Source: Action in Teacher Education, Volume 36, issue 5-6, p. 446–459, 2014.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
In this article, the authors argue that the national conversation around teacher education accountability in the United States derives from a specific policy paradigm about the utility of teacher preparation.
Specifically, they discuss the procedures these states are using to connect P–12 teacher performance with teacher preparation programs.
They discuss the ways that two states—Georgia and Missouri—are linking student learning, teacher effectiveness, and preparation program accountability.
In both states, the economic rationale of schools has been crystalized by policies and constant political framing.
The authors outline the approaches that Georgia and Missouri are using to operationalize paradigm specific ideas about teacher education into policies and mechanisms that are reshaping teacher education performance accountability
The authors present cases from Georgia and Missouri illustrating how these policy paradigms have resulted in outcomes-based accountability initiatives for teacher education.
Teacher Preparation Program Effectiveness Measure
Georgia is connecting between P–12 student achievement and teacher preparation program evaluation through the Teacher Preparation Program Effectiveness Measure (TPPEM) accountability initiative.
Georgia’s TPPEM consists of teacher preparation program-based accountability measures such as candidate performance on content exams as well as school-based measures such as graduate performance on the state’s Teacher Effectiveness Measure (TEM).
TEM scores connects P–12 student learning to teacher preparation program effectiveness.
After connecting teacher preparation to the professional educator continuum in Missouri, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MDESE) focused on developing accountability measures of teacher preparation in three interrelated phases.
The first phase occurred in 2012 when the State Board of Education approved new program standards for educator preparation programs, the Missouri Standards for the Preparation of Educators (MoSPE).
The second phase occurred in 2013 when MDESE unveiled the Missouri Educator Gateway Assessments (MEGA)—a new battery of assessments for teacher candidates in educator preparation programs. The MEGA battery consists of -
.1 Missouri Educator Profile: a dispositions assessment designed by Pearson Evaluation Systems that measures a teacher candidate’s work style.
2. Content Area Exam: MDESE signed a new contract with Pearson Evaluation Systems to develop a new series of content area exams that measure a candidate’s certification area content knowledge.
3. Missouri Pre-Service Teacher Assessment (MoPTA): a performance assessment of student teaching developed by Educational Testing Services that requires candidates to respond to prompts, provide samples of lesson plans, assessments, student work, and submit a 15-minute video recording of instruction.
The third phase occurred in early 2014 when MDESE released the Comprehensive Guide to the Annual Performance Report for Educator Preparation Programs (APR-EPP).
The APR-EPP represents the culmination of the activities utilized to construct a new accountability framework for teacher preparation in Missouri.
The authors conclude that Georgia’s TPPEM and Missouri’s APR-EPP are two examples of accountability systems that reify the paradigm that economic progress is the utility of teacher education programs.
Although there are differences in the sophistication and design of both accountability systems, each is predicated on the notion that performance-tracking systems can increase economic productivity.
They argue that teacher education programs must work to problematize the paradigm, not just as an academic pursuit, but more importantly as a public and political pursuit.
Moreover, they must work in concert with other stakeholders in public education to construct a different narrative and identify different problems (e.g., the problems inherent in the broader reform movement ; ways to keep those decrying accountability accountable).