Teacher Preparation Program Accountability :
Florida

2011 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.

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

Analysis of Florida's policies

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.

Citation

Recommendations for Florida

State response to our analysis

Florida recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.

How we graded

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. 

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.