Teacher Preparation Program Accountability :
Missouri

2011 Delivering Well Prepared Teachers Policy

Goal

The state's approval process for teacher preparation programs should hold programs accountable for the quality of the teachers they produce.

Meets a small part
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Teacher Preparation Program Accountability : Missouri results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/MO-Teacher-Preparation-Program-Accountability--6

Analysis of Missouri's policies

Missouri'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, Missouri does not collect value-added data that connect student achievement gains to teacher preparation programs.

The state does rely on some objective, meaningful data to measure the performance of traditional teacher preparation programs. Missouri collects retention rates of teachers as well as satisfaction ratings by school principals and teacher supervisors of student teachers using a standardized form to permit program comparison. The results are reported to the state board annually.

Missouri also collects programs' annual summary licensure test pass rates (70 percent of program completers must pass their licensure exams). Regrettably, the 70 percent pass-rate standard sets the bar quite low and is not a meaningful measure of program performance.

However, the state does not collect these data for its alternate route programs. Further, there is no evidence that the state's standards for program approval are resulting in greater accountability. In the past three years, no programs in Missouri have been identified in required federal reporting as low performing.

Finally, Missouri's website does not include a report card that allows the public to review and compare program performance; it merely provides a link to the information posted by Title II. 

Citation

Recommendations for Missouri

Collect data that connect student achievement gains to teacher preparation programs.
To ensure that programs are producing effective classroom teachers, Missouri should consider academic achievement gains of students taught by the programs' graduates, averaged over the first three years of teaching.

Gather other meaningful data that reflect program performance.
In addition to knowing whether programs are producing effective teachers, other objective, meaningful data can also indicate whether programs are appropriately screening applicants and if they are delivering essential academic and professional knowledge. Building on the data the state currently collects for its traditional teacher preparation programs, Missouri should gather data for all teacher preparation programs such as the following: average raw scores of graduates on licensing tests, including basic skills, subject matter and professional knowledge tests; satisfaction ratings by school principals and teacher supervisors of programs' student teachers, using a standardized form to permit program comparison; evaluation results from the first and/or second year of teaching; and five-year retention rates of graduates in the teaching profession.

Establish the minimum standard of performance for each category of data.
Programs should be held accountable for meeting these standards, with articulated consequences for failing to do so, including loss of program approval after appropriate due process. 

Publish an annual report card on the state's website.
To inform the public with meaningful, readily understandable indicators of how well programs are doing, Missouri should present all the data it collects on individual teacher preparation programs.  

State response to our analysis

Missouri recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state added that its Missouri Comprehensive Data System (MCDS) uses a data portal that connects graduates of educator preparation programs and student achievement data. Further, it is conducting a Student Growth Pilot Project, which is focused on outcomes measured by value-added as well as student-growth profiles. Data points from educator preparation programs will be used to determine effectiveness levels.

Missouri also pointed out that its MCDS effort will result in the development of an annual educator preparation report card, and that MCDS gives Missouri an opportunity to connect to data from teachers who have entered the work force through alternative routes. The annual report card will include these results as well.

How we graded

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. 

Research rationale

For discussion of teacher preparation program approval see Andrew Rotherham'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, 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, Tomorrow's Teachers: Evaluation Education Schools, 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, ed. Marci Kanstoroom and Chester E. Finn. Jr. (Washington, D.C.: Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, 1999), 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.