Data shows Success in Louisiana’s Redesign of Teacher Education Programs

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Data shows Success in Louisiana’s Redesign of Teacher Education Programs
New teachers performing better than expected

 

BATON ROUGE, LA - The Louisiana Board of Regents released the 2011-2012 Annual Report for Teacher Preparation, which unveils findings on the performance of new and redesigned teacher preparation programs delivered by public universities, private universities, and private providers in Louisiana.

The report shows that 50 percent or more of new teachers trained in state approved teacher preparation programs made gains in student achievement with value-added scores in the effective: proficient or highly effective ranges in at least one content area.  The new teachers are compared to all public school teachers who provide instruction in the same content area of tested grade levels. The Louisiana Department of Education assigns all teachers who provide instruction in tested grade levels in public schools, value –added scores that are based upon predicted student growth.  These scores fall in one of four ranges- ineffective, effective: emerging, effective: proficient, and highly effective.

“We are extremely pleased with the results presented in this report- many of our new teachers have students who are demonstrating gains in achievement in specific content areas,” said Jeanne Burns, Louisiana Board of Regents’ Associate Commissioner for Teacher and Leadership Initiatives.  “It was predicted that most first and second year teachers would have scores in the effective: emerging range because they are being compared to all teachers and do not have as much experience; however, our data indicate that these teachers are already demonstrating effectiveness, and we expect even greater levels of effectiveness as they gain experience.”

Teacher preparation programs in Louisiana underwent major redesign from 2001-2010.  These reforms helped to address previous challenges new teachers were facing and contributed to their current success. Program improvements include a greater alignment to the standards of effectiveness for teachers and student curriculums, enhanced partnerships with school districts to facilitate high-quality clinical experiences and learning opportunities, and the requirement of teacher candidates to pass all teacher licensure exams and meet teacher certification requirements prior to completion of their programs at most universities.

“This is evidence that the reforms within our teacher preparation programs are working,” said Commissioner Jim Purcell.  “Many believe that students will learn less if taught by new teachers and this simply is untrue.  This report is indicates that our universities are producing better prepared teachers who will impact gains in student achievement.”

Prior to the redesign, passage rates for Louisiana state licensure assessments at graduation were once as low as 33 percent at some institutions. In addition, all teacher preparations programs are now nationally accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) or Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC), now known as the Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation (CAEP).  As a result, Louisiana’s teacher preparation programs now provide a systemic approach to preparing aspiring teachers for a successful career in the classroom, and a more rigorous threshold to ensure success.

Educator preparation has also been frequently discussed on a national level, with dialogue focused on the development of new standards for state programs based on evidence and outcomes.  “One of the implementation challenges has been divergent approaches from state to state,” said James G. Cibulka, CAEP President. “I am greatly encouraged to see efforts in Louisiana programs to use growth in student achievement as one of multiple measures to examine their effectiveness. CAEP looks forward to working closely with the State of Louisiana and educator preparation providers in aligning CAEP standards and accreditation procedures with those being developed in Louisiana, both to strengthen quality assurance decisions and program improvement efforts.”

A key factor in realizing the success of Louisiana’s teacher preparation programs is the coordination with K-12.  The connection between preparing our future teachers and the reforms enacted in our public schools is critical. BESE and The Louisiana Department of Education have been actively engaged in creating more rigorous policies to improve teacher preparation programs and were participants in the redesign process with the goal of producing well-prepared teachers and well-educated students.

“These results show that Louisiana is moving in the right direction in its efforts to improve teacher preparation, working to not only provide educators with the tools they need to achieve real results for students during their training, but also making sure this improvement and development continues after they enter the classroom,” said State Superintendent John White.

Use the link below to access a complete copy of the report:

http://regents.louisiana.gov/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/FINAL-TEACHER-PREPARATION-ANNUAL-REPORT5.22.13.pdf

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