Educator preparation providers (EPP) have a critical responsibility to ensure the quality of their candidates. This responsibility continues from purposeful recruitment that helps fulfill the provider’s mission to admissions selectivity that builds an able and diverse pool of candidates, through monitoring of candidate progress and providing necessary support, to demonstrating that candidates are proficient at completion and that they are selected for employment opportunities that are available in areas served by the provider. The integration of recruitment and selectivity as EPP responsibilities to ensure quality is emphasized in a 2010 National Research Council report:

The quality of new teachers entering the field depends not only on the quality of the preparation they receive, but also on the capacity of preparation programs to attract and select academically able people who have the potential to be effective teachers. Attracting able, high-quality candidates to teaching is a critical goal.[i]

The majority of American educators are white, middle class, and female.[ii] The makeup of the nation’s teacher workforce has not kept up with changing student demographics. At the national level, students of color make up more than 40 percent of the public school population, while teachers of color are only 17 percent of the teaching force.[iii] The mismatch has consequences. Dee; Goldhaber, and Hansen; and Hanushek and colleagues[iv] found that student achievement is positively impacted by a racial/ethnicity match between teachers and students.

While recruitment of talented minority candidates is a time- and labor-intensive process,[v] “teachers of color and culturally competent teachers must be actively recruited and supported.”[vi] Recruitment can both increase the quality of selected candidates and offset potentially deleterious effects on diversity from more selective criteria—either at admissions or throughout a program.[vii] “Successful programs recruit minority teachers with a high likelihood of being effective in the classroom” and “concentrate on finding candidates with a core set of competencies that will translate to success in the classroom.”[viii] There is evidence that providers of alternative pathways to teaching have been more successful in attracting non-white candidates. Feistritzer reports alternative provider cohorts that are 30 percent non-white, compared with 13 percent in traditional programs.[ix]

The 2010 NCATE panel on clinical partnerships advocated attention to employment needs as a way to secure greater alignment between the teacher market and areas of teacher preparation.[x] The U.S. Department of Education regularly releases lists of teacher shortages by both content-area specialization and state.[xi] Some states also publish supply-and-demand trends and forecasts and other information on market needs. These lists could assist EPPs in shaping their program offerings and in setting recruitment goals.

There is a broad public consensus that providers should attract and select able candidates who will become effective teachers. The 2011 Gallup Phi Delta Kappan education poll[xii] reported that 76 percent of the U.S. adult public agreed that “high-achieving” high school students should be recruited to become teachers. Another example is found in a 2012 AFT report on teacher preparation, recommending setting GPA requirements at 3.0, SATs at 1100 and ACT scores at 24.0 in order to “attract academically capable students with authentic commitment to work with children.”[xiii]

Researchers such as Ball, Rowan, and Hill; Floden, Wayne, and Young[xiv] conclude that academic quality, especially in verbal ability and math knowledge, impacts teacher effectiveness. A study for McKinsey and Company[xv] found that high-performing countries had a rigorous selection process similar to that of medical schools. Whitehurst[xvi] suggests that educator preparation providers should be much more selective in terms of their candidates’ cognitive abilities. When looking at the cost of teacher selection, Levin[xvii] found “that recruiting and retaining teachers with higher verbal scores is five-to-ten times as effective per dollar of teacher expenditure in raising achievement scores of students as the strategy of obtaining teachers with more experience.” Rockoff, Jacob, Kane, and Staiger concluded that “teachers’ cognitive and non-cognitive skills...have a moderately large and statistically significant relationship with student and teacher outcomes, particularly with student test scores.”[xviii]

Programs do not all start at the same place in their history of recruiting an academically strong and/or diverse candidate pool. Some programs will need to set goals and move successively toward achieving them. As better performance assessments are developed and as various licensure tests are shown to be predictors of teacher performance and/or student learning and development, CAEP may be able to put more emphasis on exit criteria rather than on entrance criteria. Irrespective of changes CAEP may make, this does not reduce the program’s responsibility to recruit a diverse candidate pool that mirrors the demography of the student population served.

There is strong support from the professional community that qualities outside of academic ability are associated with teacher effectiveness. These include “grit,” the ability to work with parents, the ability to motivate, communication skills, focus, purpose, and leadership, among others. Duckworth, et al, found “that the achievement of difficult goals entails not only talent but also the sustained and focused application of talent over time.”[xix] A Teach for America (TFA) study concluded that a teacher’s academic achievement, leadership experience, and perseverance are associated with student gains in math, while leadership experience and commitment to the TFA mission were associated with gains in English.[xx] Danielson asserts that “teacher learning becomes more active through experimentation and inquiry, as well as through writing, dialogue, and questioning.”[xxi] In addition, teacher evaluations involve “observations of classroom teaching, which can engage teachers in those activities known to promote learning, namely, self-assessment, reflection on practice, and professional conversation.” These “other” attributes, dispositions and abilities lend themselves to provider innovation. Some providers might emphasize certain attributes because of the employment field or market for which they are preparing teachers.

