Teacher Preparation Program Accountability:

2015 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.

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Analysis of Georgia's policies

Georgia's approval process for its traditional and alternate route teacher preparation programs now holds programs accountable for the quality of the teachers they produce. 

Georgia's new Preparation Program Effectiveness Measures (PPEM) relies on student growth and other measures to hold programs accountable. The Teacher Effectiveness Measure will count for 50 percent of the total PPEM score and includes a quantitative evaluation rubric for evaluators, student growth percentile/value-added measures, where applicable, or state-approved Student Learning Objectives and student surveys of instructional practice. PPEM also measures successful movement from an Induction Certificate to a Professional Certificate after three years (10 percent), content knowledge (30 percent), which consists of scores on the GACE educator certification content assessments, and edTPA scores, and Program Performance Data (10 percent), which includes completion rates, retention rates, yield, inductee surveys and employer surveys.

Programs will be categorized in four levels: Exemplary, Proficient, At-risk of Low Performing and Low Performing. Cut-scores and consequences for the different levels have yet to be defined.  

With regard to annual report cards, "limited data may be shared with the public in the form of a dashboard report, with carefully worded explanations regarding each measure and the fact that this is the first year of full implementation."  

In Georgia, the state maintains full authority over teacher preparation program approval. The state also conducts its own program reviews.


Recommendations for Georgia

Establish the minimum standard of performance for each category of data. 
Through setting the components of PPEM and establishing a policy to categorize programs in one of four performance levels, Georgia has made clear steps in the right direction to setting performance standards for its preparation programs. The next and perhaps more critical step is for Georgia to establish precise minimum standards for teacher preparation program performance for each category of data. The state should be mindful of setting rigorous standards for program performance. Programs should be held accountable for meeting rigorous standards, and there should be consequences for failing to do so, including loss of program approval.

Publish an annual report card on the state's website.
Georgia should ensure that an annual report card that shows all the data the state collects on individual teacher preparation programs will be published on the state's website at the program level for the sake of public transparency. Data should be presented in a manner that clearly conveys whether programs have met performance standards. Current policy language is vague and noncommittal.

State response to our analysis

Georgia recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.

How we graded

Research rationale

States need to hold programs accountable for the quality of their graduates.
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 can be used to provide objective evidence of the performance of teacher preparation programs.  States should make such data, as well as other objective measures that go beyond licensure pass rates, a central component of their teacher preparation program approval processes, and they should establish precise standards for performance that are more useful for accountability purposes. 

Teacher Preparation Program Accountability: Supporting Research
For discussion of teacher preparation program approval see Andrew Rotherham and S. Mead's chapter "Back to the Future: The History and Politics of State Teacher Licensure and Certification." in A Qualified Teacher in Every Classroom. (Harvard Education Press, 2004).

For evidence of how weak state efforts to hold teacher preparation programs accountable are, see data on programs identified as low-performing in the U.S. Department of Education,The Secretary's Seventh Annual Report on Teacher Quality 2010 at: http://www2.ed.gov/about/reports/annual/teachprep/t2r7.pdf.

For additional discussion and research of how teacher education programs can add value to their teachers, see NCTQ's, Teacher Prep Review, available at http://www.nctq.org/p/edschools.

For a discussion of the lack of evidence that national accreditation status enhances teacher preparation programs' effectiveness, see D. Ballou and M. Podgursky, "Teacher Training and Licensure: A Layman's Guide," in Better Teachers, Better Schools, eds. Marci Kanstoroom and Chester E. Finn., Jr., (Washington, D.C.: Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, 1999), pp. 45-47. See also No Common Denominator: The Preparation of Elementary Teachers in Mathematics by America's Education Schools(NCTQ, 2008) and What Education Schools Aren't Teaching About Reading and What Elementary Teachers Aren't Learning (NCTQ, 2006).

See NCTQ, Alternative Certification Isn't Alternative (2007) regarding the dearth of accountability data states require of alternate route programs.