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: Arkansas does not collect or publicly report data that connect student growth to teacher preparation programs.
Additional Program Data: Arkansas collects other objective, meaningful data to measure the performance of teacher preparation programs, including completion numbers and employment numbers, exam pass rates and scores, and completer surveys of program satisfaction.
Collect data that connect student growth to teacher preparation programs, when those programs are large enough for the data to be meaningful and reliable.
Arkansas should consider collecting the academic achievement gains of students taught by programs' graduates, averaged over the first three years of teaching, when the programs produce enough graduates for those data to be meaningful and reliable. Data that are aggregated at the institution level (e.g., combining elementary and secondary programs), rather than disaggregated by the specific preparation program, have less utility for accountability and continuous improvement purposes than more specific data because institution-level data aggregation can mask significant differences in performance among programs. Rather than relying on an outside organization, such as CAEP, the state should codify in its own laws what data must be collected to measure student growth.
Gather other meaningful data that reflect program performance.
Although measures of student growth are an important indicator of program effectiveness, the strongest state systems ensure that data are collected on multiple, objective program measures. Rather than relying on an outside organization, such as CAEP, the state should codify in its own laws what data must be collected to measure program performance and what metric must be used. Arkansas should maximize the information available to programs and the public by collecting data that demonstrate how well programs are preparing teachers for the classroom, such as:
Arkansas recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis; however, this analysis was updated subsequent to the state's review.
The state added that the Arkansas CAEP agreement is currently being revised. To meet CAEP Standard 4, the state is developing a mechanism to provide each educator preparation program (EPP) with data to evidence student impact in the form of a report on the growth scores of their completers' students for the first three years of teaching in Arkansas Public Schools. The state will provide aggregate data on EPP completers who teach in a tested area. Employer satisfaction surveys for novice teachers will be sent out for the first time this summer.
The state added that recent legislation allows the Arkansas Department of Education to collaborate with the Professional Licensure Standards Board and institutions of higher education to develop a system for regular reporting and rating of educator preparation programs, criteria for which may include program graduate outcomes, survey results, student learning, accreditation or state approval, and program quality ratings.
NCTQ looks forward to reviewing the state's progress in future editions of the Yearbook.
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.