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Outcomes of the Louisiana Believe and Prepare educator preparation program

Region:
Southwest
Abstract:

Description: Louisiana Believe and Prepare is a significant reform of teacher preparation that is designed to strengthen preservice teacher experiences. A central aspect of the reform is the requirement that teacher candidates in traditional teacher preparation programs in Louisiana complete yearlong residencies under the guidance of a certified mentor teacher, replacing the prior requirement of six-week student teaching. In addition, the reform emphasizes competency-based teacher preparation curricula and sets standards for mentor development and certification. The Louisiana Department of Education seeks systematic evidence regarding the effects of the reform.

The researchers will address this need by comparing teacher and student outcomes for teacher candidates who were prepared before and after adoption of Believe and Prepare requirements. The study will include the 18 institutions of higher education that offered traditional undergraduate educator preparation programs in Louisiana in 2012/13 through 2019/20. The researchers also will examine mechanisms through which the reform may have influenced outcomes, including potential changes to teacher content knowledge, the school placement of early career teachers, and mentor attributes.

Findings from this research will provide the Louisiana Department of Education and teacher preparation providers with evidence about whether Believe and Prepare is working as intended, and, more broadly, inform educators and policymakers about the benefits of teacher residencies and types of preservice experiences encompassed in Believe and Prepare.

Research Questions:

  1. Did students taught by teachers who completed Believe and Prepare programs score significantly higher on standardized tests than similar students taught by teachers who completed programs that had not implemented Believe and Prepare?
  2. Did teachers who completed Believe and Prepare programs receive higher in-service performance evaluations than teachers who completed programs that had not implemented Believe and Prepare?
  3. Were teachers who completed Believe and Prepare programs more likely to stay in Louisiana public schools than teachers who completed programs that had not implemented Believe and Prepare?
  4. What were the mechanisms through which Believe and Prepare may have affected teacher and student outcomes?
    1. Did teachers who completed the preresidency component of Believe and Prepare programs have greater competency, as measured by Praxis II scores, compared with teachers who completed programs that had not implemented Believe and Prepare?
    2. Were teachers who completed Believe and Prepare programs more likely to be placed in schools in which they completed their residency compared with teachers who completed programs that had not implemented Believe and Prepare?
    3. Were teachers who completed Believe and Prepare programs more likely to fill teaching positions in shortage areas compared with teachers who completed programs that had not implemented Believe and Prepare?
  5. To what extent were mentor teacher attributes associated with program completion of teacher residents (from the time of the residency); student achievement; teacher performance evaluations; and teacher retention among teachers who completed a residency?

Study Design: The researchers will use a comparative interrupted time series (CITS) design to examine key outcomes, including student achievement, teacher performance, teacher retention, teacher certification exam scores (Praxis II), and teacher placements. Educator preparation programs implemented Believe and Prepare at different points in time, which allows the CITS design to compare the time trends in student and teacher outcomes between programs that implemented the reform early and comparison programs that had not yet implemented the reform. Differences in trends between the groups provide an estimate of the effect of Believe and Prepare on student and teacher outcomes. The researchers will also use multivariate regression to examine the relationship between attributes of mentors and the likelihood of program completion among teacher candidates and teacher contribution to student test scores, teacher performance ratings, and teacher retention among candidates who entered the public school teacher workforce in Louisiana.

Projected Release Data: Fall 2022

Research Alliance: REL Southwest Teacher Preparation and Professional Development (SWTPPD) research partnership

Study Related Products: Making an Impact report
Data Management plan (PDF: 198 KB)

Principal Investigators & Affiliation:

Dan Goldhaber, American Institutes for Research
Zeyu Xu, American Institutes for Research
Kata Mihaly, RAND Corporation