Teacher Preparation Program Accountability

Delivering Well Prepared Teachers Policy

Teacher Preparation Program Accountability

The state's approval process for teacher preparation programs should hold programs accountable for the quality of the teachers they produce.

Best practices

Delaware and Florida have made great strides in teacher preparation program accountability policies in the past few years and now stand out as leaders in this area. In Delaware and Florida, preparation programs report and are held accountable to a number of measures, including the effectiveness of program graduates as measured by student achievement, and placement and retention rates of program graduates.

Delaware has developed minimum standards of performance for each data category and has released the first of its program report cards, which make preparation program data accessible and transparent. In Florida, the state applies specific cut-scores in various data categories to decide on continued program approval. In addition, after two years of initial employment, any program completer in Florida who receives an unsatisfactory evaluation rating must be provided additional training by the preparation program at no additional cost to the teacher.

Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2015). Teacher Preparation Program Accountability National Results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/national/Teacher-Preparation-Program-Accountability-69
Best practice 0


Meets goal 2


Nearly meets goal 14


Meets goal in part 6


Meets a small part of goal 19


Does not meet goal 10


Progress on this goal since 2013

  • Improved
  • Stayed the same
  • Regressed
Research rationale

States need to hold programs accountable for the quality of their graduates.
The state should examine a number of factors when measuring the performance of and approving teacher preparation programs. Although the quality of both the subject-matter preparation and professional sequence is crucial, there are also additional measures that can provide the state and the public with meaningful, readily understandable indicators of how well programs are doing when it comes to preparing teachers to be successful in the classroom. 

States have made great strides in building data systems with the capacity to provide evidence of teacher performance.  These same data can be used to provide objective evidence of the performance of teacher preparation programs.  States should make such data, as well as other objective measures that go beyond licensure pass rates, a central component of their teacher preparation program approval processes, and they should establish precise standards for performance that are more useful for accountability purposes. 

Teacher Preparation Program Accountability: Supporting Research
For discussion of teacher preparation program approval see Andrew Rotherham and S. Mead's chapter "Back to the Future: The History and Politics of State Teacher Licensure and Certification." in A Qualified Teacher in Every Classroom. (Harvard Education Press, 2004).

For evidence of how weak state efforts to hold teacher preparation programs accountable are, see data on programs identified as low-performing in the U.S. Department of Education,The Secretary's Seventh Annual Report on Teacher Quality 2010 at: http://www2.ed.gov/about/reports/annual/teachprep/t2r7.pdf.

For additional discussion and research of how teacher education programs can add value to their teachers, see NCTQ's, Teacher Prep Review, available at http://www.nctq.org/p/edschools.

For a discussion of the lack of evidence that national accreditation status enhances teacher preparation programs' effectiveness, see D. Ballou and M. Podgursky, "Teacher Training and Licensure: A Layman's Guide," in Better Teachers, Better Schools, eds. Marci Kanstoroom and Chester E. Finn., Jr., (Washington, D.C.: Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, 1999), pp. 45-47. See also No Common Denominator: The Preparation of Elementary Teachers in Mathematics by America's Education Schools(NCTQ, 2008) and What Education Schools Aren't Teaching About Reading and What Elementary Teachers Aren't Learning (NCTQ, 2006).

See NCTQ, Alternative Certification Isn't Alternative (2007) regarding the dearth of accountability data states require of alternate route programs.