Using Data to Improve Teacher Preparation

Improving how we prepare teachers is critical if we want to provide better opportunities for all children. And while that won’t be easy, there are steps we can take now to help ensure teachers are effective on their first day in the classroom.

In their excellent new report Using Data to Ensure That Teachers Are Learner Ready on Day One, the Data Quality Campaign (DQC) describes some of those steps. According to the report, educator preparation programs too frequently don’t have access to the data they need to make strategic improvements to their programming. Though districts and states collect and organize this data, it is usually not shared with the programs themselves—squandering a valuable opportunity to improve the experiences of both educators and students.

To address this issue, DQC recommends that states:

  • Securely share teacher performance data with the programs that prepare them.
  • Collaborate with key groups to identify what data is needed and who needs access to it.
  • Conduct a supply-and-demand analysis of the education workforce to have a more accurate picture of hiring needs.

By following these recommendations, states can help us move closer to the goal of having an outstanding teacher in front of every classroom. Thanks to DQC for drawing attention to this important issue. You can access the report here.

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