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Strengthening the Data Use and Continuous Improvement Capacity of Teacher Preparation Programs

August 1, 2020

Educators and policymakers across the United States recognize a growing urgency to improve the nation's systems of teacher preparation. Ensuring that teachers stay and thrive in the profession depends largely on having system-wide policies and practices in place that address teacher shortages, promote equity and excellence, and cultivate expertise, diversity, and more.The California State University (CSU) system partnered with the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation to launch the New Generation of Educators Initiative (NGEI), in an effort to transform the nature and quality of teacher preparation at both individual CSU campuses and across the CSU system as a whole. To answer the question, "What does it take to transform teacher education?" WestEd and SRI International conducted an evaluation to examine and share learnings about the CSU-led effort to implement large-scale clinically oriented teacher preparation reform.As part of a series of new evaluation reports that explore key transformational elements of effective teacher preparation programs, this paper addresses how programs can expand their capacity to use data for continuous improvement through the following levers:Lever 1: Develop data sources that can inform improvement effortsLever 2: Delineate clear roles to support continuous improvementLever 3: Build an infrastructure for efficient data entry and analysisLever 4: Establish a culture of improvement through routines for data review and use

The NGEI Approach to Improving Teacher Preparation in the CSU Through a System of Supports

August 1, 2020

Educators and policymakers across the United States recognize a growing urgency to improve the nation's systems of teacher preparation. Ensuring that teachers stay and thrive in the profession depends largely on having system-wide policies and practices in place that address teacher shortages, promote equity and excellence, and cultivate expertise, diversity, and more.The California State University (CSU) system partnered with the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation to launch the New Generation of Educators Initiative (NGEI), in an effort to transform the nature and quality of teacher preparation at both individual CSU campuses and across the CSU system as a whole. To answer the question, "What does it take to transform teacher education?" WestEd and SRI International conducted an evaluation to examine and share learnings about the CSU-led effort to implement large-scale clinically oriented teacher preparation reform.As part of a series of new evaluation reports that explore key transformational elements of effective teacher preparation programs, this paper reviews the evolution of a system of support for NGEI campuses that included targeted grant requirements, coaching and technical assistance, and a learning community to help partnerships share problems of practice. The following levers supported NGEI campuses to undergo rapid transformation, while implementing reforms in systematic, sustainable, and context-specific ways:Lever 1: Balance grant requirements with flexibility and responsive supportLever 2: Customize technical assistance support to meet partnership needsLever 3: Embed opportunities for cross-networked learning and collaboration

Strengthening the Clinical Orientation of Teacher Preparation Programs

August 1, 2020

Educators and policymakers across the United States recognize a growing urgency to improve the nation's systems of teacher preparation. Ensuring that teachers stay and thrive in the profession depends largely on having system-wide policies and practices in place that address teacher shortages, promote equity and excellence, and cultivate expertise, diversity, and more.The California State University (CSU) system partnered with the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation to launch the New Generation of Educators Initiative (NGEI), in an effort to transform the nature and quality of teacher preparation at both individual CSU campuses and across the CSU system as a whole. To answer the question, "What does it take to transform teacher education?" WestEd and SRI International conducted an evaluation to examine and share learnings about the CSU-led effort to implement large-scale clinically oriented teacher preparation reform.As part of a series of new evaluation reports that explore key transformational elements of effective teacher preparation programs, this paper identifies key levers to put high-quality clinical experience - that is, the opportunity to practice the work of teaching in classrooms - at the center of teacher preparation. Findings in this report explore the following high-leverage strategies to strengthen the clinical orientation of teacher preparation programs:Lever 1: Identify prioritized skillsLever 2: Select or create a rubric to assess candidate proficiency with prioritized skillsLever 3: Integrate and expand opportunities to practice prioritized skillsLever 4: Re-conceptualize clinical roles, selection, and supportLever 5: Define and implement processes to provide formative feedback to candidates on prioritized skills

