Nine Programs Exceed Expectations in Latest Educator Preparation Report Card

Friday, February 14, 2020 | 12:01pm

February 14, 2020   

CONTACT: Elizabeth Tullos
(615) 741-0762

Nine Programs Exceed Expectations in Latest Educator Preparation Report Card

In its newly enhanced Educator Preparation Report Card, the State Board identified nine educator preparation providers (EPPs) as exceeding expectations in their preparation of the state’s future teachers and school leaders.

“Our latest report card shows us that more educator preparation programs are meeting or even exceeding expectations in their work to prepare our state’s future teachers,” said Dr. Sara Morrison, executive director of the State Board of Education. “As we continue our partnership with program providers, we look forward to continuing to raise the bar on how we define successful educator preparation in Tennessee.” 

For the 2018-19 school year, Carson-Newman University, East Tennessee State University, Lipscomb University, the Memphis Teacher Residency, Milligan College, Teach for America Nashville-Chattanooga, Union University, the University of Memphis, and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville received the highest performance category of Exceeds Expectations on the report card.

The annual Educator Preparation Report Card is a tool for Tennesseans to learn more about the progress of educator preparation providers toward the Board’s key priority areas. Utilizing multiple metrics, such as a profile of recent graduates, their placement and retention in Tennessee public school classrooms, as well as their observation and growth scores, the report card examines the successes of EPPs across the state. For the latest edition of the report card, the State Board of Education has launched two new domains: program completer satisfaction and candidates’ pass-rates on licensure assessments.

“The newly-reported domains of program completer satisfaction and candidate assessment look at, respectively, whether new teachers report feeling well-prepared by their EPP and whether candidates successfully pass licensure examinations,” said Erika Leicht, the project manager for the Educator Preparation Report Card. “We’re excited to share this information for the first time on this year’s report card; presently, these domains are unscored in order to establish a baseline, but we expect they will become scored metrics on the report card in future years.”

On the report card, the employment and retention domain had the highest scores overall, with 23 of the 39 programs evaluated exceeding expectations. During the report card advisory council’s meetings and the State Board’s visits to local districts, public school leaders have indicated a drive to employ and retain as many teachers as possible. Data from the report card indicates that more local school districts are focused on partnering with EPPs on the recruitment and retention of new teachers to curb the teacher shortage across the state.  Matching potential educators with education preparation providers in their area of interest is a key step toward streamlining the pathway to becoming a teacher.

“We spoke with current teacher candidates at several institutions across the state about what information would have helped them in deciding on which program to attend, and we used their feedback to drive an enhancement our of Educator Preparation Report Card website,” said Amy Owen, director of policy and research at the State Board of Education. “These enhancements make the report card easier to use for individuals who want to become a teacher, whether that’s a high school student making a college decision or an adult looking to change careers.”                                        

On the latest edition of the Educator Preparation Report Card, users can sort and filter programs to find one that meets their specific needs. For example, a potential teacher candidate who wants to teach Government can quickly identify providers that offer the Government endorsement. The newly enhanced Educator Preparation Report Card can also help prospective teachers find information on programs that offer alternative pathways, such as those designed for career and technical education (CTE) teachers entering the classroom from the workforce. Users can also select up to three providers to compare performance.

Since 2016, the State Board of Education has been statutorily required to produce a report on the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs each year. For four years, the State Board has continued to redesign and enhance the report into a more user-friendly tool for local school districts, prospective teachers, and EPPs. Today, the Educator Preparation Report Card includes a statewide report, program-level reports, and a technical report for more context on each metric and how these were evaluated. Changes to the report card have been driven by feedback from educational stakeholders with improved transparency and effectiveness in mind.

“Producing the report card is no small task — to share the most accurate data, we rely heavily on partnerships with the Tennessee Department of Education, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, and the nearly 40 educator preparation programs across the state,” said Erika Leicht. “These partnerships ensure that our data is accurate and reliable, which helps us better serve our education stakeholders across the state.”

Local districts can utilize the Report Card to inform student teaching and hiring decisions by learning more about an applicant’s education preparation provider. Prospective teachers can determine which educator preparation program best suits their career goals from the information provided about recent graduates’ success in the classroom. Education preparation providers themselves can use this information to identify areas of strength and challenge, particularly in comparison to other programs across the state. In addition, the Tennessee Department of Education shares annual reports with each individual education preparation provider to provide in-depth details that can drive program improvement.

To view the Educator Preparation Report Card, go to Additional information and archives of previous versions of the Report Card are available on the State website at


The Tennessee State Board of Education is a ten-member, governor-appointed and legislatively confirmed board charged under the law with rulemaking and policymaking for K-12 education. Through a close partnership with the Tennessee Department of Education, the Board maintains oversight in K-12 implementation and academic standards.