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: Arkansas does not collect or publicly report data that connect student growth to teacher preparation programs.
Licensure Exam Pass Rates: Arkansas publishes final pass rates by individual test of all test takers at the institutional and state level.
Rules Governing Educator Licensure http://dese.ade.arkansas.gov/public/userfiles/Legal/Legal-Current%20Rules/2020/ADE_317_Educator_Licensure_Final.pdf Protocol for the Review and Approval of Programs of Study at Institutions of Higher Education Leading to Educator Licensure in Arkansas http://dese.ade.arkansas.gov/public/userfiles/Educator_Effectiveness/Educator_Preparation/Prep_Protocols_Traditional_7_8_2020.pdf Educator Preparation Provider Quality Reports: https://eis.ade.arkansas.gov/eppr/default.aspx
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.
Publish first-time pass rate data at the program level for all test takers.
Although Arkansas publishes final pass rate data for all test takers at the institutional level, Arkansas should publicly report first-time 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.
Arkansas indicated that for the last two years, the state has collected student growth data and connected it to teacher preparation programs. The data is shared with the teacher preparation programs for their use in improving programs. According to the state, the data is currently not shared publicly but that will change in the future as soon as Arkansas is able to aggregate multiple years for the state's smaller programs.
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.