Program Reporting Requirements: Louisiana

2017 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. This goal was reorganized in 2017.

Meets

Analysis of Louisiana's policies

Minimum Standards of Performance: Louisiana has begun to set and make public minimum standards of performance for programs but it has not established standards across all data that is collected. Currently, Louisiana has identified a standard of performance for licensure assessment data to identify "At-Risk" (80 percent to 86 percent pass rate) and "Low Performing" (less than 79 percent pass rate) programs, but these standards may be too low to be meaningful.

Program Accountability: Currently, Louisiana holds programs accountable for the one standard that is in place. Programs can move through various levels of consequences based on their classification as "At-Risk" and "Low Performing" and how many years they have remained at these levels. Failure to improve eventually results in loss of program approval.

Louisiana passed new legislation in June 2017 that established an accountability system, Louisiana Teacher Preparation Quality Rating System, which will be the basis for program approval for both university and non-university providers and hold programs accountable at the pathway level. The system has four ratings: Level 1 (Ineffective), Level 2 (Needs Improvement), Level 3 (Effective), and Level 4 (Highly Effective). Programs that receive a Level 1 or 2 are required to undergo a corrective action period with interventions or consequences specified by the Board of Education, including possible loss of program approval. Level 1 and 2 programs must also develop an improvement plan that is approved and monitored by the Board of Education. Programs that receive a Level 1 or 2 rating are rated every two years, and Level 3 and Level 4 programs are rated every four years. Program evaluations are based on the criteria: preparation program experience (rated 1-4), the percentage of completers in high need certification areas and schools, and the value-added results of program completers. The state has not provided any clear minimums for this data. This system is being phased in, with 2023-2024 the first year that a program's rating will determine whether or not it is renewed. 

State Report Cards: Louisiana publishes annual report cards showing the data the state has collected on individual teacher preparation programs. These data are available on Louisiana's Teacher Preparation Data Dashboards. Based on recently passed legislation, beginning winter 2019-2020, the Louisiana Department of Education (LDE) will annually produce and make publicly available on its website a performance profile for each approved preparation provider and will biennially produce and make publicly available on its website a quality rating for each approved preparation provider.

Program Approval Process: Louisiana maintains full authority over the teacher preparation program approval process. The state no longer requires national accreditation for program approval.

Citation

Recommendations for Louisiana

As a result of Louisiana's strong policies on reporting teacher preparation accountability data and holding preparation programs to meaningful standards based on data, no recommendations are provided.

State response to our analysis

Louisiana was helpful in providing NCTQ with the facts necessary for this analysis; however, this analysis was updated subsequent to the state's review.

Louisiana further clarified that that purpose of the Teacher Preparation Quality Rating System is to: provide teacher preparation providers with meaningful information for improvement; identify programs of excellence and programs in need of improvement and, therefore, inform enrollment and hiring decisions, and interventions; and reward programs for meeting Louisiana's educator workforce needs, particularly in rural communities, and in terms of high-need certification areas.

How we graded

1D: Program Reporting Requirements 

  • Minimum Standards: The state should establish a minimum standard of performance for each category of data that is collected.
  • Articulated Consequences for Failure to Meet Minimum Standards: The state should hold teacher preparation programs accountable for meeting minimum standards of performance. As such, the state should have articulated consequences for programs failing to meet these standards and should require specific steps to develop a remediation plan. This may include on-site program inspection by qualified external bodies that may lead to loss of program approval.
  • Annual Reporting: The state should produce and publish an annual report card that provides all of the collected data for each individual teacher preparation program.
  • Approval Authority: The state should retain full authority over its process approving teacher preparation programs and should not grant any approval authority to accrediting bodies.
Minimum Standards
One-quarter of the total goal score is earned based on the following:

  • One-quarter credit: The state will earn one-quarter of a point if minimum standards of performance are set for each category of data the teacher preparation programs are required to report.
Articulated Consequences for Failure to Meet Minimum Standards
One-quarter of the total goal score is earned based on the following:

  • One-quarter credit: The state will earn one-quarter of a point if it holds teacher preparation programs accountable for meeting the minimum standards of performance, and if it clearly articulates the consequences for failing to meet the minimum standards, which may include loss of program approval.
Annual Reporting
One-quarter of the total goal score is earned based on the following:

  • One-quarter credit: The state will earn one-quarter of a point if it publishes all collected data on individual teacher preparation programs on an annual basis. 
Approval Authority
One-quarter of the total goal score is earned based on the following:

  • One-quarter credit: The state will earn one-quarter of a point if it retains full authority over the process for approving teacher preparation programs.

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. In F. Hess, A. J. Rotherham, & K. Walsh (Eds.), A qualified teacher in every classroom (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. (2017). 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.), In 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