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 2017.
Minimum Standards of Performance: Ohio does not set minimum standards of performance for the categories of data that programs must report. The state does require a summary pass rate on state licensure examinations of 80 percent. This 80 percent pass-rate standard, while common among states, sets the bar quite low and is not a meaningful measure of program performance.
Program Accountability: Ohio does not articulate consequences for programs that fail to meet specific criteria. An educator preparation provider is "effective" if the overall institutional summary pass rate of completers on all required exams is at least 80 percent. "At risk of low-performing" is the pass rate that is less than 80 percent, and "low performing" is the pass rate that is less than 80 percent for more than three consecutive years. However, there are no clear, consistent consequences for receiving these ratings.
State Report Cards: Ohio publishes annual report cards showing the data the state has collected on individual teacher preparation programs. The website does not include data for alternate route programs that are not based in universities.
Program Approval Process: Ohio does not maintain full authority over teacher preparation program approval. Instead, programs are required to obtain national accreditation.
Establish a meaningful standard of performance for each category of data.
Ohio should establish precise minimum standards for teacher preparation program performance for each category of data it collects to help clarify expectations regarding program quality. The 80 percent pass rate standard is too low a bar to be meaningful.
Ensure that criteria for program approval result in greater accountability.
Ohio should ensure that programs are held accountable for meeting minimum standards of performance, and that the state's accountability system is sufficient to differentiate performance among programs, including alternate route programs. The state should establish clear follow-up actions for programs failing to meet these standards, including remediation or loss of program approval as appropriate. For programs exceeding minimum standards, Ohio should consider finding effective ways to disseminate best practices.
Maintain full authority over the process for approving teacher preparation programs.
Ohio should not cede its approval authority to another accrediting body; instead, the state should ensure that it is the entity that directly considers the evidence of program performance and makes the final determination of whether programs should continue to be authorized to prepare teachers.
Ohio provided NCTQ with the facts necessary for this analysis.
The state also clarified that in its program approval process, Specialized Professional Associations are not required but CAEP is. Ohio added that CAEP requires data regarding graduate performance.
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.