Evaluation of Teachers Trained Through Different Routes to
Evaluation of Teachers Trained Through Different Routes to Certification Presentation at the IES Research Conference June 2009 Jill Constantine Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. Motivation Alternative certification (AC) programs supply increasing numbers of teachers Debates on whether AC programs adequately prepare teachers for the classroom The effectiveness of different training strategies has not been rigorously studied
What are AC Programs? Allow teachers to begin teaching before completing required coursework Typically require less coursework than traditional certification (TC) programs and no student teaching Have perceived advantages and disadvantages Reduce barriers to entry (positive) Produce teachers with inadequate training (negative) Previous Research Numerous rigorous studies on selective AC programs, but are mainly about TFA and NYC Teaching Fellows
Most AC programs are not highly selective with admission requirements similar to TC programs Study expands evidence on AC teachers by examining teachers from less selective programs in 7 states Research Questions 1. What are the effects on student achievement of teachers trained through different routes to certification? 2. What aspects of teacher preparation are associated with teacher effectiveness?
Amount of coursework Timing of coursework Content of coursework Study Design Research Design and Participants: Randomly assign students to novice AC or TC teacher in the same grade and school to create several miniexperiments Analysis: Compare outcomes of students randomly assigned to AC teacher to those randomly assigned to TC teacher Study design: Provides a test of the effectiveness of teachers from different preparation programs, not direct test of the programs Selecting AC Programs Focused on less-selective programs, admissions requirements similar to TC programs
Divided sample into AC programs with relatively low and high coursework requirements Geographic Distribution of Sample Teachers Districts Schools AC TC Total California 5 15 20 18
38 Illinois, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Georgia 7 12 15 16 31 New Jersey 3 9 9 9
18 Texas 5 23 43 44 87 Total 20 63 87 87 174
Grade Distribution of Sample Grade Number of Mini-Experiments Kindergarten 20 First 30 Second 14 Third 9 Fourth 11
Fifth 6 Total 90 Baseline Measures of Students AC Classrooms TC Classrooms P-Value Reading Pretest 38.71 38.03 0.38
Math Pretest 42.07 42.14 0.92 Free/Reduced Lunch Eligible 75% 78% 0.08 Male 51% 49% 0.37 Nonwhite
92% 91% 0.56 Total Students 1,276 1,334 Data Student achievement California Achievement Test, 5th edition Teacher Practices Vermont Classroom Observation Tool Principal ratings
Teacher Characteristics Teacher Survey Program Characteristics AC and TC program interviews Findings Required Coursework Hours Low AC Comparison High AC Comparison 0 100 Class management 200 300
400 Reading Pedagogy Student Assessment Child Development 500 Math Pedagogy Other 600 700 AC-TC Differences in Required Coursework Timing of Required Coursework Hours 150 150 131
Teacher Characteristics Low Coursework AC TC White 49% Black Female High Coursework p-Value AC TC p-Value 74%
-0.07 0.10 Reading Math Distribution of Effects Results for Subgroups Students in California with AC teachers scored statistically lower in math than students of TC counterparts (effect size = -.13) Students of AC teachers taking coursework scored lower in math than students of TC counterparts (effect size = -.09)
No other subgroups showed statistically significant differences Teacher Practices Non-Experimental Results Differences in AC teachers' characteristics, practices, and training explained about 5 percent of math scores and 1 percent of reading scores Students of AC teachers taking coursework scored lower than TC comparisons in reading Students of AC teachers with master's degrees scored lower than TC comparisons in reading
No other differences were statistically significant Summary Students of AC teachers performed the same, on average, as students of TC teachers in their schools Variation in the amount and content of required coursework in teacher preparation was not linked to teachers' effectiveness in terms of student achievement Completing required coursework while teaching is associated with lower student achievement
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