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Findings by State - Virginia

Overview

Scope of Review in Virginia
  3020 New teachers from the state's higher education institutions included in Review (2010)
  29 Institutions evaluated by NCTQ in the 2013 Review
-28 elementary programs, undergraduate (UG) and graduate (G)
-27 secondary programs, undergraduate (UG) and graduate (G)
  14 Institutions with sufficient data for an overall program rating
-Collectively supplying 73% of the state's traditionally trained teachers
-12 elementary programs, undergraduate (UG) and graduate (G)
-13 secondary programs, undergraduate (UG) and graduate (G)
17% Institutions sharing information for the Review
Big "take-aways" about teacher preparation in Virginia:

  • Highly rated programs -- Programs at Longwood University (undergraduate elementary and secondary), Radford University (graduate elementary and secondary), and Virginia Commonwealth University (graduate 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 9 percent of elementary and secondary programs in Virginia 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 Virginia.

  • Early reading instruction -- 31 percent of evaluated elementary programs in Virginia are preparing teacher candidates in effective, scientifically based reading instruction, about the same as the minority of programs (29 percent) providing such training nationally. The state should find this especially alarming given that Virginia requires elementary teacher candidates to pass a rigorous test of scientifically based reading instruction.

  • 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. 18 percent of the evaluated elementary programs in Virginia provide such training.

  • Student teaching -- Of the evaluated elementary and secondary programs in Virginia, 81 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 -- 25 percent of the evaluated Virginia 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 -- 57 percent of Virginia's elementary programs earn three or four stars for providing teacher candidates adequate content preparation, compared to just 11 percent of elementary programs nationwide. The results are also notable at the high school level, with 67 percent of Virginia secondary programs earning four stars for content preparation, compared to 35 percent nationwide. The secondary results are perhaps better than might have been expected, given that Virginia offers a general social science certification with inadequate testing requirements, putting on programs the entire responsibility for ensuring that teacher candidates know the content of every subject they are certified to teach.

  • Outcome data -- 14 percent of Virginia's evaluated programs 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.

Virginia Elementary Teacher Prep Rating Distribution

Virginia Secondary Teacher Prep Rating Distribution

Programs that earned 3-star rating or more
Longwood University - Undergraduate Elementary
Longwood University - Undergraduate Secondary
Radford University - Graduate Elementary
Radford University - Graduate Secondary
Virginia Commonwealth University - Graduate Secondary
Consumer Alert: Programs earning no stars

No 0-star rated programs

Endorsers of the Review in Virginia

Chuck Bishop, Superintendent, Augusta County Public Schools
Jack Dale, Superintendent, Fairfax County Public Schools
Patrick Russo, Superintendent, Henrico County School District

Virginia'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
Averett University Annual new teacher production (2010):  21
Graduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Undergraduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Bridgewater College Annual new teacher production (2010):  45
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Undergraduate Secondary
Christopher Newport University Annual new teacher production (2010):  64
Graduate Elementary
Graduate Secondary
College of William and Mary Annual new teacher production (2010):  50
Graduate Elementary
Graduate Secondary
Eastern Mennonite University Annual new teacher production (2010):  27
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Undergraduate Secondary Some standard scores available
George Mason University Annual new teacher production (2010):  248
Graduate Elementary
Graduate Secondary
Graduate Special Education
Hampton University Annual new teacher production (2010):  13
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Graduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Hollins University Annual new teacher production (2010):  20
Graduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Graduate Secondary Some standard scores available
James Madison University Annual new teacher production (2010):  318
Graduate Secondary
Liberty University Annual new teacher production (2010):  198
Graduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Graduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Longwood University Annual new teacher production (2010):  193
Undergraduate Elementary
Undergraduate Secondary
Lynchburg College Annual new teacher production (2010):  34
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Graduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Mary Baldwin College Annual new teacher production (2010):  120
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Undergraduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Marymount University Annual new teacher production (2010):  91
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Graduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Norfolk State University Annual new teacher production (2010):  24
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Old Dominion University Annual new teacher production (2010):  500
Graduate Elementary
Undergraduate Secondary
Graduate Secondary
Graduate Special Education
Radford University Annual new teacher production (2010):  229
Graduate Elementary
Graduate Secondary
Regent University Annual new teacher production (2010):  77
Undergraduate Elementary
Roanoke College Annual new teacher production (2010):  29
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Undergraduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Shenandoah University Annual new teacher production (2010):  57
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Undergraduate Secondary Some standard scores available
University of Mary Washington Annual new teacher production (2010):  61
Graduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Graduate Secondary Some standard scores available
University of Richmond Annual new teacher production (2010):  81
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Graduate Secondary Some standard scores available
University of Virginia Annual new teacher production (2010):  149
Graduate Elementary
Graduate Secondary
University of Virginia's College at Wise Annual new teacher production (2010):  56
Undergraduate Elementary
Undergraduate Secondary
Virginia Commonwealth University Annual new teacher production (2010):  183
Graduate Elementary
Graduate Secondary
Virginia Intermont College Annual new teacher production (2010):  23
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Undergraduate Secondary Some standard scores available
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Annual new teacher production (2010):  68
Graduate Elementary
Virginia State University Annual new teacher production (2010):  11
Undergraduate Elementary
Undergraduate Secondary
Virginia Wesleyan College Annual new teacher production (2010):  30
Undergraduate Elementary Some standard scores available
Undergraduate Secondary Some standard scores available


Institutions with Teacher Training Not Rated

Bluefield College
Emory & Henry College
Ferrum College
Randolph College
Randolph-Macon College
Saint Paul's College
Sweet Briar College
Virginia Union 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 Virginia'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 areprepared, where in each state this authority lies is not standard across thecountry. And in some states, authority for different components of teacherpreparation rests with different entities.