While researchers generally agree that teachers are the most important school-based predictors of student academic outcomes, there is little consensus around the pre-service preparation that is necessary for systematically producing effective teachers. Given that nearly 90 percent of teachers are prepared in traditional teacher preparation programs, collecting and using data to identify high-quality approaches to preparing teachers and to highlight areas for teacher preparation program improvement may ultimately increase the likelihood that children have access to effective teachers.
Recent literature and federal guidance have highlighted the importance of including surveys of both employers and recent graduates among the many measures used to assess the quality of teacher preparation programs (TPPs) and inform data-driven improvement efforts. In California, both the Center for Teacher Quality (CTQ) and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) administer surveys that gauge TPP completers' and supervisors' perceptions of teacher preparedness and program quality. Faculty and staff in the California State University (CSU) system can use data from these surveys not only to address any reporting requirements, but also to support data-driven program improvement efforts.
The New Generation of Educators Initiative (NGEI), funded by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation (hereafter "the Foundation"), seeks to strengthen the current teacher preparation system in California so that new teachers enter the workforce prepared to implement Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The Foundation has developed a theory of action to guide reform that focuses on five Key Transformation Elements (KTEs): partnership (KTE 1), prioritized skills (KTE 2), practice-based clinical preparation (KTE 3), formative feedback on prioritized skills (KTE 4), and data-driven continuous improvement (KTE 5).