Tennessee Educator Preparation Report Card results 'encouraging' for local schools

Brandon Paykamian • Updated Feb 16, 2019 at 3:57 PM

The Tennessee Board of Education released the third-annual Educator Preparation Report Card on Thursday, allowing Tennesseans a look at the progress of education preparation providers and college education programs toward key education priority areas in Tennessee.

The report uses multiple metrics, including a profile of graduates, placement and retention in public schools and growth scores, and provides districts a data source to review when evaluating teacher applicants from state universities and colleges.

Data from this year indicated more recent graduates earned high-demand endorsements in fields like English as a second language, Spanish, special education, high school math and high school science, which were identified as critical shortage areas in many school districts across the state.

The state reported a 4 percent increase in these sectors in the last year.

In 2018, nine education preparation providers improved their scores by one performance category based on overall performance, and 26 education preparation providers scored either a three or four, the highest scores for overall performance.

Among those education preparation providers that received a 3 out of 4 were King University, Carson-Newman University, Tusculum University, East Tennessee State University and Milligan College.

This was good news for local school systems recruiting new instructors, according to Johnson City Schools spokeswoman Debra Bentley.

“It's encouraging to see several universities making progress from the last state report. Because we do employ several graduates from Milligan College and ETSU, we are pleased to see that each has earned an overall performance level of 3/4,” Bentley wrote in an emailed statement to the Press.

New on the report card this year was a new leader-preparation module, which provided basic information about providers that prepare school leaders, as well as a spotlight on literacy practices centered around the state’s Read to be Ready program.

Educator Preparation Report Card Project Manager Katherine McEldoon said the relatively new tool, which is also used by prospective teachers to find the best education programs and by colleges and universities to identify areas of strength and weakness, has highlighted a “collective improvement” in state education over the years since it was created.

“Data from the last three report cards show a clear trend of momentum. Eighty-four percent of our educator preparation providers increased their total score since the last report card. The progress in student growth is especially heartening,” she said in a Thursday press release.

To view the report card, visit teacherprepreportcard.tn.gov. More information and previous report cards can be found at www.tn.gov/sbe.

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