JACKSON, Tenn. — Union University’s School of Education has been ranked in the highest possible category on the Tennessee State Board of Education’s 2016 report card on the effectiveness of teacher training programs.
Dottie Myatt, assistant dean for teacher education and accreditation at Union, said the report card is designed to give accountability to educator preparation programs and supply information they can use to improve effectiveness.
“We have to be accountable for the educators we put out into the classrooms,” Myatt said. “They are a reflection of our program.”
Union’s program received an overall performance score of four, the highest possible. It also received a four in the provider impact category, which assesses the effectiveness of educators trained at Union. It includes teacher observation scores as well as student growth assessments. Union received 96.5 percent of all possible points in this category.
“Of all of these, that’s the most important part because it shows that our graduates know how to teach,” Myatt said. “It shows that they are well prepared to help their students grow academically.”
The 2016 report card evaluates graduates who completed the program between 2013 and 2015. It includes educators from Union’s undergraduate, graduate and Memphis Teacher Residency programs. Myatt said research suggests the effect of the teacher preparation program is the primary influence on teachers for three years. After that, the effect of the school system and personal preparation overshadow it.
“To have demonstrated that our teachers are rated highly and that their students are impacted so positively is very affirming to all our teacher educators at Union,” said Tom Rosebrough, executive dean of the college of education and human studies.
The current version of the report card was implemented in 2015 and also includes candidate profile and employment assessment categories. These categories assess the diversity of graduates in both race and content areas and the percentage of graduates employed by Tennessee public schools.
“Union has always done well in these assessments,” Myatt said. “The new report card gives us more information so we can continue to improve our program.”