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Report: States Can Support Continuous Improvement of EPPs Through Better Data Sharing

A new policy brief from the Data Quality Campaign presents recommendations for states to support educator preparation through better sharing and use of information – not just for accountability but also for continuous improvement. The report, Using Data to Ensure That Teachers Are Learner Ready on Day One, calls attention to current data challenges faced by educator preparation providers (EPPs) and offers suggestions and examples for states to improve the situation.

“State education agencies already collect information about teachers, like their licenses, where they teach, and how much they improve student learning, but that information is not consistently shared with EPPs,” the brief states. “On the program side, EPPs are often frustrated by data collection and reporting requirements that do not help them answer important questions about their own program quality. And a lack of publicly available information on EPP outcomes means that EPPs and their stakeholders, from prospective teachers to K-12 principals, too often must spend their own limited time and resources to collect and synthesize information that could be provided by the state.”

The report, developed in partnership with AACTE and several other partner organizations, lists the following primary challenges to using data for EPP improvement:

  • Data on teacher performance are not uniformly shared with EPPs.
  • The data that EPPs are currently required to collect do not answer questions or inform action.
  • Limited capacity exists within EPPs to use data for continuous improvement.
  • Publicly available reports are not clear about how well EPPs prepare teachers for the classroom.

The following action recommendations are offered for state policy:

  • Collect the data that are most useful for transparency and the continuous improvement of EPPs. Determine what data are needed in collaboration with key stakeholder groups, and implement a statewide survey of teachers to provide comparable graduate data across programs and to reduce the reporting burden on school administrators.
  • Ensure that data about K-12 outcomes that are used to improve EPPs are high quality and secure. Develop a high-quality teacher-student data link and ensure that individual teachers’ data are protected and secure.
  • Develop a feedback loop among local education agencies, states, and EPPs with the information EPPs most need for continuous improvement. Share information about graduates’ classroom performance with EPPs at least annually.
  • Help EPPs grow their existing culture and capacity to continuously improve. Embed data-driven continuous improvement criteria into the state’s program approval process, and use states’ convening power to identify, support, and share best practices for continuous improvement of EPPs.
  • Make information about the educator workforce and EPP program easily accessible so that K-12 school leaders, policy makers, and the public can answer questions and make informed decisions. Conduct a supply-and-demand analysis of the workforce to identify gaps or surpluses; publicly report multiple measures of EPP quality that answer stakeholder questions.

The brief cites positive examples of these practices under way in Massachusetts, Missouri, and Tennessee. A handy list of resources at the report’s end includes links to the State Policy Statements to Enhance Educator Preparation from AACTE’s Advisory Council of State Representatives along with related documents from the Data Quality Campaign, Deans for Impact, and others.

For more information, visit http://bit.ly/2unr8Mw.

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