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CAEP Releases Report on ‘Key Effectiveness Indicators’ for Program Evaluation

As teacher educators wait to see the U.S. government’s latest proposal for rating their programs, a new report commissioned by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) attempts to lay out a useful framework of “key effectiveness indicators” to answer the fundamental question: How do we identify high-performing preparation programs that routinely produce effective teachers (as well as programs that do not)?

Building an Evidence-Based System for Teacher Preparation, authored by Teacher Preparation Analytics, was commissioned to address three goals:

  1. To generate a national discussion around which measures are most meaningful and how to maximize common reporting across states and for CAEP review.
  2. To align CAEP accreditation with these measures and reporting systems as closely as possible to strengthen accreditation, facilitate state data collection and reporting, and reduce reporting burdens for educator preparation programs.
  3. To promote collaboration and best practices among states, CAEP, and other stakeholders in pursuit of these goals.

Charged with developing a report that would focus on outcomes more than inputs, use objective sources, and produce action-oriented recommendations, the authors—Michael Allen, Charles Coble, and Edward Crowe—reviewed data from 15 states to highlight best practices, identify weaknesses, and suggest strategies to improve the quality of data on educator preparation. The result is a framework that the authors believe could be put in place as early as 2020 and that, once in place, would facilitate credible assessment of program performance within each state and, ideally, between states.

The proposed effectiveness indicators address four categories: selectivity for program entry, conveyance of knowledge and skills for teaching, completers’ performance in the classroom, and program productivity and alignment to state needs. Specific indicators and a variety of measures are proposed for each category in an effort to capture effectiveness from diverse angles.

How diverse? Under candidate selectivity, for example, the report suggests considering GPAs and test scores to gauge academic strength; using a “fitness for teaching” assessment to screen for dispositions; and disaggregating the graduating cohort’s race/ethnicity, age, and gender compared with those admitted to the same cohort. And under performance in the classroom, key indicators include impact on PK-12 students (via value-added and other growth measures), demonstrated teaching skill, and PK-12 student perceptions.

The report also considers the proposed indicators’ usability in the 15 states being studied, scrutinizing states’ capacity to carry out such evaluations under both current and emerging assessment systems. Although most of the states barely address most of the indicators in their current systems, many appear to be on track to align better with the proposed indicators—or at least most of them—by 2017.

For more information, visit http://caepnet.org/resources/building-an-evidence-based-system-for-teacher-preparation/.

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