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Evaluation Studies of the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance

Study of Teacher Preparation Experiences and Early Teacher Effectiveness

Contractor: Abt Associates, Pemberton Research, Education Analytics, Westat

Background/Research Questions:

A primary focus of Title II, Part A, the Improving Teacher State Formula Grants program, is on the improvement of teacher quality Little research exists, however, to inform how best to prepare teachers for the classroom. The current study will explore the variation in teachers' preparation experiences. It will also examine whether the instructional skills that teachers learn about and have opportunities to practice in their preparation programs are associated with novice teachers' effectiveness in the classroom. The study defines novice teachers as those in their first three years in the profession.

The study will address the following key research questions:

  • To what extent do teachers report participating in various preparation experiences? How much variation is there within and between programs?
  • Among novice teachers, what are the relationships between the teachers' experience in their preparation programs and the achievement of students in their classroom?

Design:

Approximately 3,200 novice teachers from grades 4 through 6 who are responsible for language arts and/or math instruction are participating in the study. In Spring 2015, the teachers responded to a survey focused on their preparation experiences related to instructional skills that have been shown to be associated with teacher value-added scores. For each instructional skill, the teachers were asked about the nature of their learning experiences. The study will compute value-added scores for teachers, based on students' state math and English language arts tests, and examine the relationships between teacher preparation experiences and teacher value-added scores. Among novice teachers who have English language learners in their classroom, the study will also examine the relationships between these teachers' preparation experiences and teacher value added scores based on achievement of their English language learners, if feasible.

Cost/Duration: $9,000,000 over 6 years (September 2011–September 2017)

Current Status: Data analysis and report writing for a descriptive report on teachers' preparation experiences is underway. The report is expected by September 2017. Data collection and cleaning is underway for a second report that will examine the relationships between teachers' preparation experiences and teacher value-added scores. The reports will be announced on http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/.