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Study of Teacher Preparation Experiences and Early Teacher Effectiveness

Contract Information

Current Status:

Report preparation is underway.


September 2011 – September 2019



Contract Number:



Abt Associates
Pemberton Research
Education Analytics


Title II, Part A, the Improving Teacher Quality State Formula Grants program, is the primary federal funding under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to improve teacher quality. Research has shown that on average, novice teachers are less effective at improving student achievement than their more experienced peers. Little research exists, however, to inform how best to prepare novice teachers for the classroom. The current study explores the variation in teachers' preparation experiences. It also examines 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.

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

Approximately 3,200 novice teachers from grades 4 through 6 who are responsible for language arts and/or math instruction are participating in this descriptive study. The teachers were surveyed once, in spring 2015, on their preparation experiences related to instructional skills in 13 areas such as maintaining a positive classroom environment, providing feedback that helps student learning, and providing effective instruction in the content areas of English language arts and math. For each instructional skill, the teachers were asked about the nature of their learning experiences. Specifically, they were asked to report the frequency (on a scale of 1 to 5) with which during their initial certification program they: read about, heard about, or saw a role play demonstrating the skill; observed a demonstration of the skill in a K-12 classroom; practiced the skill in a K-12 classroom; and received feedback on their use of the skill. Teachers' responses to this survey will be analyzed to address the first research question.

The study will compute teachers' value-added, based on students' state math and English language arts test scores during teachers' first three years in the classroom, and examine the relationships between teacher preparation experiences and teacher value-added to address the second research question. Among novice teachers who have English learners in their classroom, the study will also examine the relationships between these teachers' preparation experiences and teacher value-added, based on the achievement of their English learners.

Key findings will be available after the study report is published.

The report for the study is expected in 2019 and will be announced on