Current/Recent Clients and Projects:
Arizona State University
Arizona State University contracted with TPA to conduct a three-year evaluation of its Sanford Inspire Program (SIP). SIP is a comprehensive effort to redesign undergraduate teacher preparation at a large public university to produce strong new teachers who will have positive effects on the academic achievement of their K-12 students and in the schools where they are employed. SIP is working to infuse Teach for America’s Teaching as Leadership (TAL) principles into a number of courses in teacher preparation programs offered by the ASU Teachers College. SIP’s work also has generated other products such as videos, lesson plans, and a game module all developed to support integration of the TAL principles into the teacher preparation program. TPA has conducted numerous interviews, collected and reviewed course syllabi and working documents, and conducted focus groups with teacher candidates in an effort to determine the success and impact of the integration of the TAL principles. In addition, TPA has interviewed SIP recruiters and observed the recruitment process in an effort to determine its success and impact.
Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
TPA has completed two projects for CAEP and has begun work on a third. The first is a white paper on outcomes, measures, and data systems related to educator preparation: Outcomes Measures and Data Systems: A Paper Prepared for the CAEP Commission on Standards and Performance Reporting (2013). The purpose of the paper is to discuss the feasibility of using a strongly outcomes-based approach to assess the quality of educator preparation programs. The paper summarizes the current status of various outcomes measures related to teacher preparation and the practical and methodological challenges of implementing them as indicators of program quality. The paper also discusses the kinds of data and data systems that are necessary for a more outcomes-based assessment of educator preparation programs and noted leading efforts by researchers and state officials to synthesize the data required.
TPA has recently finished a second project for CAEP and for Pearson Higher Education, a report titled Building an Evidence-Based System for Teacher Preparation. The goal of the report is to create a discourse and spur tangible action in the field of educator preparation that could ultimately serve to improve student outcomes. The report has five principal components:
- Summarizes the research on our nation’s current ability to evaluate the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs
- Identifies and develops a proposed framework and a set of Key Effectiveness Indicators (KEI) and measures that the authors believe states and educator preparation providers should be using to assess the effectiveness of programs by the year 2020
- Uses the KEI extensively as a lens to examine the teacher preparation program evaluation policies and practices in 15 states – both current and under development, facilitate comparisons and contrasts between them, and determine their alignment with the KEI
- Identifies a number of hopeful policies and practices that hold promise for moving states forward in their efforts to develop stronger preparation program evaluation systems
- Recommends, based on the entire analysis in the report, a concise set of actions for states, the educator preparation community, and other stakeholders to take in order to improve the nation’s capacity to evaluate – and thereby improve – its teacher preparation programs.
Mid-Atlantic Regional Comprehensive Center (at WestEd)
As a consultant to the Comprehensive Center, TPA provided direct technical assistance to the New Jersey Department of Education in their efforts to develop a set of indicators of effectiveness for their educator preparation programs. The work included researching and reporting on similar efforts in other states and discussing the strengths and limitations of different possible EPP effectiveness measures.
Nellie Mae Education Foundation
The Foundation, which seeks to strengthen education in the six New England states, has funded a significant scope of work in the region on Student-Centered Learning. The Foundation asked TPA to assess the prospects for success of an extension of that scope of work into teacher preparation programs in the region. TPA’s work consisted of three inter-related components:
- A Literature Review of more than 50 articles and reports on important research and implementation efforts nationally related to student-centered learning and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The review also seeks to draw out some of the important the implications of these developments for teaching and, ultimately, teacher preparation
- A State Policy Scan highlighting key policies in the six New England states that may impact the extent to which graduates of the states’ teacher preparation programs have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to be successful student-centered teachers
- A Review of Programs that involved preliminary surveys and follow-up on eleven teacher preparation programs in the region to get a sense of the extent to which student-centered learning was operationalized as a program priority.
Network for the Transformation of Educator Preparation (NTEP)
TPA is one of the 17 original national partners in this project, which is directed by the Council of Chief State School Officers and seeks to improve policies in seven pilot states in order to strengthen educator preparation. TPA’s role for the project has been to gather detailed information on the educator preparation program data and accountability systems in the seven states and to provide technical assistance to the states in helping them define and develop their program accountability measures and address other priority policy issues. TPA’s 2020 Key Effectiveness Indicators (Building an Evidence-Based System for Teacher Preparation) have been an important tool in this work.
In partnership with WestEd and CNA Education, TPA is playing the lead role in coordinating a Research Alliance on educator preparation for the four states served by the IES-funded Appalachian Regional Education Laboratory: Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. The goal of the alliance is to provide research-based information and technical assistance to teacher educators and state officials in the region. Among other topics, foci for the alliance include:
- Preparing educators in the effective use of data for assessment and instruction
- Evaluating the quality of educator preparation programs.
University System of Georgia
The University System of Georgia asked TPA to produce a Literature Review on charter colleges of education, a concept first conceived in the early 1990’s that entails increased autonomy for colleges of education in exchange for demonstrating the ability of their educator preparation programs to meet specific performance goals. The review, completed as Charter Colleges of Education: A Review of the Literature (2012) summarizes the history of the concept, provides recent examples and related innovations, and highlights key lessons learned from the relevant literature.
Additional clients that TPA Partners have worked with (partial listing):
- Hawaii State Department of Education
- Kenan Institute for Engineering, Science and Technology, NC State University
- Louisiana Board of Regents
- Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Education
- New Mexico Office of Education Accountability
- Pennsylvania State Department of Education
- Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education
- South Dakota Board of Regents
- Tennessee State Department of Education
- University of Wisconsin Board of Regents
- State of Washington Professional Educator Standards Board
- West Virginia Department of Education
- Wyoming Governor’s Office