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: Recent legislation in Texas requires the use of student growth measures of new teachers as part of the criteria to determine an educator preparation program's accreditation status. Student growth will be measured by a beginning teacher's STAAR Progress Measure. These data will be published in future Accountability System for Educator Preparation (ASEP) reports.
Licensure Exam Pass Rates: Texas has published state-level first time and best attempt pass rates of all test takers from 2013 to 2018.
Additionally, Texas annually publishes final pass rate data by test and institution on the state's Educator Preparation Data Dashboards. These data are published as part of Texas's ASEP reports. These data include all enrolled candidates. However, the formula for calculating the pass rates does not present a complete picture. A first-time pass rate would include the total number of first attempts on a specific test in the denominator. A final pass rate would include the total number of candidates who passed the test at any point in the numerator, and the total number of candidates who attempted the test (regardless of how many times) in the denominator.
Texas has attempted to address some common pass rate loopholes. Beginning in 2021, pass rate data will include all tests approved by EPPs and not just those required for a candidate's certification, and will include an individual candidate's attempts even when the EPP has not recommended the individual for a standard certificate.
Collect data that connect student growth to teacher preparation programs, when those programs are large enough for the data to be meaningful and reliable.
Texas is making strides toward 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. Texas should continue to develop this system and should ensure that data can be reported at the program level, rather than at the level of the institution. 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.
Texas 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.
Texas was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts necessary for 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.