Relationships between Teacher Preparation and Beginning Teacher Quality in North Carolina Public Universities
Preston, Courtney Elizabeth
Research provides strong evidence that teachers make a significant contribution to student achievement and that among in-school factors, teachers matters most. States have begun evaluating their teacher preparation programs based on their graduates’ contribution to raising student achievement, but such evaluations provide little guidance for program improvement. This dissertation improves on previous work around the relationship between teacher preparation and teacher effectiveness to isolate the contributions of the structural features of teacher preparation programs, coursework and fieldwork, to beginning teacher effectiveness as measured by student achievement gains. Using data from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and University of North Carolina system institutions, I estimate HLM, school, and university fixed effects models to begin to mitigate against potential sources of bias. While there are few consistent patterns across subjects and grade levels, there is some evidence for the importance of requiring specific foundations courses for middle grade teachers and for requiring longer full time responsibility for the classroom during student teaching for high school teachers.
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