Teacher Preparation Policy
The state should collect and publicly report key data on the quality of teacher preparation programs. This goal was reorganized in 2021.
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."
Although the state does not make all of the data above publicly available, the state does publish some student growth measures at the institutional level. Alabama publishes the percentage of first-year teachers rated by their employers as: teacher leader, effective teacher, emerging teacher, or ineffective teacher. They are rated in categories such as:
Alabama Administrative Code 290-3-3-.02(4)(a) and -.56 Ed Prep Institutional Report Cards 2019: https://www.alsde.edu/ofc/otl/Pages/epirc-all.aspx?navtext=Ed%20Prep%20Institutional%20Report%20Cards
Continue building systems to collect and report data that connect student growth to teacher preparation programs, when those programs are large enough for the data to be meaningful and reliable.
Alabama has taken strides toward collecting, reporting, and using the student achievement data of program candidates. As the state builds this system, it should ensure that the academic achievement gains of students taught by programs' graduates are averaged over the first three years of teaching, when the programs produce enough graduates for those data to be meaningful and reliable. In addition, it should ensure that data are disaggregated by the specific program, rather than aggregated at the institution level, so that this data can be better used for accountability and continuous improvement purposes.
Publish first-time and final pass rate data at the program level for all test takers.
Alabama should publicly report first-time and final pass rate data for all test takers at the program level. Doing so allows the state, programs, and prospective teacher candidates to analyze the strength of programs' ability to prepare teachers in core content areas. Prospective teacher candidates deserve access to relevant information to determine which programs are most likely to enable them to earn a standard teaching license.
Alabama indicated that the state publishes higher education report cards that provide test data of program completers on the first attempt and multiple attempts.
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.