The state should collect and publicly report key data on the quality of teacher preparation programs. This goal was reorganized in 2017.
Student Growth Data: Alabama requires educator preparation programs to document the contribution of program completers to student-learning growth using multiple measures, which must include "all available growth measures, including value-added measures, student-growth percentiles, and student learning and development objectives, required by the state for its teachers and available to educator preparation providers, other state-supported P-12 impact measures, and any other measures employed by the provider."
Additional Program Data: Alabama collects other objective, meaningful data to measure the performance of traditional teacher preparation programs. The state collects data from surveys of employers and recent graduates to assess on-the-job performance in addition to first time pass rates for the basic skills and content-knowledge components of the state's assessment program. Programs are required to "establish, publish and implement policies to guarantee the success of individuals who complete its approved programs." First-year teachers must demonstrate satisfactory performance on the state's teacher evaluation instrument. Within the first two years of employment, programs must provide remediation at no cost to individuals who receive less than the required minimum composite score on the state's teacher evaluation instrument.
As a result of Alabama's strong data collection policy for its teacher preparation programs, no recommendations are provided.
Alabama recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis; however, this analysis was updated subsequent to the state's review.
1C: Program Performance Measures
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 systems can be used to link teacher effectiveness to the teacher preparation programs from which they came. States should make such data, as well as other objective measures that go beyond licensure test pass rates, central components of their teacher preparation program approval processes, and they should establish precise standards for performance that are more useful for accountability purposes.
National accrediting bodies, such as CAEP, are raising the bar, but are no substitute for states' own policy. A number of states now have somewhat more rigorous academic standards for admission by virtue of requiring that programs meet CAEP's accreditation standards. However, whether CAEP will uniformly uphold its standards (especially as they have already backtracked on the GPA requirement) and deny accreditation to programs that fall short of these admission requirements remains to be seen. Clear state policy would eliminate this uncertainty and send an unequivocal message to programs about the state's expectations.