We're seeing glimmers across states that more attention is being paid to holding teacher prep programs accountable for the quality of their graduates. Just this month, Ohio released new performance report cards for its higher-education-based teacher prep programs, and boy are they pretty. With the click of a button, for all to see are graduates' value-added data (where available), survey data of teacher candidates, and average SAT/ACT scores of teacher candidates. Performance data is even available for each institution at the program level, so that now the main consumers of teacher prep--aspiring teachers and district HR offices--can see outcomes for Ohio State University's "Middle Childhood" program separately from its "Early Childhood" or "Science" programs.
The one rather significant hang up is that Ohio has not set performance standards for its prep programs yet. We can see how programs stack up against one another, but not whether they are really meeting a high bar. Moreover, without standards of performance, the state can't use the data to make accountability decisions, particularly regarding programs that aren't offering teachers the preparation they need.
Ohio is one of only eight states that collect student achievement data as part of their teacher prep accountability system. To find out about the other seven, stay tuned for our 2012 State Teacher Policy Yearbook, due out January 23rd. This edition of the Yearbook shines a light on each states' laws, rules, and regulations shaping teacher preparation policy and offers state-specific recommendations for improvement.