Deans for Impact (DFI) recently released “From Chaos to Coherence: A Policy Agenda for Accessing and Using Outcomes Data in Educator Preparation,” an analysis of the available outcomes data for 23 teacher prep programs to audit their effectiveness. From Chaos to Coherence” highlights an important reality: even among educator preparation programs that embrace an outcomes-driven approach, there is a lack of consistency in the data that programs receive about their graduates’ post-preparation teaching performance. Consequently, preparation programs are finding it difficult to maintain a continuous-improvement approach to their own practices and programming. After all, if you don’t know what’s broken, how can you expect to fix it?

NCTR shares DFI’s commitment to using and sharing data transparently and regularly. As we highlighted in our February 24, 2016, E-blast four deans from NCTR Network partners are among the 23 member deans who make up DFI. We strive to be a data-driven organization and encourage our emerging residencies and network partners to take a holistic approach to data collection.

The NCTR Approach To Residency Program Evaluation

Since its founding in 2007, NCTR has advocated that graduate outcomes data are a critical component of a robust program evaluation, along with other impact measures and implementation indicators. Outcomes data include:

  • Teacher performance data using district or state evaluation frameworks, or a program-designed framework that is aligned to the district or state framework
  • Student achievement data based on a range of assessments, including school-level and state-level formative and summative assessments
  • Student perception data gathered from surveys such as TriPod or Youth Truth
  • Principal perception data that captures the impact of residency-trained graduates on the students, classroom, school and community

Implementation measures include NCTR’s suite of mid- and end-year stakeholder surveys that gauge resident, mentor and graduate satisfaction with their residency program experience, their own perceptions of their performance, and their mentor’s and principal’s perceptions of their preparation and performance.

Ultimately, as DFI’s report underscores and NCTR’s program evaluation framework emphasizes, all teacher preparation programs, whether in traditional university settings or in alternative programs, must track their graduates’ effectiveness through multiple-measure, outcomes-based evaluations once they are teachers of record in order to be successful in their own teacher-preparation work. Program evaluations help educator preparation program staff know how well they are doing in preparing the next generation of effective teachers while they are doing it. When modeled after the evaluations used by NCTR Network partner residency programs, program evaluations can measure a variety of impact goals, including improvements to diversity in the teaching workforce, effectiveness in targeting middle-grade math and science as part of larger strategic plans, or preparedness of early elementary teachers for a subset of high-need schools. Data collected through the NCTR residency evaluation process provide a holistic overview of school, district and program impact and help ensure long-term scale and sustainability.

 

Written by NCTR Staff Members Adithi Chandrashekar and Kathleen Hayes.