General Teacher Preparation Policy
The state's approval process for teacher preparation programs should hold programs accountable for the quality of the teachers they produce. This goal was reorganized in 2017.
Minimum Standards of Performance: Indiana requires the Department of Education to establish standards and benchmarks for performance, but these standards have not been set.
Program Accountability: Legislation requires the state to establish a matrix rating system for teacher preparation programs based on the performance of the programs as demonstrated by the data collected for the three most recent years.
State Report Cards: Indiana requires that matrix ratings and other data are available to the public on the Department of Education's website. The state has made the data collected available but has not posted the matrix ratings.
Program Approval Process: Indiana maintains full authority over the teacher preparation program approval process. While the state expects all programs to seek and receive Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) accreditation, the Indiana Department of Education monitors the accreditation process and recommends continued state accreditation status to the State Board of Education for a final determination.
Indiana Code 20-28-3-1 511 IAC 13-1-1 EPP Comparative Data Matrix http://www.doe.in.gov/licensing/epp-comparative-data-matrix
Establish the minimum standards of performance for each category of data.
Indiana should establish precise minimum standards for teacher preparation program performance for each category of data it collects to help clarify expectations regarding program quality.
Ensure that criteria for program approval result in greater accountability.
While Indiana has the structure of a program accountability system, including follow-up actions for programs failing to meet standards, it has not set minimum standards it can use to implement this accountability process. As Indiana further develops its accountability system, it should ensure that the system is sufficient to differentiate performance among programs, including alternate route programs, and that it is clear at what point a program's approval will be revoked. For programs exceeding minimum standards, Indiana should consider finding effective ways to disseminate best practices.
Indiana was helpful in providing NCTQ with the fact necessary for this analysis.
Indiana clarified that it does not plan to create "state report cards" for its educator preparation programs and reiterated that the "matrix rating system may not rank or compare teacher preparation programs." The state also noted that while minimum expectations required of programs will be available, there will be no "grading" or "ranking" of programs on the website.
1D: Program Reporting Requirements
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 systems can be used to link teacher effectiveness to the teacher preparation programs from which they came. States should make such data, as well as other objective measures that go beyond licensure test pass rates, central components of their teacher preparation program approval processes, and they should establish precise standards for performance that are more useful for accountability purposes.
National accrediting bodies, such as CAEP, are raising the bar, but are no substitute for states' own policy. A number of states now have somewhat more rigorous academic standards for admission by virtue of requiring that programs meet CAEP's accreditation standards. However, whether CAEP will uniformly uphold its standards (especially as they have already backtracked on the GPA requirement) and deny accreditation to programs that fall short of these admission requirements remains to be seen. Clear state policy would eliminate this uncertainty and send an unequivocal message to programs about the state's expectations.