"We know almost nothing about the quality of institutions that train teachers... Aspiring teachers don't know where to enroll. We can't learn from the best institutions because we don't know which they are."
Before this past June, the above quotation, found in a recent article in The Bridge magazine, represented the unfortunate truth about the market in teacher training. But since the publication of the Teacher Prep Review, aspiring teachers can find solid data about the quality of over 2,400 programs across the country. We're now hard at work to provide even more information about those programs in the next edition due out in June 2014.
NCTQ is not alone in wanting to provide consumers with information on teacher preparation programs. Data from student assessments are being used by a small but growing number of states to report on the quality of ed schools. Soon to join that group is Michigan, which aims to identify the most effective programs by looking at the classroom performance of graduates.
We hope that more states will soon utilize an assessment model that can accurately identify the value added by the larger programs that produce graduates who are at the high or low ends of the effectiveness spectrum -- one of the more important lessons to be drawn from our paper on how to design VAM for teacher prep accountability.
As Suzanne Wilson, the former head of teacher education at Michigan State University, noted, "It's a civic responsibility to produce high-quality teachers." We couldn't agree more. With each new layer of information made public, aspiring teachers will no longer have to play the teacher prep guessing game.