The state's approval process for teacher preparation programs should hold programs accountable for the quality of the teachers they produce.
Oregon'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, Oregon 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. Although the state previously collected some data on program performance, including retention rates, this no longer appears to be required.
Further, in the past three years, no programs in the state have been identified as low performing—an additional indicator that programs lack accountability.
Finally, Oregon's website does not include a report card that allows the public to review and compare program performance.
Collect data that connect student achievement gains to teacher preparation programs.
To ensure that programs are producing effective classroom teachers, Oregon 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. Oregon 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.
To inform the public with meaningful, readily understandable indicators of how well programs are doing, Oregon should present all the data it collects on individual teacher preparation programs.
Oregon asserted that its new employer and recent graduate survey, which was validated and piloted this past year, should generate meaningful data. Definitions for low-performing and at-risk were proposed and should be adopted this fall. Oregon pointed out that it recently recommended nonapproval for a preparation program, but state law requires due process before that designation can be implemented. Further, due to the extremely poor state of the economy, less than 10 percent of Oregon's newest teacher graduates are finding jobs. In fact, Oregon has lost 2,500 to 3,000 teaching positions in the last three years. A collection of that data would not produce meaningful feedback.
NCTQ agrees that many forces beyond the quality of a preparation program influence retention. That is why it should be one of multiple measures that are assessed, including student achievement gains.