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Education preparation reports provide information on program strengths

 

Building on a comprehensive effort to strengthen educator preparation programs in Delaware, including continued investments in state funding, the Delaware Department of Education today released its 2016 biennial reports on the state’s teacher and specialist educator preparation programs.  The reports provide information ranging from the diversity of programs’ candidate classes to student performance outcomes of graduates to job placement and retention within the state.

 

Over the past year, the Delaware Department of Education met monthly with stakeholders from educator preparation programs to strengthen the program reports and data collection processes.  Notably, the reports now include data on how well graduates were prepared in terms of content-readiness and their employment outcomes within the first year anywhere in the country, not just in Delaware. 

 

The Department and stakeholder workgroup also collaborated to create a state-wide survey given to graduates within their first year of teaching that gauges their perception of how well-prepared they were for the realities of the classroom.  A version of the survey is also sent to the graduates’ supervisors to gather their perspective as well.  

 

As planned, this year’s program reports will officially garner programs continued approval to operate based on data.  Programs are classified into the following categories based on their performance – Renewed, Renewed With Conditions, or Probation.  Some particularly small programs are noted to be a Program Under Further Review due to extremely limited data. 

 

The reports will give prospective students considering educator preparation programs in Delaware a new resource for learning about their options, and the state’s districts and charters will have additional information on the strengths of each program.

 

“This is a new tool, refined over the past year in collaboration with our colleges and universities, that provides valuable information to prospective students as well as program administrators,” Secretary of Education Steve Godowsky said. “We know the most important in-school factor to student success is the strength of the student’s teacher. Stronger education preparation programs ensure that teachers are better prepared to lead our classrooms and, ultimately, greater student learning.”

About half of Delaware’s novice educators are prepared by Delaware preparation programs; the reports are a part of the state’s overall strategy to strengthen such programs throughout the state. 

 

The new reports provide a way to transparently communicate program reviews with scorecards based on multiple metrics, including:

·        Graduate placement, including rate of placement or employment in Delaware and placement in high-need schools/areas

·        Graduate retention beyond their first year and beyond their third year (still working in public education in Delaware)

·        Outcomes of graduates, including scores on content-readiness assessments, student achievement data, and average observation scores from school leaders.

-       Perceptions of graduates and their supervisors on their level of preparedness.

The department draws upon performance data from the past five years, including candidates and graduates from the 2010-2011 to 2014-2015 cohorts, when generating reports. Historic program performance is utilized in determining appropriate targets for each program metric. To earn an Overall Tier score, a program must have at least ten graduates working in Delaware to compile student outcomes and teacher effectiveness data.  Of the programs generating program reports, the 2016 results show four programs classified as Tier 1, the highest rating, with twenty-two classified as Tier 2, and five as Tier 3. 

 

All available performance data is used to classify all programs, whether or not they generated a program report. Overall the 2016 results show 27 programs categorized as Renewed, 17 programs Renewed With Conditions, and 1 program on Probation. Additionally, four programs are classified as a Program Under Further Review due to insufficient data. Programs that are Renewed With Conditions or placed on Probation will be required to submit a plan of action for improvement to the Department of Education.  Programs Under Further Review must demonstrate the workforce need the program is meeting and additional evidence of meeting program standards.   A state summary of all programs is also included in the release.

 

Find more information here.

 

The publication of these reports comes shortly after the federal government released revised regulations requiring all states to produce similar reports by 2018-2019 under the Title II Higher Education Act including data on employment, student outcomes, retention and perceptions. Delaware’s collaboration and dedication to establishing data systems, puts the state ahead of many others striving to use data to not only inform program renewal but in general the continuous improvement of programs. 

Alison May
alison.may@doe.k12.de.us
(302) 735-4006