Evaluating the Tennessee Higher Education Commission's Report Card on the value-added estimates of teacher preparation programs
Keywords:Teacher Preparation Program, Teacher Effectiveness, Value-Added Models
Evaluations of teacher preparation programs (TPPs) based in part on the performance of program completers have emerged as an education reform strategy in several states and have become central features of the Race to the Top (RTTT) grant competition. The objective of this policy review is to examine how the state of Tennessee measured and reported the extent to which teacher preparation programs (TPPs) explain the variation of the test score gains for public school students taught by program graduates. This review breaks down the findings by institution and certification pathway, comparing statistically significant outcomes at the state level produced by teachers from each TPP. An analysis of Tennessee's report card reveals considerable variation in the value-added estimates of beginning teachers, depending on the institution where they were trained. These results, however, should be interpreted with caution. This review offers several technical considerations associated with the interpretation of Tennessee's report card on the effectiveness of TPPs and explains how these considerations may affect the interpretation of the findings.