Teacher Preparation Program Accountability :
Colorado

Delivering Well Prepared Teachers Policy

Goal

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

Nearly meets
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Teacher Preparation Program Accountability : Colorado results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/CO-Teacher-Preparation-Program-Accountability--6

Analysis of Colorado's policies

Colorado's approval process for its traditional and alternate route teacher preparation programs could do more to hold programs accountable for the quality of the teachers they produce.

Beginning in 2011, Colorado will produce an annual report that shows the relationship between teacher preparation programs and student academic growth. The effectiveness of programs will be examined using aggregate data, including the correlation among different preparation programs and student academic growth, educator placement, and educator mobility and retention. The report will be limited to language arts and math teachers in grades 3-10 because those are the only students tested by the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP). 

However, it does not appear that the state has articulated a plan to apply any transparent, measurable criteria for conferring program approval. 

Colorado will also make these reports available to the public on its website. 

Citation

Recommendations for Colorado

Establish the minimum standard of performance for each category of data.
Programs should be held accountable for meeting established standards of performance, with articulated consequences for failing to do so, including loss of program approval after appropriate due process. 

State response to our analysis

Colorado recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.

Research rationale

For discussion of teacher preparation program approval see Andrew Rotherham'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, 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, Tomorrow's Teachers: Evaluation Education Schools, 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, ed. Marci Kanstoroom and Chester E. Finn. Jr. (Washington, D.C.: Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, 1999), 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.