Research has not empirically established a particular set of non-academic qualities that teachers should possess. There are numerous studies that list different characteristics, sometimes referring to similar characteristics by different labels. Furthermore, there does not seem to be a clear measure for these non-academic qualities, although a few of them have scales and other measures that have been developed. The CAEP Commission recognizes the ongoing development of this knowledge base and recommends that CAEP revise criteria as evidence emerges. The Commission recognizes the InTASC standards’ set of dispositions as a promising area of research.

Several pieces of research, including Ball’s work in mathematics education,[xxii] the MET study on components of teaching, [xxiii] and skills approaches such as Lemov‘s Teach Like a Champion,[xxiv] assert there are important critical pedagogical strategies that develop over time. Henry,[xxv] Noell and Burns,[xxvi] and Whitehurst [xxvii] all found that, in general, teachers became more effective as they gained experience. Both research, as synthesized by the National Research Council,[xxviii] and professional consensus, as represented by the Council of Chief State School Officers’ InTASC standards,[xxix] indicate that the development of effective teaching is a process.

There are various sets of criteria and standards for effective teaching and teacher education, many including performance tasks [xxx] and artifacts created by the candidate.[xxxi] These standards, like those of the Commission, have a central focus on P-12 outcomes. Student learning and development should be a criterion for selecting candidates for advancement throughout preparation. The evidence indicators that appear in the Appendix can be used to monitor and guide candidates’ growth during a program. Standard 4 is built around the ultimate impact that program completers have when they are actually employed in the classroom or other educator positions.

Many professional efforts to define standards for teaching (e.g., InTASC; NCTQ, and observational measures covered in the Measures of Effective Teaching project) recommend that candidates know and practice ethics and standards of professional practice, as described in these national standards (such as those in InTASC standard 9 and 9(o)). The Commission recommends that CAEP strongly encourage additional research to define professional practices of P-12 educators and how these practices, beliefs, and attitudes relate to student learning and development. (See also CAEP component 1.4 on equity responsibilities.)

However, many measures of both academic and non-academic factors associated with high-quality teaching and learning need to be studied for reliability, validity, and fairness. CAEP should encourage development and research related to these measures. It would be shortsighted to specify particular metrics narrowly because of the now fast-evolving interest in, insistence on, and development of new and much stronger preparation assessments, observational measures, student surveys, and descriptive metrics. Instead, CAEP should ask that providers make a case that the data used in decision-making are valid, reliable, and fair. States and localities are developing their own systems of monitoring, and both providers and CAEP should obtain data from these systems, where available, to use as valuable external indicators for continuous improvement.

CAEP should monitor the impact of these new admission standards. The Commission recommends that CAEP develop an expert advisory committee to monitor developments in assessment, outcomes research, and other evidence that will influence the CAEP standards. Such a committee would make recommendations on the evolution of the standards and assessments used in program improvement and accreditation.


[i] NRC (2010), 181.

[ii] Morrell, J. (2010). Teacher preparation and diversity: When American preservice teachers aren’t white and middle class. Online Submission. Retrieved from http://www.academia.edu/257521/ _Teacher preparation_and_diversity_when_American_preservice_teachers_aren’t_white_and_ middle_class.

[iii] Boser, U. (2011). Teacher diversity matters: A state-by-state analysis of teachers of color. Center For American Progress. Retrieved from http:// www.americanprogress.org/issues/education/ report/2011/ 11/09/10657/ teacher-diversity- matters/

[iv] Dee, T. 2004. The Race Connection: Are Teachers More Effective with Students who Share their Ethnicity? Education Next.4.2:52-59.
Teachers, Race and Student Achievement in a Randomized Experiment. NBER Working Paper Series. National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA.41 Working Papers, August 2001.
Goldhaber, D., & Hansen, M. (2010). Race, gender, and teacher testing: How informative a tool is teacher licensure testing?. American Educational Research Journal47(1), 218-251. Retrieved from http://aer.sagepub.com/content/47/1/218.full.pdf
Hanushek, E., Kain,J.,O'Brian, D., and S. Rivikin. 2005. The Market for Teacher Quality. Working Paper 11154. Retrieved from http://www.nber.org/papers/w11154

[v] Bireda, S. & Chait, R. (2011). Increasing teacher diversity: Strategies to improve the teacher workforce. Center For American Progress. Retrieved from: http://www.americaprogress.org

[vi] National Collaboration on Diversity in the Teaching Force. (2004). Assessment of diversity in America’s teaching force: A call to action,; p. 9. Retrieved from http://www.ate1.org/pubs/ uploads/diversityreport.pdf

[vii] National Collaboration on Diversity in the Teaching Force (2004) and Bireda and Chait (2011).

[viii] Bireda and Chait (2011), 30.

