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Findings by State - District of Columbia

Overview

Scope of Review in District of Columbia
  320 New teachers from the state's higher education institutions included in Review (2010)
  6 Institutions evaluated by NCTQ in the 2013 Review
-7 elementary programs, undergraduate (UG) and graduate (G)
-7 secondary programs, undergraduate (UG) and graduate (G)
  4 Institutions with sufficient data for an overall program rating
-Collectively supplying 83% of the state's traditionally trained teachers
-3 elementary programs, undergraduate (UG) and graduate (G)
-5 secondary programs, undergraduate (UG) and graduate (G)
50% Institutions sharing information for the Review
Big "take-aways" about teacher preparation in District of Columbia:

  • Highly rated programs -- Across the country, NCTQ identified 21 elementary programs (4 percent of those rated) and 84 secondary programs (14 percent) for the Teacher Prep Review Honor Roll, meaning that a program earns at least three out of four possible stars. No District of Columbia programs are on the Honor Roll.

  • Selectivity in admissions -- The Review found that only 14 percent of elementary and secondary programs in the District of Columbia 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 the District of Columbia.

  • Early reading instruction -- 67 percent of the limited number of evaluated elementary programs in the District of Columbia are preparing teacher candidates in effective, scientifically based reading instruction, compared to 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 the District of Columbia provide such training.

  • Student teaching -- Of the evaluated elementary and secondary programs in the District of Columbia, 60 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. 71 percent of programs across the country failed this standard.

  • Content preparation -- None of the District of Columbia'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 14 percent of the District's 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 and social science certifications do not ensure that candidates are prepared in the content of every subject they will be licensed to teach, since the District's licensing test requirements do not provide this assurance.

  • Outcome data -- 50 percent of evaluated programs in the District of Columbia earn four stars for collecting data on their graduates, compared to 26 percent of evaluated programs in the national sample. In the absence of state efforts to connect student achievement data to teacher preparation programs, administer surveys of graduates and employers or require administration of teacher performance assessments (TPAs), programs that fare poorly on this standard have not taken the initiative to collect any such data on their own.

District of Columbia Elementary Teacher Prep Rating Distribution

District of Columbia Secondary Teacher Prep Rating Distribution


Programs that earned 3-star rating or more

No 3-star rated programs

Consumer Alert: Programs earning no stars

Endorsers of the Review in the District of Columbia

DC School Reform Now

Kaya Henderson, Chancellor, District of Columbia Public Schools
Michelle Rhee, former Superintendent, District of Columbia Public Schools

The District of Columbia'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
Anonymous (2)

Institution List

Institutions with Teacher Training Rated
American University Annual new teacher production (2010):  50
Graduate Elementary
Undergraduate Secondary
Catholic University of America Annual new teacher production (2010):  23
Undergraduate Elementary
Graduate Secondary
George Washington University Annual new teacher production (2010):  182
Graduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Graduate Secondary
Howard University Annual new teacher production (2010):  26
Graduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Graduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Trinity Washington University Annual new teacher production (2010):  27
Graduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Graduate Secondary Some standard scores available
University of the District of Columbia Annual new teacher production (2010):  12
Undergraduate Elementary
Graduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Undergraduate Secondary
Graduate Secondary
Graduate Special Education Some standard scores available

Institutions with Teacher Training Not Rated

Gallaudet University

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 District of Columbia'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.