Evaluating Educator Preparation Programs: New Teacher Survey Data

With the new school year kicking-off, we are winding down our summer blog series with two more entries before the Labor Day holiday next month. Previous posts can be accessed at our main site. This blog serves as a book-end to the previous post related to teacher candidates’ and new teachers’ evaluation of their perceived readiness for success as a first-year teacher. The New Teacher Survey Data presented below has domains that are also aligned with the results of the TEA Principal Survey of New Teachers that were presented last month. In the “So What?” section at the end of this blog, we briefly compare the average ratings between these two survey instruments.

New Teacher Survey Data Results

The New Teacher Survey is administered by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) at the end of the academic year for all first-year teachers who meet the appropriate criteria. The 49-question survey allows new teachers to evaluate the efficacy of their Educator Preparation Program (EPP) in preparing them for being a first-year teacher in six domains: Planning, Learning Environment, Instruction, Professional Practices and Responsibilities (PPR), Student’s with Disabilities, and English Language Learners (ELL). As in other blogs, we explore average ratings of items within survey domains while disaggregating the results by race/ethnicity and EPP type. 

Overall Ratings

  • When averaging across all of the survey items, new teachers trained by Traditional EPPs at universities rate their EPP preparation higher than their colleagues who were trained by Alternative EPPs
  • As seen in the top half of the visualization below, the average rating across the 48 domain survey items for Traditional EPPs was 2.35 (0-3 rating scale) versus an average rating of 2.30 by new teachers trained by Alternative EPPs .
  • The bottom half of the visualization shows the average rating on the single item that asks teachers to rate their overall readiness for being a first-year teacher. On this item, new teachers from Traditional EPPs and Alternative EPPs rated their preparation with the same average score of 2.25 on the 0-3 rating scale.

Survey Domain Ratings

  • When reviewing the survey item responses by domain, Traditional EPPs were rated higher than Alternative EPPs in 5 of the 6 domains.
  • The largest gap between Traditional EPPs and Alternative EPPs is in the Professional Practices and Responsibilities (PPR) domain, as new teachers rated their university-based EPP training at a 2.50 compared to an average rating of 2.41 for non-university-based EPPs.
  •  The domain where Alternative EPPs were rated higher was Students with Disabilities, as Alternative EPPs received a rating of 2.19 versus the average rating of 2.12 for Traditional EPPs. This was also the domain with the lowest average overall score out of the six domains, indicating that EPPs collectively struggle in this area of educator preparation.

Survey Domain Ratings by Ethnicity

  • The third tab on the visualizations below breaks out survey domain ratings by race/ethnicity. Use the drop-down menu at the right to change the view to a different student group.
  • For Black/African American teachers, new teachers from Traditional EPPs rated their preparation higher than Alternative EPPs on 5 of the 6 domains and the same on the 6th domain. On the overall rating item, Black teachers from Alternative EPPs rated their preparation slightly higher than Traditional EPPs.
  • The results for Hispanic/Latino first-year teachers was more of a mixed bag, as Traditional and Alternative EPPs were rated essentially the same across all but one of the domains, with Students with Disabilities being the domain where a gap existed. Overall, Hispanic teachers from Alternative EPPs rated their preparation 0.08 points higher than their Hispanic counterparts at Traditional EPPs.
  • For White first-year teachers, the trends follow the overall survey domain ratings, with Traditional EPPs being rated higher than Alternative EPPs on the same 5 out of 6 domains, with Students with Disabilities being the only domain where Alternative EPPs were rated higher.

NOTES: As a reminder, Traditional EPPs include all pathways to certification (traditional, alternative, and post-baccalaureate) that are offered by a college or university in Texas, while Alternative EPPs are “nontraditional routes to certification” that are not affiliated with a college or university that allow individuals with a bachelor’s degree to serve as teachers-of-record while completing teacher certification requirements in Texas. To provide more specific data, we are using box-and-whisker plots that show the distribution of responses aggregated at the EPP level. The size of the circles is related to the number of teacher candidates completing the Exit survey from each EPP. Hovering over the circles will produce a pop-up tooltip that provides additional EPP-level information.

So What?

The alignment between the New Teacher Survey and the Principal Survey of First-Year Teachers allows for comparisons to be made between the two survey instruments. The left-hand side of the bar chart below shows the same data as the first tab above for the new teacher survey results, with the right-hand side showing the average ratings across survey items on the principal survey. The average principal survey rating across all items is higher for new teachers from Traditional EPPs than from Alternative EPPs, which was a finding previously presented in last month’s blog. When comparing the differences between the new teacher and principal survey, we can see that principals rated first-year teachers from Traditional EPPs higher than the first-year teacher rated their EPP preparation. However, when comparing the Survey Item Average for Alternative EPPs, principals rated their first-year teachers lower than the new teachers rated their EPP preparation. When viewing the averages across all survey items, it is evident that both first-year teachers and the principals that evaluate them rated Traditional EPPs as having provided a better preparation for new teachers than Alternative EPPs.

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