Programs designed for teacher preparation in the Educational workforce will now have a new data-driven tool in their ever-growing arsenal, according to a news release from the Louisiana Department of Education.
When the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, also known as BESE, established the Teacher Preparation Quality Rating System in 2017, the 27 teacher preparation programs across the state had to tweak their programs, curriculums, and methods to account for the new rating system. The system, which is required by federal regulations, is designed to provide teacher preparation providers with meaningful information that they can use to identify programs of excellence, improve their program, and to reward specific providers for meeting the needs of Louisiana’s educator workforce.
As of the first week of March 2021, the first round of information results received from the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school years has been released by LDOE, and the initial data proves to be promising for the future of Louisiana educators. The data highlighted numerous positive trends in a majority of Louisiana ‘s teacher preparation programs, such as:
- Within just the past 18 months, 43 percent of teacher preparation programs sought approval from the Board to train teachers in high-need certification areas.
- More than 50 percent of aspiring educators who had completed a residency in a high-need school were retained in a high-need school for the following year, creating a much-needed pipeline of talent for the state’s highest-need schools.
BESE President Sandy Holloway called the provided initial data “very encouraging,” saying, “We are seeing that educator training providers are working to strengthen their programs and more state-approved, quality providers are coming online. Going forward, Louisiana’s rating system and the valuable information it generates will help ensure that these positive trends in educator preparation, readiness and retention continue. A stronger teaching profession in Louisiana results in stronger outcomes for students.”
Not only is this data indicative of more prepared teachers exiting the state’s preparation programs, but it’s only the first wave of data from two years of school. While this data is publicly available now at LouisianaTeacherPrep.com, they will only be used for informational guidance and purposes for the time being. It won’t be until 2023 that the results from the Teacher Rating System will be used by BESE to inform continued program approval decisions.
When speaking on the efforts made recently, State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley said, ““I commend the efforts over the last few years to build this informational system. This system will help inform the public, recognize success and provide a basis for continuous improvement.”
While the LDOE states that this preliminary data will be used in an informative capacity, that is also to say that this baseline data will be shared with the state’s teacher preparation programs. According to the Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed, the data provides “valuable feedback to our teacher preparation programs illuminating both best practices as well as areas in which students’ learning experiences can be improved.”
As of November of 2020, the LDOE launched LouisianaTeacherPrep.com, which has already begun to prove beneficial to not only the programs it’s directed towards but to the state’s future workforce. The site serves as a “one-stop-shop” where prospective educators can view data on all of Louisiana’s offered Teacher Preparation Programs, helping them find the right provider to suit their needs.
These programs designed to prepare teachers are post-secondary, state-approved courses of study, including both undergraduate and post-baccalaureate pathways. Completion of such a program signifies that an enrolled teacher candidate has met all training and state educational requirements to be recommended for initial certification.
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