NASHVILLE, Tenn. — On Thursday, the Tennessee State Board of Education released the 2017 Teacher Preparation Report Card, a tool that Tennesseans can use to learn more about the effectiveness of teachers who graduate from all approved Tennessee educator preparation programs.


The Report Card uses multiple metrics, including a profile of recent graduates, their placement and retention in Tennessee public school classrooms and their observation and growth scores, to provide information about the quality of teacher preparation across the state.


“We are excited to share the 2017 Report Card and hope that the enhancements made in this year’s edition will make it even more useful to educators and the public in understanding and having conversations about important elements of teacher preparation across Tennessee,” said Dr. Sara Morrison, executive director of the State Board of Education.


When the State Board launched the redesigned Report Card in 2016, it was with education stakeholders, such as local school districts, education preparation providers, prospective teachers and the general public in mind. 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 (TDOE) shares annual reports with each individual education preparation provider to provide in-depth details that can drive program improvement.


For over ten years, TCA § 49-5-108 has required the state to report on the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs each year. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) produced the Teacher Preparation Report Card until 2015 when the State Board took on responsibility for the process and began redesigning the Report Card for increased usability. Since overseeing the production and release of the Report Card, in partnership with THEC and TDOE, the State Board has adapted the Report Card into a user-friendly online tool with specific metrics as well as additional information to provide more context about each education preparation provider. These changes were based on feedback from education stakeholders that encouraged increased transparency and improved awareness for education preparation providers, local school districts, prospective teachers and the general public.


For the 2017 Teacher Preparation Report Card, the State Board added disaggregations to show more detailed results in areas like observation, growth, ACT scores and retention: rather than seeing only a provider’s score overall, users can now see how candidates in particular program areas, like elementary education or secondary science, performed on those metrics.


“Now that this is the second year of the report card in this format, we hope that this tool can continue to help drive decision making in teacher preparation across the state,” said Spenser Gwozdzik, the project manager for the Teacher Preparation Report Card. “With three cohorts of completers included on the report card moving forward and trend data to judge performance over time, we are hopeful education stakeholders and the general public can all find something of value in the data we are sharing.”


This year, Lipscomb University, the Memphis Teacher Residency, Teach for America-Nashville, Teach for America-Memphis, The New Teacher Project-Nashville Teaching Fellows, Union University and the University of Tennessee Knoxville received the highest score of a four overall. The University of Tennessee Knoxville is the first public university in Tennessee to earn a four overall since the 2016 redesign of the Report Card.


In 2017, eight education preparation providers improved their scores by one performance category based on their overall performance. Eighteen education preparation providers scored either a three or four, the highest scores for overall performance. Each program that was ranked in the top half for 2016, with a score of a three or a four, remained in the top half for 2017. Of the 30 educator preparation providers that received an overall performance score last year, 60 percent of the education preparation providers earned more points in 2017. Overall scores give a comprehensive view of how an educator preparation program is doing. You can also see how the programs perform in specific areas by looking at individual domains and metrics.


To view the 2017 Teacher Preparation Report Card, go to