Teacher Preparation Policy
The state should collect and publicly report key data on the quality of teacher preparation programs. This goal was reorganized in 2021.
Student Growth Data: Pennsylvania does not collect or publicly report data that connect student growth to teacher preparation programs.
Licensure Exam Pass Rates: Pennsylvania previously published first-time and final pass rates of all test takers for content tests at the institutional level. The pass rates on the state DOE website "are based on all examinees" self-reported scores. However, the links to pass rate data by program and college are not available at this time, and the state indicated that it is working on a forward-facing website that will include the pass rates of all test takers.
Pennsylvania Code Title 22 Chapter 49.14; 354.22 Preparation Program Pass Rates https://www.education.pa.gov/Educators/Certification/PassRates/Pages/default.aspx Pass Rate FAQs https://www.education.pa.gov/Educators/Certification/CertFAQs/Pages/PassRates.aspx
Collect data that connect student growth to teacher preparation programs, when those programs are large enough for the data to be meaningful and reliable.
Pennsylvania should consider collecting the academic achievement gains of students taught by programs' graduates, averaged over the first three years of teaching, when the programs produce enough graduates for those data to be meaningful and reliable. Data that are aggregated at the institution level (e.g., combining elementary and secondary programs), rather than disaggregated by the specific preparation program, have less utility for accountability and continuous improvement purposes than more specific data because institution-level data aggregation can mask significant differences in performance among programs.
Publish first-time and final pass rate data at the program level for all test takers.
Pennsylvania should publicly report first-time and final pass rate data for all test takers at the program level. Doing so allows the state, programs, and prospective teacher candidates to analyze the strength of programs' ability to prepare teachers in core content areas. Prospective teacher candidates deserve access to relevant information to determine which programs are most likely to enable them to earn a standard teaching license.
Pennsylvania recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.
1C: Program Performance Measures
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.