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Findings by State - Massachusetts

Overview

Scope of Review in Massachusetts
  3184 New teachers from the state's higher education institutions included in Review (2010)
  35 Institutions evaluated by NCTQ in the 2013 Review
-35 elementary programs, undergraduate (UG) and graduate (G)
-33 secondary programs, undergraduate (UG) and graduate (G)
  14 Institutions with sufficient data for an overall program rating
-Collectively supplying 50% of the state's traditionally trained teachers
-14 elementary programs, undergraduate (UG) and graduate (G)
-13 secondary programs, undergraduate (UG) and graduate (G)
9% Institutions sharing information for the Review
Big "take-aways" about teacher preparation in Massachusetts:

  • Highly rated programs -- Programs at Fitchburg State University (undergraduate secondary) and Gordon College (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 24 percent of elementary and secondary programs in Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts.

  • Early reading instruction -- Just 13 percent of evaluated elementary programs in Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts 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. Just 18 percent of the evaluated elementary programs in Massachusetts provide such training. As with reading instruction, this is an especially alarming finding given the emphasis Massachusetts has placed on adequate preparation in elementary math and the excellent stand-alone mathematics test required for teacher licensure.

  • Student teaching -- Of the evaluated elementary and secondary programs in Massachusetts, 89 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.

  • Classroom management -- None of the limited sample of evaluated Massachusetts 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 -- 9 percent of Massachusetts' 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 73 percent of Massachusetts' secondary programs earning four stars for content preparation, compared to 35 percent nationwide.

  • Outcome data -- Only 4 percent of Massachusetts' evaluated programs earn four stars for collecting data on their graduates, compared to 26 percent of evaluated programs in the national sample. 46 percent of Massachusetts' evaluated programs entirely fail this standard, compared to just 17 percent that do so across the country. 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.

Massachusetts Elementary Teacher Prep Rating Distribution

Massachusetts Secondary Teacher Prep Rating Distribution


Programs that earned 3-star rating or more
Fitchburg State University - Undergraduate Secondary
Gordon College - Undergraduate Secondary
Consumer Alert: Programs earning no stars

Endorsers of the Review in Massachusetts

Mitchell Chester, Commissioner of Education

DFER Massachusetts
Mass Insight Education & Research Institute
Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education

Alan Ingram, former Superintendent, Springfield Public Schools
Carol Johnson, Superintendent, Boston Public Schools

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

Massachusetts funders
Barr Foundation
Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation
Longfield Family Foundation
Sidney A. Swensrud Foundation
The Boston Foundation
The Harold Whitworth Pierce Charitable Trust
The Lynch Foundation
Trefler Foundation

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
American International College Annual new teacher production (2010):  103
Graduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Graduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Assumption College Annual new teacher production (2010):  47
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Undergraduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Bay Path College Annual new teacher production (2010):  29
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Undergraduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Boston College Annual new teacher production (2010):  159
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Undergraduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Boston University Annual new teacher production (2010):  199
Graduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Graduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Brandeis University Annual new teacher production (2010):  27
Graduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Graduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Bridgewater State University Annual new teacher production (2010):  333
Undergraduate Elementary
Graduate Elementary
Undergraduate Secondary
Graduate Special Education Some standard scores available
Cambridge College Annual new teacher production (2010):  146
Graduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Graduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Clark University Annual new teacher production (2010):  26
Graduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Graduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Eastern Nazarene College Annual new teacher production (2010):  26
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Undergraduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Elms College (College of Our Lady of the Elms) Annual new teacher production (2010):  26
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Graduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Emmanuel College Annual new teacher production (2010):  51
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Undergraduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Endicott College Annual new teacher production (2010):  39
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Fitchburg State University Annual new teacher production (2010):  147
Graduate Elementary
Undergraduate Secondary
Graduate Special Education
Framingham State University Annual new teacher production (2010):  128
Undergraduate Elementary
Undergraduate Secondary
Gordon College Annual new teacher production (2010):  61
Undergraduate Elementary
Undergraduate Secondary
Harvard University Annual new teacher production (2010):  54
Graduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Lesley University Annual new teacher production (2010):  14
Undergraduate Elementary
Graduate Elementary
Undergraduate Secondary
Graduate Secondary
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Annual new teacher production (2010):  37
Undergraduate Elementary
Graduate Secondary
Merrimack College Annual new teacher production (2010):  37
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Undergraduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Mount Holyoke College Annual new teacher production (2010):  20
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Undergraduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Northeastern University Annual new teacher production (2010):  63
Graduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Graduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Salem State University Annual new teacher production (2010):  214
Graduate Elementary
Graduate Secondary
Simmons College Annual new teacher production (2010):  215
Graduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Undergraduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Smith College Annual new teacher production (2010):  37
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Graduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Springfield College Annual new teacher production (2010):  78
Graduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Undergraduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Stonehill College Annual new teacher production (2010):  55
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Undergraduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Tufts University Annual new teacher production (2010):  63
Graduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Graduate Secondary
University of Massachusetts - Amherst Annual new teacher production (2010):  169
Graduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Graduate Secondary Some standard scores available
University of Massachusetts - Boston Annual new teacher production (2010):  143
Graduate Elementary
University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth Annual new teacher production (2010):  66
Graduate Elementary
Graduate Secondary
University of Massachusetts - Lowell Annual new teacher production (2010):  44
Graduate Secondary
Westfield State University Annual new teacher production (2010):  179
Graduate Elementary
Graduate Secondary
Wheelock College Annual new teacher production (2010):  81
Undergraduate Elementary
Worcester State University Annual new teacher production (2010):  68
Undergraduate Elementary
Undergraduate Secondary

Institutions with Teacher Training Not Rated

Anna Maria College
Becker College
Berklee College of Music
College of the Holy Cross
Curry College
Emerson College
Lasell College
Montserrat College of Art
Mount Ida College
Nichols College
Pine Manor College
Regis College
Suffolk University
The Boston Conservatory
Wellesley College
Western New England University
Wheaton College
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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 Massachusetts'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.