Teacher Preparation Program Accountability:
Missouri

2015 General Teacher Prep Programs Policy

Goal

The state's approval process for teacher preparation programs should hold programs accountable for the quality of the teachers they produce.

Nearly meets

Analysis of Missouri's policies

Missouri's approval process for its traditional and alternate route teacher preparation programs is moving in the right direction to hold programs accountable for the quality of the teachers they produce.

According to the new Missouri Standards for Professional Educators, the state will rely on an Annual Performance Report for Educator Preparation Programs (APR-EPP) to determine whether programs are meeting three of the Missouri Standards for the Preparation of Educators (MoSPE) standards. Although several indicators are still under development, the APR will include performance ratings from the state's teacher evaluation system.

Missouri will also rely on other objective data to measure the performance of teacher preparation, including certification pass rates, GPA benchmarks, the number of times the candidate may take the content assessment, scores on the professional knowledge assessment (MoPTA), and survey responses by first-year teachers and principals regarding their first-year teachers.

Benchmarks for some of these indicators have been set: 85 percent of program completers must meet the content GPA of at least 2.5; 90 percent of program completers must report at least "adequate" preparation at the end of their first year of teaching; and 90 percent of principals must report that program completers at their school had at least "adequate" preparation. In order for a program to be held accountable to these measures, it must cumulatively have 30 program completers over three years. Programs with fewer than that will have an APR-EPP published only for informational purposes, not for accountability decisions. The state plans to use the APR-EPP to inform decision making about preparation programs by June 2016, and the reports will be made public for the first time in February 2017.

Missouri maintains control over its approval process.

Citation

Recommendations for Missouri

Establish the minimum standard of performance for each category of data. 
It is commendable that Missouri has set benchmarks for several of the indicators included in the APR-EPP. It also should ensure that it sets minimum standards of performance for candidates' pass rates on performance assessments and ratings on the state's teacher evaluation system. Programs should then be held accountable for meeting these standards, and there should be consequences for failing to do so, including loss of program approval.

State response to our analysis

Missouri was helpful in providing NCTQ with the facts necessary for this analysis. The state also indicated that while Missouri‚Äôs school districts will begin using student growth data in 2015-2016, this information will not be available to educator preparation programs until data sharing agreements can be finalized.In addition, Missouri is considering adding a question to the First Year Teacher Surveys of their teachers related to effectiveness based upon their evaluation of that teacher.

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.