The state's approval process for teacher preparation programs should hold programs accountable for the quality of the teachers they produce.
Mississippi'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, Mississippi 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. It requires an annual "teacher education performance report," with one component consisting of a job-satisfaction survey rating the job performance of all first-year teachers. Programs that do not receive a satisfactory rating of 80 percent over a three-year period must prepare a plan of improvement. Mississippi also collects programs' annual summary licensure test pass rates (80 percent of program completers must pass their licensure exams). This 80 percent pass-rate standard, while common among many states, 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 routes. 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 Mississippi have been identified in required federal reporting as low performing.
Finally, Mississippi's website does not include a report card that allows the public to review and compare program performance.
Process & Performance Review Guide http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/ed_licensure/teacher_education.html Title II State Reports https://title2.ed.gov
Collect data that connect student achievement gains to teacher preparation programs.
To ensure that programs are producing effective classroom teachers, Mississippi 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, Mississippi 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; 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, Mississippi should present all the data it collects on individual teacher preparation programs.
Mississippi recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.