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.
Hawaii's approval process for its traditional and alternate route teacher preparation programs does not hold programs accountable for the quality of the teachers they produce.
Most importantly, Hawaii does not collect or report data that connect student achievement gains to teacher preparation programs.
The state also fails to collect other objective, meaningful data to measure the performance of teacher preparation programs, and it does not apply any transparent, measurable criteria for conferring program approval. Hawaii collects programs' annual summary licensure test pass rates but sets a low bar in its definition of "low performing," only requiring teacher preparation programs to show at least a 70 percent pass rate for a three-year average.
Further, in the past three years, no programs in Hawaii have been identified as low performing—an additional indicator that programs lack accountability.
According to the state's Race to the Top Report, dated February 1, 2013, it has "modified an existing contract for monitoring, evaluating and providing feedback to educator preparation programs to include an evaluation of teachers who complete the programs and their corresponding student achievement data." Plans to publish such reports were originally slated for end of year one, but effectiveness data were not available. The state has "incrementally expanded the feedback reports as data become available."
In Hawaii, national accreditation is required for program approval.
Standards www.htsb.org/html/details/teacherstandards/sateperformancestandards.html Title II State Reports https://title2.ed.gov Race to the Top http://hawaiidoereform.org/Reports www.ncate.org
Collect data that connect student achievement gains to teacher preparation programs.
As one way to measure whether programs are producing effective classroom teachers, Hawaii should consider the academic achievement gains of students taught by programs' graduates, averaged over the first three years of teaching. Data that are aggregated to the institution (e.g., combining elementary and secondary programs) rather than disaggregated to the specific preparation program are not useful for accountability purposes. Such aggregation can mask significant differences in performance among programs. Although the state has outlined its intentions to ensure that preparation programs are held accountable as part of Race to the Top, it is urged to codify these requirements and specify that they apply to alternate route programs as well as to traditional teacher preparation programs.
Gather other meaningful data that reflect program performance.
Although measures of student growth are an important indicator of program effectiveness, they cannot be the sole measure of program quality for several reasons, including the fact that many programs may have graduates whose students do not take standardized tests. The accountability system must therefore include other objective measures that show how well programs are preparing teachers for the classroom, such as:
1. Evaluation results from the first and/or second year of teaching;
2. Satisfaction ratings by school principals and teacher supervisors of programs' student teachers, using a standardized form to permit program comparison;
3. Average raw scores of teacher candidates on licensing tests, including academic proficiency, subject matter and professional knowledge tests;
4. Number of times, on average, it takes teacher candidates to pass licensing tests; and
5. Five-year retention rates of graduates in the teaching profession.
Establish the minimum standard of performance for each category of data.
Merely collecting the types of data described above is insufficient for accountability purposes. The next and perhaps more critical step is for the state to establish precise minimum standards for teacher preparation program performance for each category of data. Programs should then be held accountable for meeting these standards, and there should be consequences for failing to do so, including loss of program approval.
Publish an annual report card on the state's website.
Hawaii should produce an annual report card that shows all the data the state collects on individual teacher preparation programs, which should be published on the state's website at the program level for the sake of public transparency. Data should be presented in a manner that clearly conveys whether programs have met performance standards.
Maintain full authority over the process for approving teacher preparation programs.
Hawaii 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.
Hawaii asserted that it has developed teacher preparation feedback reports that contain data on the most recent three-year cohort of graduates that have entered DOE classrooms. Specifically, data are provided on the distribution of highly qualified status, teacher retention and separation, and effectiveness ratings and associated components of the new educator effectiveness system. Data were provided privately to teacher preparation programs in August 2013 and will be presented publicly by September 2014. These data are used in the program approval process.
NCTQ looks forward to reviewing the state's progress in future editions of the Yearbook.
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.