2011 Delivering Well Prepared Teachers Policy
The state's approval process for teacher preparation programs should hold programs accountable for the quality of the teachers they produce.
Nevada'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.
Most importantly, Nevada does not collect value-added data that connect student achievement gains to teacher preparation programs.
The state does rely on some other objective, meaningful data to measure the performance of its traditional teacher preparation programs. Nevada has set minimum standards for traditional program performance; failure to meet those standards precipitates action by the Board of Education that may result in a program losing state approval. The Board reviews any program that reports fewer than 95 percent of its teacher candidates passing their licensure tests, or if school districts report that more than 5 percent of program graduates newly hired by districts are dismissed or not rehired. This 95 percent standard is among the highest in the nation, with most states setting the pass-rate standard at 80 percent.
Nevada also requires each teacher preparation program to submit an annual report, although it is not clear how the information gained from these reports contributes to the program approval process. The report must include:
Nevada Administrative Code 391.558, -.560 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, Nevada 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, Nevada 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.
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, Nevada should present all the data it collects on individual teacher preparation programs.
Establish the minimum standard of performance for each category of data for all teacher preparation programs.
Nevada is commended for setting standards for performance for its traditional teacher preparation programs. The state should apply such standards to its alternate route programs, which should also be held accountable for meeting established standards and face articulated consequences for failing to do so, including loss of program approval after appropriate due process.
Ensure that criteria for program approval result in greater accountability.
Nevada has taken more steps than many states to develop an accountability system for teacher preparation programs. The state should ensure that its system is sufficient to differentiate program performance and that follow-up actions are taken as warranted.
Nevada recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.