Program Performance Measures: Nebraska

2017 General Teacher Preparation Policy


The state should collect and publicly report key data on the quality of teacher preparation programs. This goal was reorganized in 2017.

Meets in part

Analysis of Nebraska's policies

Student Growth Data: Nebraska does not collect or publicly report data that connect student growth to teacher preparation programs.

Additional Program Data: Nebraska collects other objective, meaningful data to measure the performance of teacher preparation programs. The Nebraska Department of Education administers surveys to assess teacher and principal satisfaction. Individual Educator Preparation Program reports include, at the institution level, the number of completers in each subject area, as well as both the pass rates and averaged scaled scores on the Praxis Core exams in reading, writing, and mathematics.


Recommendations for Nebraska

Collect data that connect student growth to teacher preparation programs, when those programs are large enough for the data to be meaningful and reliable.
Nebraska should consider 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. 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.

State response to our analysis

Nebraska was helpful in providing NCTQ with the facts necessary for this analysis.

Nebraska also provided  that it believes that NCTQ only considers evidence if it is in regulation or statute. Therefore, the state did not explain current and ongoing statewide and local expectations and activities that may be responsive to NCTQ's standards. The state added that much of the educator preparation improvement initiatives are addressed without statutory and regulatory intervention.

Updated: December 2017

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.
  • Supplemental Accountability Data: The state should collect and report meaningful data that inform a reasonable judgment of the performance of each approved teacher preparation program, including some or all of the following: 
    • Average scaled scores of teacher candidates on licensing tests, including tests of academic proficiency normed to the college-going population and subject-matter tests.
    • Number of times, on average, it takes teacher candidates to pass licensure tests.
    • Teacher candidate first-time scores and pass rates for licensure tests 
    • Supervisor satisfaction ratings of program graduates collected through a standardized form to allow for program comparison.
    • Three-year retention rates of graduates in the teaching profession.
    • For-profit provider candidate completion rates.
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 it has made significant progress toward collecting and reporting student growth data of program graduates. 
Supplemental Accountability 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 it collects more than one additional data point that provides meaningful insight into program performance.
  • One-quarter credit: The state will earn one-quarter of a point if it collects one additional data point that provides meaningful insight into program performance.

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
[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
[3] Walsh, K., & Jacobs, S. (2007). Alternative certification isn't alternative. Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Retrieved from

[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
[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; 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; 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
[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