Teacher Preparation for Profit or Prestige: Analysis of a Diverse Market for Teacher Preparation

Oct. 01, 2015

Source: Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 66(5) 415–434,2015.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

The current research examines the relative effectiveness of universities and new program types using the diverse market in Texas. The authors examine program effectiveness through a framework integrating certificate pathways, organizational goals, and market incentives.

The data set for this study provided by the Texas Education Agency (TEA).
These data include all Texas public school students during the 2010-2011 school year.
The analysis includes new teachers who taught math or reading in Grades 4 to 10 in 2011 . This sample includes 338,441 students who were taught by 7,081 math teachers, and 251,441 students who were taught by 5,682 reading teachers.

Results and Implications

The authors found that independent nonprofits have positive effects on student performance that are not explained by teacher sorting or program selectivity, and these effects only occur in math.

The authors find only small differences in the effects of program types on student performance and few results that are consistent in reading and math.
Independent nonprofits perform well with most high-risk populations but have no advantage with Black students, no presence on rural schools, and negative effects, and designated special education (SPED) students. Private university-based undergraduate and alternative programs and for-profit programs have significant negative effects with some high-risk populations and on some high-need schools despite having average effects overall.

Programs run by government education agencies have mixed effects, with positive effects on limited English proficiency (LEP) students and urban schools, and negative effects on SPED students and high-SES schools. These results suggest that both policy makers and teacher educators differentiate student achievement results to determine whether overall impacts hold true for all relevant student subpopulations.

These results have important implications for teacher education theory and practice.
From a policy perspective, understanding differences in the effects of different TPP characteristics is vital to inform regulation of teacher certification, which is a particularly important source of teachers for rural school districts, where their graduates outperform all other program types. The
authors find negative effects of private university TPPs for some historically low-performing populations.
The authors argue that these findings suggest that policy makers should proceed with caution when advocating for expanding or limiting any particular program type.

Finally, the authors find differential effects both by subject area and student type, which suggests that, rather than labeling program quality on average, we need to better understand the internal strengths and weaknesses of programs.
The results also provide information to different Texas regions on who is supplying their teachers and how effective these teachers are, on average, with the different populations within their schools; if regions are unsatisfied with the average performance of their teachers, this information may help promote changes to recruitment or hiring practices.

Updated: Dec. 20, 2016