Teacher Preparation Policy
The state's approval process for teacher preparation programs should hold programs accountable for the quality of the teachers they produce. This goal was reorganized in 2021.
Minimum Standards of Performance: Nevada sets some meaningful minimum standards of performance for the data that programs must report. The Board of Education may review any program before the end of the state's seven-year approval period if the percentage of students in a program who pass state-required tests is less than 80%, or if 5% or more of probationary teachers employed in Nevada from a particular preparation program are either terminated or not reemployed. The 80% pass rate, while quite common among states, sets the bar quite low and is not a meaningful measure of program performance.
Program Accountability: Nevada holds programs accountable for meeting the minimum standards of performance noted above. Failure to meet established standards precipitates action by the Board of Education that may result in a program losing state approval.
State Report Cards: Nevada law requires annual reporting and publishing of all the data the state collects on individual teacher preparation programs. These data include evidence of effectiveness, in the form of teacher evaluation ratings, for traditional and alternative preparation programs. However, the state has not made these reports publicly available yet.
Program Approval Process: Nevada maintains authority over teacher preparation program approval.
Nevada Administrative Code 391.461, 557, .-558, .-560 Nevada Revised Statute 391.039
Publish an annual report card on the state's website.
Nevada is commended for taking steps to produce an annual report card on teacher preparation program data. These report cards should clearly display program-level data the state collects on individual teacher preparation programs. Data should be presented in a manner that transparently conveys whether programs have met performance standards.
Nevada recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.
1D: Program Reporting Requirements
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.