The state's approval process for teacher preparation programs should hold programs accountable for the quality of the teachers they produce.
Ohio's approval process for its traditional and alternate route teacher preparation programs does not hold programs accountable for the quality of the teachers they produce.
Most importantly, Ohio does not collect value-added data that connect student achievement gains to teacher preparation programs.
The state also fails to collect other objective, meaningful data to measure the performance of teacher preparation programs, and it does not apply any transparent, measurable criteria for conferring program approval. Ohio collects programs' annual summary licensure test pass rates (80 percent of program completers must pass their licensure exams). However, the 80 percent pass-rate standard, while common among many states, sets the bar quite low and is not a meaningful measure of program performance.
Commendably, Ohio's website does include a report card that allows the public to review and compare traditional teacher preparation program performance.
According to the state's winning Race to the Top application, it plans to link evidence of effectiveness, including measures of student growth, to preparation programs. Ohio will also develop a review process to ensure improvement or removal of ineffective programs. However, how or if the state plans to include alternate route programs is not specified, and there is no evidence to date of specific policy to support these plans.
Collect data that connect student achievement gains to teacher preparation programs.
To ensure that programs are producing effective classroom teachers, Ohio should consider academic achievement gains of students taught by the programs' graduates, averaged over the first three years of teaching. Although the state has commendably outlined its intentions in its RttT application, to ensure that preparation programs are held accountable, Ohio is urged to codify these requirements and to specify that they will apply to alternate route programs as well as traditional 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. Ohio should gather data 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.
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 for all teacher preparation programs.
While Ohio is commended for including a report card on its website that allows the public to review and compare traditional teacher preparation programs, the state should do so for its alternate route as well.
Ohio asserted that the collection of value-added data is addressed within each new program via program proposal FORM A, for teacher and administrator preparation programs. Satisfaction ratings by school principals and teacher mentors using a standardized form are a component of the Ohio METRICS. The state added that it will produce and publish an annual report card on teacher preparation programs.
The code provided by the state only authorizes the Board of Regents to establish performance metrics for teacher preparation programs. NCTQ was unable to locate policy specifically identifying the components and requirements of the METRICS system. While it does appear the state is moving ahead with the accountability plan for teacher preparation programs outlined in its Race to the Top proposal, the state is encouraged to formally codify these requirements.