Deans for Impact recently looked at nearly two dozen educator preparation programs and found that only six have access to student achievement data connected to the teachers they prepared. Less than a third have access to other kinds of data about their graduates’ performance, like classroom observations. The organization, in a new policy agenda, says states must develop better data systems and remove barriers to data access. Deans for Impact also says that states should take advantage of language in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and recognize and reward programs that voluntarily embrace outcomes-based accountability.
The new policy agenda entitled From Chaos to Coherence looks at these two fundamental questions:
- Why do programs that prepare educators struggle to obtain data on the performance of their graduates?
- Shouldn’t policy help – rather than hinder – them in getting the information they need to improve their effectiveness?
At a time when traditional colleges of education on the whole have faced withering criticism regarding their value, there has been no coordinated effort to provide these programs with valid, reliable, timely, and comparable data about the effectiveness of the teachers and school leaders they prepare.
States appear poised to press ahead with new accountability policies for educator-preparation programs, yet the danger lurks that we will have failed to learn one of the central lessons from the No Child Left Behind era: Simply setting a high bar is not enough. Policy needs to provide actionable data, as well as support and tools for program improvement, to help those at the front lines of our education system succeed.
Deans for Impact is dedicated to elevating the performance of this country’s educator-preparation system. They believe educator preparation is at a pivotal moment and is poised to demonstrate its value unlike ever before. The organization aims to demonstrate its true impact in preparing effective educators to serve every community and provide meaningful education opportunities to every student in this country.
Toward that end – and uniquely within the field of educator preparation, and perhaps in higher education more generally – Deans for Impact embraces the call for outcomes-based accountability and data-informed improvement and believes policy can and should play a vital role in elevating program performance.
For more information, see Deans for Impact: Policy Brief.