Education reform groups are urging Indiana to put more focus into new accountability requirements for schools of education.
A new law gives the Department of Education until 2016 to craft a rating system for the nearly 50 Indiana institutions that train teachers. The rating system would rank schools of education based on how well their graduates do over the next three years on licensure exams or in the classroom.
Indianapolis Public Schools board member Caitlin Hannon is executive director of TeachPlus, which assists new teachers. She says IPS and other school districts should be able to look at where job applicants got their training as a factor in the hiring process.
“If I have found, as a board member that hiring teachers from Butler, for example, meant more success for students in the district, I would champion a partnership that would provide a talent pipeline from that university,” Hannon said. “We simply don’t have that information, which hampers our ability to be strategic when hiring.”
Rae Shih with StudentsFirst Indiana believes not doing this sort of ranking is a disservice to the teachers and their students.
“We know which schools teaching candidates attended and we’re going to know how they perform when they enter the classroom,” Shih said. “Not linking this data together seems like a failure to protect teachers and students from ineffective programs.”
Shih also says schools which fall below a minimum percentage of graduates rated as effective teachers should be shut down if they don‘t improve by a specified deadline.
The Obama Administration has been working on similar federal regulations to prod states to strip accreditation from schools of education that are consistent poor performers.