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Evaluation to Study Pennsylvania's Innovative Teacher and Principal Residency Grants

Region:
Mid-Atlantic
Abstract:

Description: Pennsylvania provides Innovative Teacher and Principal Residency Programs grants to institutions of higher education in the commonwealth to develop and provide year-long clinical experiences and intensive supports to aspiring teachers and principals. The grants require programs to implement several basic components, such as partnerships with local education agencies, clinical practice with expert mentor teachers, coursework that is integrated with the clinical practice, and financial support to participants, but otherwise allow flexibility in the design of the programs. The grant program was created to avert potential educator shortages in Pennsylvania, increase diversity, improve cultural responsiveness, and produce well-prepared teachers and school leaders for the commonwealth's highest need schools.

In partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Education, this study is evaluating how well the funded programs are doing in accomplishing the grant program's goals and collecting data on ways the programs can be approved. The study will evaluate the number of graduates the programs are producing and whether they become certified in shortage subjects and obtain jobs in high-need schools. They study will also explore how well the funded programs are increasing diversity, training teachers and school leaders to be culturally responsive, and producing well prepared teachers and principals. In addition, the evaluation will collect data on the main components of each program, their strengths and weaknesses, and how the programs can improve.

The evaluation will focus on eight programs that received grants during the 2018–2019 and/or 2019-2020 school years.

Research Questions:

  1. What are the core components of each program (including whether cultural responsiveness training is part of the curriculum), how do they recruit and select participants, and how do they differ from the non-residency programs at the same institutions?
  2. From the perspective of residents, mentors, and program directors/program staff:
    1. What are the strengths and limitations of the residency programs?
    2. What challenges are programs facing and how are they solving those challenges?
  3. For each residency program and across all programs combined, what is the number and race/ethnicity of residents who:
    • Enroll in residency programs?
    • Begin residencies in high need local education agencies and/or schools?
    • Complete residencies? (These data may only be available for the 2018–2019 grantees.)
    • Are certified in shortage subjects? (Just for teachers. These data may only be available for the 2018–2019 grantees.)
  4. For each residency program and across all programs combined, how does the race/ethnicity of residency participants compare to the race/ethnicity of participants in the non-residency preparation programs at the same institutions?
  5. For each residency and across all programs combined, are residents more likely than non-resident teacher and principal candidates at the same institutions to (overall and by race/ethnicity):
    • Become certified?
    • Secure a job in a school in Pennsylvania? (These data may only be available for the 2018–2019 grantees.)
    • Secure a job in a high need local education agency or school in Pennsylvania? (These data may only be available for the 2018–2019 grantees.)
    • Secure a job in a shortage subject in a Pennsylvania school? (Just for teachers. These data may only be available for the 2018–2019 grantees.)
  6. From the perspective of the residents and their mentors, how prepared are residents to teach or lead schools?
  7. How much do the programs cost?

Study Design: The study is collecting data from four sources: program reported data on the number and race/ethnicity of participants and their program completion and employment outcomes, calls with program staff, focus groups with participants and mentors, and program cost data.

For each research question, the evaluation will present descriptive data or summarize common responses from the calls and focus groups. The study will present all findings separately for teacher and principal residencies. To account for possible disruptions and limited data in 2019-2020 due to COVID-19, the study will also present findings separately by year as well as combined across both years.

Projected Release Date: Summer 2021

Partnership or Research Alliance: Training and supporting excellent educators.

Principal Investigators & Affiliation:

Jeffrey Terziev, Mathematica, REL Mid-Atlantic