The U.S. Department of Education has finally released the state “report cards” each state must submit annually on its teacher-preparation programs, and they’re chock-full of information about programs states have deemed underperforming, the states’ different entry routes into the profession, and the battery of licensing tests each state uses.
It’s the first year states have had to fulfill a bunch of revised reporting requirements, which were added in the 2008 rewrite of the Higher Education Act.
I’m told these went live in March, but my attention of late has been on a series of stories on education campaign finance. Apologies for being a bit late to bring them to your attention. In any case, they are ripe for analysis.
Keep in mind that these reports represent just one level of reporting required under the HEA. There’s also an annual federal report (which was released earlier this year). In addition, every individual institution also has to prepare one. For an overview of what’s in all the various levels of reporting, check out this helpful document and this Teacher Beat blog item.
So why look at these reports? Well, a few months back, for instance, I did a story showing that most states set the cutoff point on their licensing tests far below the average scores of test-takers, based on data submitted in these reports. Because the ED hadn’t released the reports at that time, I had to persuade and cajole states to give the data to me or use other tactics to secure it. The story was based on just six states’ reporting. But now, you can see if the pattern holds up in all 50 states. (The smart money says it probably does.)
Keep in mind that a federal plan to issue new regulations on Title II—the section of the HEA dealing with teacher preparation—is also likely to make changes to some of the data required here.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.