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 2017.
Student Growth Data: Montana does not explicitly collect or publicly report data that connect student growth to teacher preparation programs. The state does require that programs demonstrate the impact of its completers on P-12 student learning but does not explicitly state that this data is based on student growth.
Additional Program Data: Montana collects other objective, meaningful data to measure the performance of teacher preparation programs, including the satisfaction of its completers with the relevance and effectiveness of their preparation; impact on student learning as demonstrated by student data or employer and completer surveys; and whether completers effectively apply the skills taught in their program as demonstrated by validated observation instruments and surveys.
Administrative Rule of Montana 10.58.314 http://opi.mt.gov/Programs/Accred/#gpm1_5
Collect data that connect student growth to teacher preparation programs, when those programs are large enough for the data to be meaningful and reliable.
Montana should consider collecting the academic achievement gains of students taught by programs' graduates, and should clarify that these gains should be based on objective measured of student growth. The state should collect these data over the first three years of teaching when the programs produce enough graduates for those data to be meaningful and reliable. Data that are aggregated at the institution level (e.g., combining elementary and secondary programs), rather than disaggregated by the specific preparation program, have less utility for accountability and continuous improvement purposes than more specific data because institution-level data aggregation can mask significant differences in performance among programs.
Gather other meaningful data that reflect program performance.
Although measures of student growth are an important indicator of program effectiveness, the strongest state systems ensure that data are collected on multiple, objective program measures. Montana should maximize the information available to programs and the public by collecting data that demonstrate how well programs are preparing teachers for the classroom, such as:
Montana recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis; however, the 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.