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Measure Teacher-Prep With the Right Metrics

Jennifer Green

Just as we believe one measure cannot give us the full picture of a teacher's performance in the classroom, one measure also cannot identify the quality of a teacher-preparation program--whether traditional or nontraditional. Our effectiveness must be evaluated based on several factors.

At the Urban Teacher Center. we believe in assessing the quality of a program through the use of multiple measures, including the rate of teacher retention in high-need schools and, more generally, in the profession; teacher effectiveness-evaluations that are based on multiple measures such as classroom performance and student test-score gains; feedback from teacher candidates on the quality of their training, once they've been dispatched to the classroom; and feedback from surveys of stakeholders including teachers, school leaders, and faculty in teacher-prep programs.

The right metrics--in the form of robust inputs and outputs--can be powerful tools for program improvement and growth. They can help us identify our strengths and weaknesses and inform decisions regarding where to target resources to better support and prepare our teacher-candidates.

If we're not preparing our candidates for classroom success, we're not living up to our commitment to our graduates, our children, our school partners, and the communities we serve. We embrace efforts to hold our programs accountable to guarantee that as a profession we meet our goal of developing the high-quality teachers all our students need to succeed.  

Jennifer Green is the CEO and co-founder of Urban Teacher Center. Designed to improve teacher quality in city schools, UTC is based in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Ms. Green is based in the organization's Baltimore office. 

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