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State Board of Education Shares Updated Information on Educator Preparation in Latest Report Card

Thursday, February 11, 2021 | 12:01pm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
February 11, 2021

CONTACT: Elizabeth Tullos
Elizabeth.Tullos@tn.gov
(615) 741-0762

State Board of Education Shares Updated Information on Educator Preparation in Latest Report Card

On Thursday, the State Board of Education Released its fifth annual Educator Preparation Report Card, which evaluates educator preparation programs (EPPs) in Tennessee on teacher candidate preparedness; the 2020 Report Card includes modified metrics to account for COVID-19 related data challenges while still prioritizing rigorous educator preparation.

Established in state law, the Educator Preparation Report Card is an annual report designed to track metrics across Tennessee’s public, private, and alternative EPPs. By assessing EPPs’ performance in teacher effectiveness, employment outcomes, and recruitment of diverse candidates, the State Board’s Report Card aims to ensure every Tennessee student is taught by a well-prepared educator.

Certain metrics in the Report Card, such as performance on licensure examinations and measures of teachers’ effectiveness in the classroom, are mandated in state law. Other metrics, such as candidate diversity and the percentage of candidates pursuing endorsements in high-demand fields, are included on the Report Card as key priorities highlighted by the State Board. The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, limited the availability of data regarding teacher effectiveness during the 2019-20 school year.

“We want to extend the same spirit of flexibility that schools and districts received during the 2019-20 school year and hold our EPPs harmless,” said Dr. Sara Morrison, executive director of the State Board of Education. “It’s important for this year’s Educator Preparation Report Card to include the available data not just to meet statutory requirements, but to provide transparency to our stakeholders. Since the Report Card uses a three-year cohort of data, we’re able to include the historic performance of EPPs even without the updated information from last year.”

For the first time in the Report Card’s history, EPPs are being rated on their candidates’ performance on licensure assessments, including assessments of teaching skills, such as lesson planning and analyzing student performance, and of content knowledge for specific subject areas. These assessments ensure teacher candidates enter the classroom with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful. EPPs play a key role in preparing teacher candidates for these assessments.

Each year, the State Board assembles an advisory council composed of Report Card stakeholders including EPPs, district leaders, advocacy organizations, State Board members, and representatives from other state agencies. The Report Card Advisory Council meets regularly to discuss improvements and adjustments to the Report Card. These discussions ensure the Report Card remains a useful tool for prospective candidates, school districts, EPPs, and the general public.

“Every year, State Board staff works with this advisory group,” said Erika Leicht, senior research associate for the State Board and the Educator Preparation Report Card project manager. “The feedback from the Report Card Advisory Council was especially crucial this year. They helped us decide how to adjust our scoring framework to account for the lack of teacher effectiveness data from 2019-20 and how to score the candidate assessment metrics. We look forward to continuing to work with our advisory council to determine how to account for data limitations and best reflect educator preparedness in the coming years.”

Previously produced by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, the State Board redesigned the Educator Preparation Report Card in 2016 to become a user-friendly web-based resource for aspiring teachers, local school districts, and EPPs themselves. Prospective teachers can determine which educator preparation program best suits their career goals from the information provided about recent graduates’ success in the classroom. Local districts can utilize the Report Card to inform student teaching and hiring decisions by learning more about an applicant’s education preparation provider. EPPs can use this information to identify areas of strength and challenge, particularly in comparison to other programs across the state. The Tennessee Department of Education also shares annual reports with each individual EPP to provide in-depth details that can drive program improvement.

To view the Educator Preparation Report Card, visit http://teacherprepreportcard.tn.gov. Additional information and archives of previous editions of the Report Card are available on the State Board of Education website at http://www.tn.gov/sbe.


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The Tennessee State Board of Education is a ten-member, governor-appointed and legislatively confirmed board charged under the law with rulemaking and policymaking for K-12 education. Through a close partnership with the Tennessee Department of Education, the Board maintains oversight in K-12 implementation and academic standards.