More data linking education colleges to FCAT scores
On Friday night, the state released more FCAT-based data rating the effectiveness of Florida's teacher preparation program - and it shows that it was in fact a good idea to take a grain of salt with the first batch of numbers that came out Thursday.
The Friday numbers, based on 2008-09 FCAT scores, shows that 82 percent of rookie teachers from the University of South Florida had 50 percent or more of their students make learning gains - putting it in a 3-way tie at No. 4 (with UF and UCF) among the 10 state university ed schools. In 2007-08, 76 percent of USF's rookie grads reached that bar, putting USF at No. 9 of 10.
On a related measure, USF slid a little. In 2007-08, 15 percent of its rookie graduates were deemed "high performing," because of especially large FCAT gains by their students. That put it at No. 6. In 2008-09, 13 percent earned that designation, putting USF in a tie (with UWF) at No. 8.
"Slid a little" might not be a fair term, though, considering how jumpy the year-to-year numbers are. Only two schools - FAMU and UWF - ranked in the bottom half of both categories both years. But even there it's not a given that that's a trend: Over the same time period, Florida Gulf Coast moved from No. 8 and No. 7 to No. 1 and No. 3.
Here's a quickie spreadsheet that shows all 10 institutions with the data from both years side by side.
As the St. Petersburg Times reported Friday, it might not be clear what conclusions to draw from the data. But it is clear the state will put more and more emphasis on it.
Florida Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith sent this memo Friday to the presidents of Florida's college and universities, essentially saying just that.
Also on Friday, the DOE released this power point, which offers more background about tying "teacher effectiveness" to teacher preparation programs. Lots of data in here, including how teachers overall - and not just rookies from the prep programs - fared according to the bars being used. Further breakdowns by Title I and non-Title I schools; by subject area; by differentiated accountability categories; and by elementary, middle and high school levels.