Improving the skill set of new teachers is a potentially important policy lever to increase student achievement. There are, however, doubts about the extent to which teacher education programs contribute to the development of teachers’ skills. In this paper, we describe findings from an experiment designed to test whether one aspect of teacher education – the assignment of teacher candidates to student teaching internships – has a causal impact on the type of coaching they receive and their feelings of preparedness to teach. Specifically, we use administrative data on potential student teaching placements to predict those placements more likely to be promising, and then we randomly assign teacher candidates from one large program from Tennessee into either more promising (high index) or less promising (low index) internships. Based on data from a post-student teaching survey, we find consistently strong evidence of large effects of being assigned to high versus low index placements, particularly in terms of teacher candidates’ perceptions of the quality of instruction of their cooperating teachers and the quantity and quality of the coaching that they received. And while not as large or consistently significant, we also found that teacher candidates in high versus low placements are more likely to report better working conditions in their placement schools, higher quality collaboration among teachers, more opportunities to learn to teach, and feeling better prepared to teach. Our findings provide evidence that teacher education can have a causal effect on the development of teacher candidates and it offers practical implications for programs and districts about how to use administrative data to inform internship placement decisions.
Goldhaber, D., Ronfeldt, M., Cowan, J., Gratz, T., Bardelli, E., Truwit, M., & Mullman, H. Room for Improvement? Mentor Teachers and the Evolution of Teacher Preservice Clinical Evaluations. CALDER Working Paper No. 239-0620
Ronfeldt, M., Goldhaber, D., Cowan, J., Bardelli, E., Johnson, J., & Tien, C. D. (2018). Identifying promising clinical placements using administrative data: Preliminary results from ISTI placement initiative pilot. CALDER Working Paper No. 189
TEACHER RECRUITMENT & SELECTION
A long-standing researcher-practitioner partnership between CEDR and Spokane Public Schools (SPS) has connected data collected during the teacher hiring process in SPS to later teacher outcomes in SPS and other district in Washington
SCHOOL RESOURCES &
CEDR projects have investigated the connections between school resources (e.g., textbook adoption) and students' educational trajectories and outcomes.
CEDR projects have explored the impact of programs like Washington's College Bound Scholarship program and students' postsecondary outcomes.
TEACHER PREPARATION & LICENSURE
CEDR projects including the Teacher Education Learning Collaborative (TELC; www.telc.us), the Improving Student Teaching Initiative (ISTI), and others have investigated the connections between specific teacher preparation experiences and measures collected during teacher licensure and later outcomes for teacher candidates.
SPECIAL EDUCATION &
CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION
CEDR has participated in several projects related to the participation of students with disabilities in career and technical education (CTE) and the extent to which this participation predicts later outcomes
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN EDUCATION SYSTEMS & LABOR MARKET OUTCOMES
CEDR has studied processes and outcomes in the teacher labor market like teacher collective bargaining agreements, teacher quality gaps, and teacher layoffs and their connections to student achievement
TEACHER QUALIFICATIONS & EFFECTIVENESS
CEDR researchers have studied the teacher pension system in Washington and other states and investigated the connections between pensions systems and teachers' career paths and effectiveness.