Teacher Preparation Program Accountability:

Delivering Well Prepared Teachers Policy


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

Meets goal
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2015). Teacher Preparation Program Accountability: Delaware results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/DE-Teacher-Preparation-Program-Accountability-69

Analysis of Delaware's policies

Delaware is on the right track to hold teacher preparation programs accountable for its graduates.

Educator preparation programs will be required to collect and report data on the performance and effectiveness of program graduates, as measured by student achievement.

Programs are required to annually report metrics including number of program completers and noncompleters; placement in Delaware schools by subject area, grade level and LEA, including notes for high-need schools and subjects; pass rates on program performance assessments; average DPAS-II teacher evaluation ratings, including the student growth component; measures of employer or supervisor satisfaction; and retention for five years.

Delaware will make this data available to the public, including minimum standards of performance. The state's first program report cards are scheduled for release in October 2015.

Although in the past three years, Delaware has not identified a program as low performing through required federal reporting, the state has indicated plans to apply transparent, measurable criteria for conferring program approval.

In Delaware, national accreditation is required for program approval.


Recommendations for Delaware

Maintain full authority over the process for approving teacher preparation programs. 
Delaware should not cede its authority and must ensure that it is the state that considers the evidence of program performance and makes the decision about whether programs should continue to be authorized to prepare teachers.

State response to our analysis

Delaware recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state also pointed out that the first round of its program “Scorecards” will be released on October 23, 2015.

Research rationale

States need to hold programs accountable for the quality of their graduates.
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 can be used to provide objective evidence of the performance of teacher preparation programs.  States should make such data, as well as other objective measures that go beyond licensure pass rates, a central component of their teacher preparation program approval processes, and they should establish precise standards for performance that are more useful for accountability purposes. 

Teacher Preparation Program Accountability: Supporting Research
For discussion of teacher preparation program approval see Andrew Rotherham and S. Mead'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,The 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's, Teacher Prep Review, 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, eds. Marci Kanstoroom and Chester E. Finn., Jr., (Washington, D.C.: Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, 1999), pp. 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.