TC Rated in City Evaluation of Teacher Prep Programs
Published in NYC Schools
Teachers College is one of 12 schools of education included in a first-of-its-kind assessment by the New York City Department of Education (DOE) of teacher preparation during the period 2008-2012. The 12 institutions are “traditional pathway” preparers – colleges of education and undergraduate institutions that grant education degrees. The report does not include alternative certification preparers such as Teach for America and the Museum of Natural History.
The new Teacher Preparation Program Reports released on August 14 are not rankings and carry no rewards or penalties. Rather, they are intended to help the education schools better prepare teachers to effectively serve all students and meet the city’s diverse recruitment needs. The 12 education schools were not subjected to head-to-head comparisons, but instead judged against Department of Education norms for the following criteria:
• Percentage of newly hired teachers working with licenses in Special Education, Science, English as a Second Language and other subjects for which there are shortages of teachers.
• Percentage of newly hired teachers serving in the City’s highest-needs schools.
• Results of tenure decisions; principal ratings; and New York State growth scores on 2011-2012 state exams (Math and English teachers, grades 4-8).
• Percentage of newly hired teachers who were still working in the city school system three years after being hired.
“These reports represent one step of several we are taking to foster dialogue and partnership with our schools of education,” wrote David Weiner, Deputy Chancellor for Talent, Labor and Innovation, in a letter to TC President Susan Fuhrman. “In October, we plan to convene a roundtable of deans of education to facilitate further dialogue and collaboration.”
Fuhrman said she was pleased with DOE's report on TC, which ranked among the top schools in terms of graduates who were rated highly effective teachers. “We did quite well, especially on tenure, student growth measures, first year ratings, and supplying math and science teachers.”
In areas where the College performed slightly below DOE norms, there were mitigating circumstances. For example, because TC draws students from across the country (California is among the College’s top feeder states) and around the world, TC graduates frequently return to their home states or countries to teach after spending time in the New York City school system. This may account in part for why TC slightly trails the DOE average for teachers still working in the New York City system three years after being hired. In addition, among young TC graduates who exit the New York City teaching force are those who move onto leadership tracks toward becoming curriculum developers, assistant principals and principals, and district leaders.
TC Provost Thomas James sees the report as an important step in the College’s ongoing partnership with New York City schools.
“The real value of these reports is that they give us information that will help us provide high-quality teachers where the need is greatest – both geographically and in terms of subject area. What we learn from these reports will also help us in strengthening our programs to make our already high-performing graduates even more employable in the classroom and as school leaders and administrators,” James said. “This is a collaborative process, and TC faculty members and administrative leadership met with people from DOE to discuss creative ways of using the information. We also hosted a meeting of representatives from the different colleges of education to talk about data sharing in the preparation of these reports. So there are no surprises here – only valuable information that will help us to do our very best for young learners in New York City schools.”