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.
Tennessee'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, Tennessee requires an assessment on the effectiveness of teacher training programs, with a focus on the institutions' graduates and teacher effect data.
In addition, the state also requires programs to gather other objective, meaningful data, including:
Tennessee Code 49-5-108(f) Report Cards http://www.state.tn.us/sbe/teacherreportcard.htm Title II State Reports https://title2.ed.gov Tennessee Licensure Standards and Induction Guidelines, page 54-1 Race to the Top Application http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/phase1-applications/tennessee.pdf
Establish the minimum standard of performance for each category of data.
Programs should be held accountable for meeting established standards of performance, with articulated consequences for failing to do so, including loss of program approval after appropriate due process.
Collect and report data for all teacher preparation programs.
Tennessee is commended for collecting and reporting objective data for its university-based teacher preparation programs. In order to provide the public with meaningful, readily understandable indicators of how well all of its programs are doing, the state should expand its data collection to include all teacher preparation programs in the state. These data should then be reported at the program level.
Tennessee acknowledged that its report card does not make a distinction for university-based alternate route programs; however, it does distinguish alternate route programs for Teach for America and Teach Tennessee. The state also asserted that it does apply criteria for program approval. "All teacher preparation program providers, traditional and transitional, must address the NCATE unit standards that include the requirement of a teacher candidate assessment system." Finally, Tennessee contended that its report card provides information on how well Tennessee institutions are performing.
Tennessee is commended for its report card and for distinguishing data for Teach For America and Teach Tennessee; however, the state is encouraged to report data for all its teacher preparation programs, including those that offer an alternate route to certification, even if that route is university-based. Doing so will provide the public with a clear picture of how all teacher preparation programs are performing.