Program Performance Measures: Virginia

General Teacher Preparation Policy

Goal

The state should collect and publicly report key data on the quality of teacher preparation programs. This goal was reorganized in 2021.

Meets
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2021). Program Performance Measures: Virginia results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/VA-Program-Performance-Measures-89

Analysis of Virginia's policies

Student Growth Data: Virginia requires educator preparation programs to collect and report data on the performance and effectiveness of program graduates, as measured by student growth data. The state requires "evidence of contributions to preK-12 student achievement by candidates completing the program." The state then articulates that one required indicator of the achievement of this standard is evidence of the ability to affect student learning, "through the use of multiple sources of data such as a culminating experience, portfolios, interviews, videotaped and observed performance in schools, standardized tests, and course grades." Virginia's Biennial Report describes whether this standard is met by institution and program. 

Licensure Exam Pass Rates: Virginia collects and publishes meaningful pass rate data that inform a reasonable judgment of the performance of each approved teacher preparation program, and biennially publishes final pass rate data of all test takers by institution and program.

Citation

Recommendations for Virginia

Due to Virginia's strong policies in this area, no recommendations are provided.

State response to our analysis

Virginia recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.

Updated: March 2021

How we graded

1C: Program Performance Measures 

  • Student Growth Data: The state should collect and publicly report data connecting student growth to teacher preparation programs for all programs large enough for the data to be meaningful and reliable. Such data may include growth analyses specifically conducted for this purpose or evaluation ratings that include objective measures of student growth.
  • Licensure Exam Pass Rates: The state should collect and publish meaningful pass rate data that inform a reasonable judgment of the performance of each approved teacher preparation program, including:
    • Final (best attempt) pass rate data for all test takers at the program, institutional and state level.
    • First-time pass rate data for all test takers at the program, institutional and state level.
Student Growth Data
One-half of the total goal score is earned based on the following:

  • One-half credit: The state will earn one-half of a point if student growth data of program graduates are collected and reported for programs that are sufficiently large enough for these data to be meaningful and reliable.
  • One-quarter credit: The state will earn one-quarter of a point if student growth data of program graduates are collected and reported for institutions that are sufficiently large enough for these data to be meaningful and reliable.
Licensure Exam Pass Rates
One-half of the total goal score is earned based on the following:
  • One-half credit: The state will earn one-half of a point if it collects and publishes final and/or first-time pass rate data of all test takers at the program level.
  • One-quarter credit: The state will earn one-quarter of a point if it collects and publishes final and/or first-time pass rate data of all test takers at the institutional and/or state level.

Research rationale

The state should examine a number of factors when measuring the performance of and approving teacher preparation programs.[1] 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.[2]

States have made great strides in building data systems with the capacity to provide evidence of teacher performance.[3] 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.[4]

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.[5] Clear state policy would eliminate this uncertainty and send an unequivocal message to programs about the state's expectations.[6]


[1] For general information about teacher preparation program approval see Rotherham, A. J., & Mead, S. (2004). Back to the future: The history and politics of state teacher licensure and certification. A qualified teacher in every classroom (pp. 11-47). Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press. Retrieved from https://www.nctq.org/nctq/research/1109818629821.pdf
[2] For additional discussion and research of how teacher education programs can add value to their teachers, see: National Council on Teacher Quality. (2016). Teacher Prep Review. Retrieved from http://www.nctq.org/teacherPrep/2016/home.do
[3] Walsh, K., & Jacobs, S. (2007). Alternative certification isn't alternative. Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Retrieved from
http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED498382.pdf

[4] For additional research on the status of teacher quality and the strengths and weaknesses of accreditation programs and policies in the U.S., see: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education. (2010). The secretary's seventh annual report on teacher quality: A highly qualified teacher in every classroom. Retrieved from https://www2.ed.gov/about/reports/annual/teachprep/t2r7.pdf
[5] For a discussion of the lack of evidence that national accreditation status enhances teacher preparation programs' effectiveness, see: Ballou, D., & Podgursky, M. (1999, July). Teacher training and licensure: A layman's guide. Marci Kanstoroom and Chester E. Finn., Jr. (eds.), Better teachers, better schools (pp. 45-47). Washington, DC: Thomas B. Fordham Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.edexcellence.net/sites/default/files/publication/pdfs/btrtchrs_10.pdf; Greenberg, J., & Walsh, K. (2008, June). No common denominator: The preparation of elementary teachers in mathematics by America's education schools. Washington, DC: National Council on Teacher Quality. Retrieved from http://www.nctq.org/dmsView/No_Common_Denominator_NCTQ_Report; Walsh, K., Glaser, D., & Wilcox, D. (2006, May). What education schools aren't teaching about reading and what elementary teachers aren't learning. Washington, DC: National Council on Teacher Quality. Retrieved from http://www.nctq.org/dmsView/What_Ed_Schools_Arent_Teaching_About_Reading_NCTQ_Report
[6] See Walsh, K., Joseph, N., & Lewis, A. (2016, November). Within our grasp: Achieving higher admissions standards in teacher prep. 2016 State Teacher Policy Yearbook Report Series. Retrieved from http://www.nctq.org/dmsView/Admissions_Yearbook_Report