Data Sharing to Drive the Improvement of Teacher Preparation Programs
by Kevin C. Bastian, C. Kevin Fortner, Alisa Chapman, M. Jayne Fleener, Ellen McIntyre & Linda A. Patriarca — 2016
Background/Context: Teacher preparation programs (TPPs) face increasing pressure from the federal government, states, and accreditation agencies to improve the quality of their practices and graduates, yet they often do not possess enough data to make evidence-based reforms.
Purpose/Objective: This manuscript has four objectives: (a) to present the strengths and shortcomings of accountability-based TPP evaluation systems; (b) to detail the individual-level data being shared with TPPs at public universities in North Carolina; (c) to describe how data sharing can lead to TPP improvement and the challenges that programs will need to overcome; and (d) to detail how three TPPs are using the data for program improvement.
Setting: North Carolina public schools and schools of education at public universities in North Carolina. Importantly, this individual-level data sharing system can be instituted among TPPs in other states.
Population/Participants/Subjects: Teachers initially-prepared by public universities in North Carolina.
Research Design: With individual-level data on program graduates, TPPs can conduct a range of analyses—e.g., regression analyses with program data, primary data collection with interviews, and rubric-based observations—designed to aid program improvement efforts.
Conclusions/Recommendations: Teacher preparation programs and researchers or state education agencies need to establish partnerships to share individual-level data on program graduates with TPPs. This individual-level data sharing would help TPPs to develop systems of continuous improvement by examining whether their preparation practices align with the types of environments in which their graduates teach and how graduates’ preparation experiences predict their characteristics and performance as Teachers of Record. Unlike other initiatives targeted at TPP improvement, individual-level data sharing, and its focus on within-program variability, can benefit TPPs at all levels of performance.
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