Building Strong Partnerships to Improve Clinically Oriented Teacher Preparation

August 1, 2020

Educators and policymakers across the United States recognize a growing urgency to improve the nation's systems of teacher preparation. Ensuring that teachers stay and thrive in the profession depends largely on having system-wide policies and practices in place that address teacher shortages, promote equity and excellence, and cultivate expertise, diversity, and more.The California State University (CSU) system partnered with the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation to launch the New Generation of Educators Initiative (NGEI), in an effort to transform the nature and quality of teacher preparation at both individual CSU campuses and across the CSU system as a whole. To answer the question, "What does it take to transform teacher education?" WestEd and SRI International conducted an evaluation to examine and share learnings about the CSU-led effort to implement large-scale clinically oriented teacher preparation reform.As part of a series of new evaluation reports that explore key transformational elements of effective teacher preparation programs, this paper describes how participating CSU campuses and their partner school districts strengthened their relationships and developed strategic partnerships to establish the necessary foundations for high-quality, clinically oriented programming.This paper identifies four levers that can be operationalized in order to sustain strong partnerships between stakeholders:Lever 1: Create and operationalize a shared visionLever 2: Identify key rolesLever 3: Ensure space and time to collaborateLever 4: Share data to identify needs and monitor progress

New Generation of Educators Initiative: Transforming teacher preparation.

April 1, 2020

The focus of the New Generation of Educators Initiative (NGEI) was to answer the question "What would it take to transform teacher education?" From 2016 to 2019, with support from the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, teacher education programs at 10 California State University (CSU) campuses partnered with local school districts to design and demonstrate innovative practices that could transform teacher preparation. This report documents the learnings from multiple participants in this transformative work, including Foundation program staff and representatives from partnerships between universities and school districts.

Funding Teacher Preparation: What we did. What we learned.

January 1, 2020

Through the New Generation of Educators Initiative, the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation invested more than $20 million across six years, 2014 to 2019, to support high-quality preparation for new teachers in California. This preparation included a focus on instruction aligned to the state's new academic standards for math and science.The Foundation directed its investment to the California State University (CSU). The CSU system comprises 23 campuses that collectively prepare more than 50 percent of the state's teacher workforce for K-12 education -- and about 10 percent of the nation's teachers.The overarching goal was to demonstrate improved practices that prepare new teachers for success on their first day in the classroom, to scale and sustain these improvements across the CSU system, and to inform and influence the approaches used by other teacher preparation program providers as well as funders and policymakers supporting their efforts.

Integrating Technology and Advising: Studying Enhancements to Colleges’ iPASS Practices

July 29, 2019

Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (iPASS) is an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support colleges that seek to incorporate technology into their advising and student services. In iPASS, such technology is intended to increase advising's emphasis on a student's entire college experience, enabling advisers to more easily (1) intervene when students show early warning signs of academic and nonacademic challenges, (2) regularly follow up as students progress through college, (3) refer students to tutoring and other support services when needed, and (4) provide personalized guidance that reflects students' unique needs.To study how technology can support advising redesign, MDRC and the Community College Research Center partnered with three institutions already implementing iPASS: California State University, Fresno; Montgomery County Community College; and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The three institutions increased the emphasis on providing timely support, boosted their use of advising technologies, and used administrative and communication strategies to increase student contact with advisers. The enhancements at all three institutions are being evaluated using a randomized controlled trial research design.This report shows that the enhancements generally produced only a modestly different experience for students in the program group compared with students in the control group, although at one college, the enhancements did substantially increase the number of students who had contact with an adviser. Consequently, it is not surprising that the enhancements have so far had no discernible positive effects on students' academic performance. The findings also highlight the potential for unintended consequences. Before the study, each of the institutions had required that certain groups of students see an adviser before registering for classes in the next semester. Each institution expanded this preregistration requirement to include all students in the study's program groups, but at one institution, the requirement appears to have contributed to a small reduction in earned credits.

Developing Systems for High-Quality Feedback to Teacher Candidates: Lessons Learned from 11 California State University Teacher Preparation Programs

January 1, 2019

This paper shares information and lessons learned from sites that are attempting to transform their teacher preparation systems toward practice-based approaches that feature high-quality feedback for teacher candidates. The paper is based on qualitative data collected from 2016 through 2018 in 11 sites where partnerships between California State University (CSU) teacher preparation programs and local school districts are working to improve how they prepare new teachers. Each partnership received a grant from the New Generation of Educators Initiative (NGEI).

