Novice teachers from Nicholls rate among veterans

THIBODAUX – The College of Education at Nicholls State University produced rookie teachers in 2007-08 whose performance matched that of experienced teachers, a recent study revealed.

The results of Louisiana’s Value-Added Teacher Preparation Assessment Model were presented to the Board of Regents and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education at a joint meeting in December 2008. Seven teacher-training programs were evaluated on how well they prepare their graduates to teach mathematics, science, social studies, language arts and reading.

Nicholls was rated at Level Two, meaning the university prepared new teachers whose students demonstrated achievement in one content area — language arts, in the case of Nicholls — comparable to the achievement demonstrated by children who were taught by experienced teachers.

“The Department of Teacher Education at Nicholls is extremely pleased with the performance of our graduates,” Dr. Susan Roark, acting dean of the College of Education, said. “The results of the study indicate the graduates’ continued commitment to the high standards of the program and the teaching profession.”

The Value-Added Teacher Preparation Assessment Model is a collaborative effort involving the Board of Regents, the Office of the Governor, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Louisiana Department of Education. The Carnegie Corporation of New York has provided $800,000 to conduct the research – matched by $1 million from the Board of Regents. Future research will focus on why some programs outperform others in preparing teachers.

Louisiana is the first state in the nation to use a performance model to examine the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs.

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