From Better Ed Data Comes Better Teacher Ed

Can we improve teacher education without improving education data and data systems?

Earlier this week, Eduflack wrote on the U.S. Department of Education’s efforts to improve teacher preparation. Now that those draft regs are out, folks are looking for the good, bad, and ugly in what the Feds are looking for from our ed schools.

Over at the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation’s blog, Eduflack has a guest post on how the teacher ed regs really speak to a need to better address the education data we collect and how we collect it.

Specifically, I write:

In these draft regulations, we see a true embrace of data in the teacher preparation process. Data such as employment metrics that look at how long a teacher remains in the classroom, recognizing that our most effective teacher education programs are those that ensure good teachers remain in the classroom for more than five years. Data such surveys that look at educators new to the classroom see their preparation once they become the teacher of record. Data such as employer surveys that can help local teachers colleges better understand if their graduates are prepared for the rigors of the classrooms they are now leading.

And yes, data such as student performance data. These new regulations recognize that student learning outcomes are an important part of determining whether a teacher is prepared for the classroom. Yes, there are many factors that go into student performance beyond what the educator is bringing to the classroom. But there is also no denying that learning is a key component of effective teaching. And there is no ignoring that excellent teachers, those prepared for the rigors of today’s classroom, are the ones who get the most out of their students.

Thanks much to the Dell Foundation for giving me the platform on which to write. The whole piece is definitely worth a read, as is recognizing programs such as Relay School of Education, Urban Teacher Center, and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation for already doing many of the things the proposed regs are dreaming about.

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