The state's approval process for teacher preparation programs should hold programs accountable for the quality of the teachers they produce.
New Jersey's approval process for its traditional and alternate route teacher preparation programs could do more to hold programs accountable for the quality of the teachers they produce.
For its university-based preparation program approval process, New Jersey requires "where relevant, P-12 student achievement data." This vague reference makes it unclear how academic achievement gains of students taught by the programs' graduates are in fact used during the program approval process.
The state also relies on some other objective, meaningful data to measure the performance of university-based teacher preparation programs. It requires the following documentation for its preparation program approval process:
New Jersey Administrative Code 6A:9-10.1, 6A: 9-8.3 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, New Jersey should consider academic achievement gains of students taught by the programs' graduates, averaged over the first three years of teaching.
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, New Jersey should present all the data it collects on individual teacher preparation programs.
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 university-based teacher preparation programs, New Jersey 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.
New Jersey recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state added that it is building the necessary data system to allow it to track teachers.