The Forum: An update on appeals by institutions to change their ratings in the Teacher Prep Review

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When we released our Teacher Prep Review in June, we also announced how we would handle objections to our findings: the Forum. Program leaders could submit their objections along with evidence and we would post them on the Forum portion of our website along with our responses.

Ultimately, 48 institutions have sent in requests to have their ratings reconsidered. Another five sent objections to AACTE, which posted them on its own website. So far, we've posted our responses to 30 of these, with another 23 to go.

To date, we've uncovered only 27 errors in scoring on particular standards, with six requiring a change in the overall rating published by U.S. News & World Report. That's not too bad, given that we had to make some 16,000 ratings in the course of the Review. 

We want to be clear that our error rate may rise in the weeks ahead as we finish up this process.

Today, we're posting a set of corrections to our evaluations of 13 elementary and special education programs in Oklahoma on our Common Core Elementary Math Standard. The reason for this systematic error was that we neglected to take into account the fact that in Oklahoma elementary teachers are only certified to teach grades K through 6 in math, though for all other subjects they are certified to teach in grades K through 8. In states which only have K-8 certification --- which we mistakenly believed to be the case in Oklahoma  -- we typically downgrade math coursework geared for the whole K-8 span because it dedicates too little time to the distinct needs of elementary math instruction.

Bottom line: five programs in Oklahoma now receive higher scores on the math standard.  They are:

East Central University: 4 stars (was 1 star)
Northwestern Oklahoma State University: Pass (was Fail, rated with less data -- see pp 17-18)
Oklahoma Panhandle State University: 3 stars (was 2 stars)
Oral Roberts University: 3 stars (was 2 stars)
Southeastern Oklahoma State University: 3 stars (was 2 stars)

Next month, we'll provide a final analysis on the Forum process.