The state's approval process for teacher preparation programs should hold programs accountable for the quality of the teachers they produce.
Florida's approval process for its traditional and alternate route teacher preparation programs holds programs accountable for the quality of the teachers they produce.
Most importantly, Florida requires that teacher preparation programs collect data that include completers' "impact on student learning."
The state also relies on other objective, meaningful data to measure the performance of teacher preparation programs. It requires satisfaction ratings from the schools that employ graduates of the program, and its program evaluations include "program graduates' satisfaction with instruction and the program's responsiveness to local school districts."
Florida also appears to apply transparent, measurable criteria for conferring program approval. In order to receive ongoing approval, programs must demonstrate that 90 percent of their graduates pass the state's basic skills test, pedagogy test and appropriate subject-matter test. Teacher preparation programs in Florida must also continue to offer support to their graduates even after they leave the classroom. Programs are expected to provide additional coursework, free of charge, if employing districts consider new teachers to be in need of remediation.
Finally, Florida posts an annual report on its website that include satisfaction data; completer, employer and mentor surveys; and demographic comparisons.
According to the state's winning Race to the Top application, it also plans to set outcome-based performance standards that will build on Florida's new student growth model to be used for the continued approval or denial of preparation programs.
Florida recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.