A System of Measures to Support Improvement in Teacher Preparation

January 1, 2019

As efforts have mounted to reform how teachers are prepared for their profession, so have calls for data that would provide insights into whether teacher preparation programs are producing desired outcomes, and for data that would inform continuous improvement efforts. The New Generation of Educators Initiative (NGEI) at California State University (CSU), funded by the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, seeks to strengthen the current teacher preparation system in California so that new teachers enter the workforce prepared to implement the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards. Building on the efforts of CSU teacher preparation programs (TPPs) that have been working toward improved outcomes, this paper offers a perspective on how TPPs can use data that indicate how key parts of their systems are performing.

Improvement Science in Teacher Preparation at California State University: How teacher preparation partnerships are building capacity to learn to improve

October 1, 2018

One of the most pressing educational problems in the United States is improving the quality of teacher preparation (Goldhaber, Liddle, & Theobald, 2013; National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, & Institute of Medicine, 2007). Over the last decade the education sector has begun to learn from other sectors -- especially health care -- about the potential power of improvement science as an approach to improving the quality and reliability of educational systems (Bryk, Gomez, Grunow, & LeMahieu, 2015; Coburn, Penuel, & Geil, 2013; Lewis, 2015). Evidence from an effort to improve how beginning teachers are supported in three large urban districts through development and testing of feedback systems demonstrates the promise of improvement science methods for tackling persistent challenges in teaching (Hannan, Russell, Takahashi, & Park, 2015).This Innovation Highlight describes a network-based effort -- the New Generation of Educators Initiative (NGEI), funded by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation -- that applies the principles and methods of improvement science (Langley, Moen, Nolan, Nolan, Norman, & Provost, 2009) to the challenge of improving how new teachers are prepared in the California State University System. The initiative emphasizes data-driven, continuous improvement by funding teacher preparation programs to routinely collect and analyze the data needed to monitor teacher candidates' progress toward competency in prioritized skills and to use the results of that analysis to (a) inform clinical support and teaching during the school year and (b) identify meaningful programmatic changes.The NGEI-funded teacher preparation programs also receive support from WestEd and SRI, which have developed a multipronged technical assistance strategy that is informed by improvement science. The technical assistance includes in-person trainings, cross-site webinars, monthly coaching calls with each site, annual convenings, and occasional site visits.The first section of this Innovation Highlight explains the theory of improvement science and how approaches that are informed by improvement science differ from other improvement efforts. The second section describes how NGEI has put this theory into practice through improvement science technical assistance for the NGEI grantees. Examples from the NGEI grantees are included throughout to illustrate how improvement science principles have been applied in the teacher preparation context.

Healthy Birth Outcomes through Cross-Sector Collaboration

July 1, 2018

Among Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, the United States ranks near the bottom in infant mortality rates. This is particularly perilous for black babies in the U.S., who are more than twice as likely to die before their first birthday as a white baby. In addition to the medical care and access a woman and baby receive, these poor outcomes are also driven by social determinants of health—non-clinical factors such as social, educational, environmental, and economic opportunities that affect a woman's overall health and wellbeing. This multi-faceted challenge requires a multi-faceted approach.Cross-sector collaborations offer a way forward in their ability to direct multiple actors and interventions toward the same goal. In this report, we highlight lessons learned from two of our birth outcomes projects in Fresno County, California, and Staten Island, New York, to offer others insights into paths to success and challenges to be aware of when seeking to address birth outcomes through such collaborations.

STEM Active Learning Vignette Series: Leveraging Evidence-based Practice, Community, and Systems of Support at California State University, Fresno

February 14, 2018

In 2017, Equal Measure visited five campuses representing four of the initial seven STEM Active Learning Networks to delve into site-level changes supporting progress toward network goals. In this vignette, we highlight the work of Fresno State, which designed the Building Opportunities with Networks of Discovery (BOND) program.Led by two junior faculty in the Fresno State College of Science and Mathematics (CSM), the CSM BOND program aims to "increase students' sense of self efficacy, sense of belonging, as well as their critical thinking and quantitative learning in order to increase student retention rates, graduation rates, and minimize the achievement gap of CSM students."The CSM BOND team developed tools and frameworks to enhance instructor efficacy, and experimented with a comprehensive model of wraparound support services for students by building and strengthening relationships with the Advising and Resources Center and the Learning Center, among other campus entities.