Evaluating Innovative Pathways into the Teaching Profession

Submitted on February 22, 2021 by:
Matt Finster

A recent WVNews article, “Higher ed, K-12 system to collaborate and address teacher preparation, recruitment and retention in West Virginia,” described how administrations are coming together to address teacher preparation, recruitment and retention in West Virginia to resolve a teacher shortage that has faced the state for years.

As part of that effort, administrators and policymakers are focused on developing innovative pathways into the teaching profession.

In addition to increasing the supply of teachers and administrators, policymakers will need to monitor the quality of new innovative pathways. The Evaluation of Teacher Preparation Programs: Purposes, Methods, and Policy Options provides a comprehensive review of options for evaluating teacher preparation programs.

Evaluations may use a variety of evidence to assess the aspects of teacher preparation that are not all easily observable or quantifiable including inputs and outputs. Inputs may include metrics, such as selectivity in admissions, faculty qualifications, the quality and substance of teacher preparation course instruction, the quality of student teaching experiences, and fieldwork policies and records of observations of student teaching experiences.

Evaluations may also incorporate a variety of output measures, for example, teacher licensure test results, surveys of program graduates and their employers (such as, Novice Teacher and Supervisor Survey), and so-called value-added estimates of graduates’ impact on the learning of students in their classrooms. Administrators and policymakers can use a combination of these input and output measures to assess the quality of newly developed innovative pathways.

For more information or support please contact the Region 5 Comprehensive Center.