New York City has quietly been studying the patterns of teachers who come from a dozen preparation programs that supply half of all new teachers in the city. Now it plans to release “scorecards” of those programs’ success in the classroom.
The release, which is scheduled for Wednesday morning, marks the first time that a school district has moved to assess teacher preparation programs, which are seen as a major frontier in improving schools. A handful of states, including Florida and California, have launched efforts to assess their preparation programs.
The goal is to expose programs that produce teachers who do not perform well in the classroom and to push preparation programs to align what they teach with what new teachers need to know.
According to a press advisory from the city Department of Education, the city compiled data about teachers by preparation program from 2008 to 2012. The data included information about retention, distribution, and quality, the city said.
How the city assessed teacher quality is unclear. During that time, the city was lobbying for new teacher evaluations, arguing that the existing rating system did not produce meaningful data, and the city’s Teacher Data Reports, which attempted to isolate teachers’ impact on their students’ performance, were issued for only a small subset of teachers. (The reports also had a wide margin of error and were unstable from year to year; the city no longer produces them.)
Chancellor Dennis Walcott and other education officials will answer that question and others when they premiere the new reports Wednesday morning at Tweed Courthouse. Here’s the advisory sent to reporters today:
Tomorrow morning we are releasing Teacher Preparation Program Reports for university education programs – the first district-developed reports of their kind in the nation. From 2008-2012, we compiled data on the quality, retention, and distribution of new teacher hires from the 12 post-secondary teacher preparation programs that supplied the most teachers to the City. Of all our new hires, over 50% graduated from those 12 colleges and universities.
These reports – the first in-depth of their kind in the country created by a district – were compiled to open a dialogue between the City and university education programs aimed at developing a long-term strategy to improve preparation for aspiring educators. The goal is to align teacher training with the needs of DOE schools, and we have developed data for programs like NYU, Teachers College, St. Johns University, several CUNY colleges, and others that feed teachers into our system. We believe that this reform can be exported and replicated in school districts across the country, starting a nationwide trend.