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Approaches to Evaluating Teacher Preparation Programs in Seven States

by R. Brodersen, Matthew Linick and Stephen Meyer

The purpose of this study was to describe how states in the REL Central Region (Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming) evaluate teacher preparation programs and planned changes for evaluation. Publicly available documents were reviewed and interviews were conducted with state education agency representatives in late 2013. Findings show that all Central Region states have procedures for approval and reauthorization of teacher preparation programs that focus on program design and implementation through reviews of documentation and on-site visits by review teams. Six of seven Central Region states are implementing or have planned changes to state evaluation of teacher preparation programs to focus on the performance of program graduates. As part of these changes to evaluation activities, states are also developing statewide data collection tools, investing in data system development, and exploring new approaches for reporting evaluation findings. More frequent and outcomes-focused approaches to teacher preparation program evaluation have the potential to motivate a change from the current state focus on program accountability to meaningful and ongoing identification of program strengths and weaknesses that can be used to improve programs. The following are appended: (1) Data and methodology; (2) List of documents reviewed; and (3) Structured interview protocol.

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