Evaluating Teacher Preparation Using Graduates' Observational Ratings

Published in:
Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis
June 13, 2016

Matthew Ronfeldt, University of Michigan
Shanyce Campbell, University of Michigan


Despite growing calls for more accountability of teacher education programs (TEPs), there is little consensus about how to evaluate them. This study investigates the potential for using observational ratings of program completers to evaluate TEPs. Drawing on statewide data on almost 9,500 program completers, representing 44 providers (183 programs) in Tennessee across three years, the researchers investigate multiple models to estimate TEP quality. Results suggest that using observational ratings to evaluate TEPs has promise. Researchers were able to detect significant and meaningful differences between TEPs, which were fairly robust across modeling approaches. Moreover, TEP rankings based upon observational ratings were positively and significantly related to rankings based upon student achievement gains.

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