Teacher Preparation Policy
The state's approval process for teacher preparation programs should hold programs accountable for the quality of the teachers they produce. This goal was reorganized in 2021.
Minimum Standards of Performance: Virginia does not set meaningful minimum standards of performance for the categories of data that programs must report. The state does require a summary pass rate on state licensure examinations of 80% for candidates completing or exiting the program. This 80% pass-rate standard, while common among states, sets the bar quite low and is not a meaningful measure of program performance.
The state also requires evidence of "contributions to preK-12 student achievement by candidates completing the program" and "employer job satisfaction with graduates completing the program." However, indicators of student achievement are not based solely on objective evidence. Further, although indicators relating to job satisfaction include two years of evidence of graduate performance based on employer surveys and documented evidence of teacher effectiveness, including student academic progress, the state does not articulate explicit metrics (i.e., what is required to meet these standards).
Program Accountability: Virginia articulates consequences for programs that fail to meet specific criteria, although the 80% pass rate is not a meaningful minimum standard. Program approval is denied if programs 1) are not accredited either by a national accreditation body or by the Board of Education, and 2) do not meet the 80% pass-rate threshold.
State Report Cards: Virginia state law requires institutions to provide data for Annual Education Preparation Program Profiles which include data on indicators including:
8 Virginia Administrative Code 20-543-20; -40; -50; -70 Annual Education Preparation Program Profiles https://www.doe.virginia.gov/teaching/educator_preparation/college_programs/index.shtml
Establish the higher minimum standards of performance for each category of data.
Virginia should be mindful of setting rigorous standards for program performance, as its current requirement that 80% of program completers must pass their licensing exams is too low a bar.
Virginia recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis, however this analysis was updated subsequent to the state's review.
The state indicated that the Annual Education Preparation Program Profile data was collected this summer. In addition to the data noted in the analysis, the following indicators will also be included:
1. Number of candidates admitted in education endorsement programs (by each endorsement area) Number of candidates enrolled in education endorsement programs (by each endorsement area)
2. Comparison of candidates admitted to education endorsement programs (all education endorsement programs, the EPP as a whole) to overall college or university population The number of non-underrepresented minority candidates compared to underrepresented minority candidates admitted to education endorsement programs in the educator preparation program compared to the overall institution at large. Underrepresented minority-Asian, Hispanic, Black, Multiple Races, Native Hawaiian, American Indian Non-underrepresented minority-White The number of candidates admitted to education endorsement programs in the educator preparation program compared to the overall institution at large: By gender, race, in-state, out-of-state, international status, part-time, full-time, median Grade Point Average (GPA)
3. Number of program completers for each endorsement program Program completers are individuals who have successfully completed all coursework, required licensure assessments, and supervised student teaching or required internship. 6. Number of program non-completers for each endorsement program Program noncompleters are those individuals who have been officially admitted into the education program and who have taken, regardless of whether the individual passed or failed, required licensure assessments, and have successfully completed all coursework, but who have not completed supervised student teaching or the required internship. Program noncompleters shall have been officially released (in writing) from an education endorsement program by an authorized administrator of the program.
4. Program ratings by school administrators and/or clinical experience supervisors of student teachers
5. Satisfaction ratings of program graduates within two years of employment Response format: Narrative 1,000 words or less Ratings: Indicators of quality as collected by each educator preparation program (examples include surveys, focus groups, sampling, interviews, and observation, etc.)
6. Recognition of other program achievements Response format: (Narrative 1,000 words or less)
7. Other data as required by the Board of Education
1D: Program Reporting Requirements
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.