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: Louisiana has begun to set and make public minimum standards of performance for programs but it has not established standards across all data that is collected. Currently, Louisiana has identified a standard of performance for licensure assessment data to identify "At-Risk" (80 percent to 86 percent pass rate) and "Low Performing" (less than 79 percent pass rate) programs, but these standards may be too low to be meaningful.
Program Accountability: Currently, Louisiana holds programs accountable for the one standard that is in place. Programs can move through various levels of consequences based on their classification as "At-Risk" and "Low Performing" and how many years they have remained at these levels. Failure to improve eventually results in loss of program approval.
Louisiana passed new legislation in June 2017 that established an accountability system, Louisiana Teacher Preparation Quality Rating System, which will be the basis for program approval for both university and non-university providers and hold programs accountable at the pathway level. The system has four ratings: Level 1 (Ineffective), Level 2 (Needs Improvement), Level 3 (Effective), and Level 4 (Highly Effective). Programs that receive a Level 1 or 2 are required to undergo a corrective action period with interventions or consequences
State Report Cards: Louisiana publishes annual report cards showing the data the state has collected on individual teacher preparation programs. These data are available on Louisiana's Teacher Preparation Data Dashboards. Based on recently passed legislation, beginning winter 2019-2020, the Louisiana Department of Education (LDE) will annually produce and make publicly available on its website a performance profile for each approved preparation provider and will biennially produce and make publicly available on its website a quality rating for each approved preparation provider.
Program Approval Process: Louisiana maintains full authority over the teacher preparation program approval process. The state no longer requires national accreditation for program approval.
As a result of Louisiana's strong policies on reporting teacher preparation accountability data and holding preparation programs to meaningful standards based on data, no recommendations are provided.
Louisiana was helpful in providing NCTQ with the facts necessary for this analysis; however, this analysis was updated subsequent to the state's review.
Louisiana further clarified that that purpose of the Teacher Preparation Quality Rating System is to: provide teacher preparation providers with meaningful information for improvement; identify programs of excellence and programs in need of improvement and, therefore, inform enrollment and hiring decisions, and interventions; and reward programs for meeting Louisiana's educator workforce needs, particularly in rural communities, and in terms of high-need certification areas.
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.