Adamowski, former Superintendent, Hartford Public Schools
Susan Marks, former Superintendent, Norwalk School District
Connecticut's Teacher Prep Review was made possible by the following foundations and organizations
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
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 2012 State Teacher Policy Yearbook and offer a summary of Connecticut'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.