Admission into Preparation Programs : Indiana

Delivering Well Prepared Teachers Policy

Goal

The state should require undergraduate teacher preparation programs to admit only candidates with good academic records.

Nearly meets
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Admission into Preparation Programs : Indiana results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/IN-Admission-into-Preparation-Programs--6

Analysis of Indiana's policies

Indiana now requires that approved undergraduate teacher preparation programs only accept teacher candidates who have passed a basic skills test, the Praxis I. Although the state sets the minimum score for this test, it is normed just to the prospective teacher population.

Indiana also allows candidates to qualify by means of equivalent scores on the SAT, ACT and GRE. 

Citation

Recommendations for Indiana

Require preparation programs to use a common test normed to the general college-bound population.
The basic skills tests in use in most states largely assess middle school-level skills.  To improve the selectivity of teacher candidates—a common characteristic in countries whose students consistently outperform ours in international comparisons—Indiana should require an assessment that demonstrates that candidates are academically competitive with all peers, regardless of their intended profession. Requiring a common test normed to the general college population would allow for the selection of applicants in the top half of their class, as well as facilitate program comparison.  

State response to our analysis

Indiana recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state added that it is developing a new basic skills test with Pearson. It should be ready for implementation in one year and will be aligned to college and career college-readiness standards. Indiana wondered if NCTQ could offer suggestions for norming the test against the general college population when there is no common assessment that all college students must take. 

Last word

There are several examples of academic proficiency exams normed to the general population. The Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP) is a standardized, nationally normed assessment program from ACT designed to be administered after a student's sophomore year. It enables postsecondary institutions to assess and evaluate the outcomes of their general education programs. In addition, Texas requires that its education preparation programs only admit candidates that first pass the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA), a basic skills test that is designed for the general college population, not just for teacher candidates. Further, Texas has set minimum scores for admission at levels that appear to be relatively selective when compared to the academic qualifications of applicants to education programs nationwide.  Indiana may want to consider how its new test could be useful beyond as a teacher preparation program admission exam, which would also facilitate norming to a broader population.  

Research rationale

For information on basic skills and certification test pass rates across the states, see Secretary's Seventh Annual Report on Teacher Quality 2010 at:
http://www2.ed.gov/about/reports/annual/teachprep/t2r7.pdf 

For evidence that basic skills tests for teachers assess no more than middle school level skills, see "Not Good Enough: A Content Analysis of Teacher Licensing Examinations." Thinking K-16, The Education Trust (Spring 1999).

For evidence of the predictive power of college selectivity and SAT scores see C, Clotfelter, H. Ladd, and J. Vigdor, "Can You Recognize an Effective Teacher When You Recruit One?" National Bureau of Economic Research (2008). The authors also found college selectivity to have a positive impact on student achievement in North Carolina in "How and Why Do Teacher Credentials Matter for Student Achievement?" Calder Institute (2007). 

For a discussion of teacher preparation program admissions policies in other countries, see OECD study Teacher Matter: Attracting, Developing and Retaining Effective Teachers, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2005).  Also see Barber, M. and Mourshed, M., "How the World's Performing School System's Come out on Top." McKinsey & Company (2007).

For research supporting greater selectivity for teacher preparation programs see, Donald Boyd et al., "The Narrowing Gap in New York City Teacher Qualifications and Implications for Student Achievement in High Poverty Schools," National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper No. 14021, June 2008; Drew Gitomer, "Teacher Quality in a Changing Policy Landscape: Improvements in the Teacher Pool," Educational Testing Service, 2007; D. Goldhaber et al., NBPTS certification: Who applies and what factors are associated with success? Center for Reinventing Public Education working paper, 2004; A.J. Wayne and P. Youngs, "Teacher characteristics and student achievement gains: A review." Review of Educational Research, 2003; Grover Whitehurst, "Scientifically based research on teacher quality: Research on teacher preparation and professional development," Paper presented at the White House Conference on Preparing Teachers, 2002; J. Kain and K. Singleton, "Equality of Education Revisited" New England Economic Review, May-June 1996; R. Ferguson and H. Ladd "How and Why Money Matters: An Analysis of Alabama Schools," In H. Ladd (ed). Holding Schools Accountable. Brookings Institution, 1996; R. Greenwald et al. "The Effect of School Resources on Student Achievement" Review of Educational Research, 1996; R. Ehrenberg and D. Brewer, "Do School and Teacher Characteristics Matter? Evidence From High School and Beyond" Economics of Education Review, 1994; Ron Ferguson, "Paying for public education: New evidence on how and why money matters," Harvard Journal on Legislation, 1991; R. Strauss and E. Sawyer, "Some New Evidence on Teacher and Student Competencies" Economics of Education Review, 1986; M. McLaughlin and D. Marsh, "Staff development and school change," Teachers College Record, 1978; D. Winkler, "Educational Achievement and School Peer Composition," Journal of Human Resources, 1975; A. Summers and B. Wolfe, "Do schools make a difference?" American Economic Review, 1977; Eric Hanushek, "Teacher characteristics and gains in student achievement: Estimation using micro-data," American Economic Review, 1971.