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Tennessee's Educator Preparation Providers

March 2019

Author: Jack Powers

Full Report

The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has released a new report that examines Tennessee’s Educator Preparation Providers. Educator Preparation Providers (EPPs) are institutions of higher education or other organizations that recruit, train, and produce licensed teachers. The report was requested by House Speaker Pro Tempore Bill Dunn and Senator Dolores Gresham.

The report describes the steps EPPs take to prepare new teachers, shows how Tennessee’s EPPs perform on multiple measures of effectiveness, and explains how EPP outcomes are included in the outcomes-based funding formula and Quality Assurance Funding Program for higher education institutions.

There are three types of EPPs in Tennessee: public EPPs like the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, private EPPs like Vanderbilt University, and education-related organizations (EROs) like Teach for America. OREA analyzed EPP performance using teacher effectiveness data collected from 2015 through 2017 and found that EROs outperformed public and private colleges and universities based on the TVAAS (the state’s method of measuring student academic growth) scores of new teachers.

The report includes three policy considerations to improve teacher preparation: (1) public EPPs should consider surveying program completers to inform programmatic improvement, (2) Tennessee’s public EPPs could calculate the cost per completer for each of the licensure pathways offered, (3) public EPPs should consider studying the feasibility of creating job-embedded programs and teacher residencies that function similarly to those operated by EROs.