IMPACT is the effectiveness assessment system used to evaluate school-based personnel in DC Public Schools (DCPS). The components of the assessment for teachers are essential instructional practices, individual value-added student achievement data, teacher-assessed student achievement data, student survey of practice, commitment to the school community, and core professionalism. The scale of performance ranges from ineffective to highly effective. Effectiveness definitions are as follows.
- Ineffective - Little or no knowledge and minimal implementation of teaching standards. Does not meet minimal teaching standards and needs substantial improvement. Students are not meeting either behavioral or academic expectations. (IMPACT score range: 100-199.9)
- Minimally Effective - Evidence of mediocre performance; fundamental knowledge and implementation of teaching standards is uneven. Integration of teaching standards is inconsistent. (IMPACT score range: 200.0-249.9)
- Developing - Evidence of developing performance; fundamental knowledge and implementation of teaching standards is rudimentary. Teacher is making progress towards proficiency with mixed student actions and results. (IMPACT score range: 250.0-299.9)
- Effective - Evidence of solid performance; strong knowledge, implementation, and integration of teaching standards; clear evidence of proficiency and skill in the component/criterion as measured by satisfactory student actions and results. (IMPACT score range: 300.0-349.9)
- Highly Effective - Evidence of exceptional performance; outstanding knowledge, implementation, and integration of teaching standards along with evidence of leadership initiative and willingness to model and/or serve as a mentor for colleagues as measured by both exemplary teacher and student actions. (IMPACT score range: 350.0-400)
Other local education agencies (LEAs) in DC (such as public charter school networks) have the autonomy to define “effective teaching” under their own teacher evaluation framework.
OSSE provides EPPs participating in the DC Staffing Data Collaborative with a report highlighting their impact on the DC Public and Public Charter School Systems. The HUSOE produced more completers with strong knowledge and performance than the city average for the last two evaluation cycles. Evaluations were not done on 2020-2021 performance due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The table below shows the percentage of program completers employed as first-year teachers in DC LEAs who earned ratings of effective or highly effective. Only one HUSOE completer was rated as less than effective.
HUSOE operates a 3-year grant funded program, called the Howard University Teacher Residency Program (HUTRP), in partnership with the United States Department of Education and the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). The program is in its third year of training and provides participants with a master’s in education degree (M.Ed.) that is 36 credit hours in length. Additionally, students who are selected for the program are required to spend a full academic year in a classroom with a cooperating mentor teacher from partner schools within the DCPS system. Participants receive professional development training in computational thinking, social-emotional learning for both teachers and students, and robust instruction in classroom and behavior management that focuses on strength-based strategies for all children, but especially those in urban schools who come from under-resourced neighborhoods.
Three cohorts have been admitted to HUTRP. The first cohort of six students (n=6) began its first year of teaching in DCPS at the beginning of the 2021-22 school year. The first year of teaching for cohort 2 (n=5) began at the beginning of the 2022-23 academic year. Cohort 3 (n=6) will commence its teaching obligation in the 2023-24 school year.
In spring 2023, students from all three cohorts were invited to participate in a one-hour virtual focus group facilitated by the HUSOE Senior Associate Dean and the HUSOE Director of Assessment. Nine of the seventeen students (53%) consented to be part of the focus group. Most of the focus group identified as female (6 of 9, 67%). Each cohort had representation with the most representation coming from current residents in the program (6 of 9, 67%). The results noted in this report reflect completer and candidate responses.
Focus group results:
How did the program prepare you to work with students with diverse racial, cultural, or social economic backgrounds? Participants overwhelmingly indicated the program gave them “lots of tips” on teaching in an inclusive and diverse setting. They felt well-prepared for teaching and working with students from diverse backgrounds. Three courses were cited as being outstanding in presenting the impact of socioeconomics on educating K-12 students – Educational Psychology: Learning and Development, the Survey of Exceptional Populations, and Diversity in American Education. Students talked about learning the following competencies:
- how to work with students identified as English learners;
- how to work with exceptional populations;
- how to assess effective student learning; and
- how to use assessment results to adjust rigor or differentiate as needed
Overall, completers felt they were given best practices that helped them become more effective teachers and provided strategies to help them understand why students behave the way they do.
Were there any gaps in the technology preparation that you experienced in the classroom versus what you experienced at Howard? Many commented that the use of technology played a major role in their residency during COVID-19 when everything was delivered in a virtual format. Although most had a positive experience with technology as result of attending classes at HUSOE, it was noted that they did not get the exposure to interactive technology when in-person instruction resumed. They felt more could be done to expose them to different types of technologies used in the classroom. Many mentioned they would have liked to know more about technology used for gamification.
How was your student teaching experience? Most participants agreed they were well-prepared for student teaching, especially to teach diverse students. Some mentioned they had a slight struggle with classroom management but found ways to adjust.
What are the things about the program that you really liked and that really prepared you for your profession? All (100%) our completers mentioned they liked the professors that teach in the TRP. Overall, they felt that their program really prepared them for the profession. They also expressed appreciations for attending the program.
What improvements would you suggest for HUSOE? One completer suggested the faculty in HUSOE need training in working with college and graduate students who might have special needs so they can become more sensitive to diverse student populations. They also suggested incorporating more technology in their program and putting more emphasis on developing lesson plans.
Summary of planned improvement:
The TRP focus group feedback informed the following plans for improvement in the HUSOE initial licensure programs. Several redesigned courses will be taught in summer 2023 with greater emphasis on use of technology and designing better lesson plans.
Continued data collection:
In summer 2023, TRP completers from Cohort 1 and Cohort 2 will be the participants in a pilot project developed by the HUSOE to track the efficacy of their teaching and their impact on P-12 student learning outcomes. Cohort 3 completers will be assessed for their impact and effectiveness in summer 2024. The following methods will be used to collect appropriate data for the pilot project:
- Focused interviews with the teacher and principal using a series of questions that relate to student performance on standardized testing measures but also the impact of teaching on social emotional development and the use of computational thinking.
- Structured observation of the teacher in the classroom using instructional items informed by edTPATM preparation guidance and the HUSOE student internship rubric.
- Available data on student achievement (such as state assessment scores, student learning objective outcomes, competency-based report cards, or other school and classroom-based assessments).
HUSOE has also contacted the DCPS Office of Leadership Development to assist us with us any impact data they can provide on HUSOE TRP completers. To collect data from completers who were not hired by DCPS and may be working in other school districts, we are revising the alumni satisfaction survey to include quantitative perception data on both teaching performance and program preparation. Analysis from the focus group was not available by the release of this report. It is anticipated that sufficient focus group and pilot data analysis will be available by the 2024 CAEP Annual Report.