New Study on Teacher Preparation Programs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                          Contact: David Brenna, (360)-725-6238,

Olympia, Washington – September 19, 2011


The Professional Educator Standards Board is pleased to announce that a new study, “The Gateway to the Profession: Assessing Teacher Preparation Programs in Washington State Based on Student Achievement” will be publicly released at the September 22, 2011 Board meeting.  Author Dr. Dan Goldhaber will provide testimony to the Board about the study findings and implications for policy.

This is a value-added study that provides evidence about the relationship between a teacher’s preparation and their future effectiveness measured by student growth on WA standardized tests.  This empirical study confirms growing evidence that teacher preparation matters and it begins to unlock some of the key questions as to why preparation matters.  

“This is the kind of empirical work that we need to begin to address the link between teacher preparation and student performance” said Barbara Taylor, the PESB Chair. “We’ve known that teaching quality is critical, now we see additional evidence of the importance of preparation.”

The implications for the policy making of PESB is clear; this study brings important evidence and context to the best practices in teacher preparation and the Board will continue to work with preparation programs to adopt methods that demonstrate results in the classroom.  

The study was supported by the Carnegie Foundation. “Prof. Goldhaber’s study represents a breakthrough in research on the importance of teacher preparation” said Talia Milgrom-Elcott, Program Officer for Carnegie . “As he has found, it does matter – for the teacher and her students -- where and how you learn to become a teacher.  Now the question is what differentiates the top-performing programs from their peers, and, most important, how can all institutions learn from and adapt those practices to improve the training they provide their own teachers.  Carnegie is proud to have supported this effort and looks forward to the improvements that we hope emerge from it.”

The PESB meeting on September 22, 2011 is open to the public and individuals are welcome. The Board meeting is scheduled from 8:30 to 4 at the Highline Community College, Building 2, 2400 S. 240th Street, Des Moines, WA 98198. The study is on the agenda for 12:30.