New Report: States Must Use Data to Improve Teacher Prep

New Report: States Must Use Data to Improve Teacher Prep

11 national organizations unite to endorse new recommendations

WASHINGTON (August 3, 2017) – Teacher quality is the most important in-school factor affecting student achievement, yet teachers often feel underprepared to meet the diverse needs of their students. According to a new report, Using Data to Ensure That Teachers Are Learner Ready on Day One, state leaders can and must ensure that educator preparation programs have the information they need to make sure teachers are learner ready on day one.

The report is part of a yearlong collaboration with 11 endorsing national organizations, spearheaded by the Data Quality Campaign, to develop recommendations for states to better support education preparation programs with the information they need to graduate high-quality teachers.

The data necessary to develop policies and practices for improving teacher quality is not available to those who need it most, because state, educator preparation, and K–12 leaders too often collect and use data in silos. This disconnect has resulted in a vacuum of information for leaders and the public, including prospective teachers and hiring managers, who must spend their own time and resources synthesizing data that the state could provide. For example, despite states having teachers’ performance data, half of states do not share that information back to preparation programs, leaving them in the dark about how well their graduates fare in the classroom.

“Every child deserves a teacher who can meet their unique learning needs,” said Paige Kowalski, executive vice president of the Data Quality Campaign. “No state plan to improve public education can succeed without high-quality teachers, so it’s vital that educator preparation programs have the information to make sure their graduates are fully prepared.”

“Too many teachers like myself enter the classroom unprepared to differentiate instruction to help their students get to where they need to go,” said John Clark, a teacher at Deltona High School in Florida and a Hope Street Group teacher fellow. “While I’ve received several state and national distinctions for teaching excellence, my preparation program doesn’t have any information about what they did right or what they could have done better to improve my training.”

To fully support continuous improvement in educator preparation, the right data must be collected and shared with those who need it most and states must work to ensure that everyone, from educator preparation leaders to classroom teachers has the skills to use that data to drive positive change.  To make this possible, states should:

  • Securely share teacher performance data with the programs that prepare them.
  • Collaborate with key groups to identify what data is needed and who needs access to it.
  • Conduct a supply-and-demand analysis of the education workforce to have a more accurate picture of hiring needs.

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Contact: Brittany Mason, bmason@dataqualitycampaign.org, 202-393-4372

About the Data Quality Campaign:
The Data Quality Campaign is a nonprofit policy and advocacy organization leading the effort to bring every part of the education community together to empower educators, families, and policymakers with quality information to make decisions that ensure students excel. For more information, go to www.dataqualitycampaign.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@EdDataCampaign).