General Teacher Preparation Policy
The state should collect and publicly report key data on the quality of teacher preparation programs. This goal was reorganized in 2021.
Student Growth Data: The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education annually collects data on the impact of educator preparation programs' completers on student learning by reporting the evaluation ratings of teachers under the state's evaluation system, which includes student growth.
Licensure Exam Pass Rates: Massachusetts publishes final pass rates of all test takers for content tests at the institutional and state level. The state also publishes first-time pass rates for all test takers at the state level.
603 CMR 7.03 Guidelines for Program Approval http://www.doe.mass.edu/edprep/ProgramApproval.pdf Educator Preparation Evaluation Ratings http://profiles.doe.mass.edu/statereport/epppprogramcompleterperformance.aspx Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL). (2019). Annual pass rate report.http://www.mtel.nesinc.com/Content/TechReport/PDFs/Annual_Pass_Rate_Report_1819.pdf MTEL Number of Examinees and Percent of Examinees Passing Each Test by Examinee Category Test administrations March 9, 2020-May 3, 2020: http://www.doe.mass.edu/mtel/results/2020-0503.html 2016-17 MTEL Data Report for Summary Pass Rate: http://profiles.doe.mass.edu/state_report/epppmteldata.aspx
Publish first-time and final pass rate data at the program level for all test takers.
Although Massachusetts publishes final pass rate data of all test takers at the institutional level, the state should publicly report first-time and final pass rate data for all test takers at the program level. Doing so allows the state, programs, and prospective teacher candidates to analyze the strength of programs' ability to prepare teachers in core content areas. Prospective teacher candidates deserve access to relevant information to determine which programs are most likely to enable them to earn a standard teaching license.
Massachusetts recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis; however, this analysis was updated subsequent to the state's review.
1C: Program Performance Measures
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.