[ix] Feistritzer, C.E. (2011). Profile of teachers in the U.S. 2011. National Center for Education Information. Retrieved from http://www.ncei. com/Profile_Teachers_US_2011.pdf

[x] NCATE (2010).

[xi] Teacher Shortage Areas Nationwide Listing: 1990-1991 through 2012-2013. (April 2012). U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education. Retrieved from http:// www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/pol/tsa.html

[xii] Bushaw, W., Lopez, L. (2011). Betting on teachers: The 43rd annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll of public’s attitudes toward the public schools. Phi Delta Kappan 93(1), 8-26.

[xiii] American Federation of Teachers [AFT ]. (2012), Raising the bar: Aligning and elevating teacher preparation and the education profession. Washington, D. C.: Author.

[xiv] Ball, D., Hill, H., Rowan, B. (2005). Effects of Teachers' Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching on Student Achievement. American Educational Research Journal. 42(2), 371-406.
Floden,R. & M. Maniketti. 2005. Research on the Effects of Coursework in the Arts and Sciences and in the Foundations of Education. In Studying Teacher Education: The report of the AERA Panel on Research and Teacher Education. Eds. Cochran-Smith, M. & K. Zeichner. (Meta-analysis of previous research.)
Wayne, A., and P. Young. (2003). Teacher Characteristics and Student Achievement Gains: A Review. Review of Educational Research 73(1). 89-122. (Meta-analysis of previous research.)

[xv] Auguste, B., Kihn, P., & Miller, M. (2010). Closing the talent gap: Attracting and retaining top-third graduates to careers in teaching: An international and market research-based perspective. McKinsey & Company. Retrieved from http:// mckinseyonsociety.com/closing-the-talent-gap/

[xvi] Whitehurst, G. (2002). Strengthen teacher quality: Research on teacher preparationand professional development. White House Conference on Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers. U. S. Department of Education. Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/admins/tchrqual/learn/ preparing teachers conference/whitehurst.html NRC (2010).

[xvii] Levin, H. M. (1970). A cost-effectiveness analysis of teacher selection. Journal of Human Resources 5(1), 24-33.

[xviii] Rockoff, J. E., Jacob, B. A., Kane, T. J., & Staiger, D. O. (2011). Can you recognize an effective teacher when you recruit one? Education Finance and Policy, 6(1), 43-74.

[xix] Duckworth, A. L., Peterson, C., Matthews, M. D., & Kelly, D. R. (2007). Grit: Perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(6),1087- 1101. Also see Haberman, M. (2000). What makes a teacher education program relevant preparation for teaching diverse students in urban poverty schools? (The Milwaukee Teacher Education Center Model). and Harding, H. (2012). Teach for America: Leading for change Educational Leadership, 69(8), 58-61.

[xx] Dobbie, W. (2011). Teacher characteristics and student achievement: Evidence from Teach for America. Harvard University. Retrieved from http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~dobbie/ research/TeacherCharacteristics_July 2011.pdf

[xxi] Danielson, C. (2009). A framework for learning to teach. Educational Leadership, 66. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational- leadership/summer09/vol66/num09/A-Framework- for-Learning-to-Teach.aspx

[xxii] Ball, D. (2008). Mathematical Knowledge for Teacher and the Mathematical Quality of Instruction: An Exploratory Study. Cognition and Instruction. 26(4), 430-511.

[xxiii] Measures of Effective Teaching Project. (2010). Working with teachers to develop fair and reliable measures of effective teaching. Retrieved from http://www.metproject.org/downloads/met- framing-paper.pdf

[xxiv] Lemov, D. (2010). Teach like a champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College (K-12). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

[xxv] Henry, T., et al. (2012). The effects of experience and attrition for novice high-school science and mathematics teachers. Science, 335, 1118-1121. Retrieved from http://www.sciencemag.org/ content/335/6072/1118.full.pdf

[xxvi] Noell, G., & Burns, J. (2006). Value-added assessment of teacher preparation: An illustration of emerging technology. Journal of Teacher Education Vol. 57, 37-50. Retrieved from http:// jte.sagepub.com/content/57/1/ 37.full.pdf+html

[xxvii] Whitehurst (2002).

[xxviii] NRC (2010) CCSSO (2011).

[xxix] CCSSO (2011).

[xxx] Danielson (2009).

[xxxi] See, for example, Rodgers, C. & Raider-Roth, M. (2006), Presence in teaching. Teachers and teaching: Theory and practice, 12(3) 265-287. See also Barker, L. & Borko, H. (2011). Conclusion: Presence and the art of improvisational teaching. In Sawyer, R. K. (ed), Structure and improvisation in creative teaching (279-293). New York: Cambridge University Press. See also, Joint project of Stanford University and AACTE to develop a preservice education “teacher performance assessment.” See description at this URL: http://edtpa.aacte.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/using-edTPA.pdf.