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Ohio Issues Teacher-Prep Data: 1 in 10 Graduates Struggles

Ohio is the latest state to issue performance data on how graduates of its teacher preparation programs are faring in the classroom.

Its newly unveiled Educator Preparation Performance Reports detail, for each teacher preparation program, the number of graduates who made "above average" growth, those who "met expectations," and those who fell "below expectations" based on a value-added growth measure. Graduates included in the report are those who earned received their license in 2008 through 2011 and taught in reading and math, grades 4-8.

The state didn't rank the programs by how they did on the measure. Instead, in all, two-thirds of the state's teachers made expected growth, while 20 percent were above expectations and 12 percent below them, which means that about one in 10 newly prepared candidates is struggling in the classroom.

As usual with value-added data, there are caveats. Some programs had fewer than 10 graduates and calculations weren't performed for them.

There's a lot of other useful data in the reports as well. In addition to licensing-test passing rates, which are federally required under the Higher Education Act, the data also show how candidates admitted and those who completed the program fared on measures such as college- and graduate-entrance exams, the average number of hours spent in student-teaching, and survey data from candidates about how well they thought their programs prepared them in a variety of different measures.

There are a lot of interesting ways to look at this data. The Thomas B. Fordham Institute's Aaron Churchill, for example, charted the admitted candidates' ACT scores and found that only a few programs admit students into their education programs with scores as high as the median Ohio State student. The finding suggests the state's programs have weaker candidates overall.

More and more states are starting to dig a bit deeper into the information available on their teacher preparation programs. Ohio is actually a bit ahead of the 2014 date it initially outlined in its Race to the Top application for releasing this information, per this Center for American Progress report.

It isn't yet clear whether the state plans to use this information as part of its program-approval or -accreditation process. To my knowledge, though more than a dozen states want to release similar information, only Louisiana has formally integrated it into program accountability.

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