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Teachers Trained at FHU Produce Higher Gains

Freed-Hardeman University was one of two programs in the state to produce beginning teachers with higher student achievement gains than veteran teachers in areas where adequate value added data are available, according to the “2012 Report Card on the Effectiveness of Teacher Training Programs” released Nov. 1.

The report card is designed to inform the public of the effectiveness of teacher training programs and to provide programs with data to improve the quality of their offerings. The Tennessee General Assembly passed legislation requiring the State Board of Education to produce such a document. It includes the following data: placement and retention rates, Praxis II results, and teacher effect data based on the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS) scores. The report looks at the effectiveness of 2010-2011 graduates who are teaching in Tennessee K-12 public schools.

In addition to outperforming veteran teachers, FHU’s program completers also produced higher gains in student achievement data than other beginning teachers. According to the report card, FHU-trained new teachers were especially strong in teaching science and social studies. No comparisons showed statistically significant negative differences between FHU completers and other teachers. Only one other institution acquired this achievement.

Freed-Hardeman’s undergraduate teacher education program includes 18 approved programs. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Currently, more than 300 undergraduate and graduate students at the university are preparing to teach.

“We are very excited about the results highlighted in this year’s Report Card. In many ways, they affirm what school leaders and parents throughout west Tennessee have been sharing with us for many years, teachers that graduate from FHU are among the best,” Dr. C.J. Vires, FHU vice president for academics, said.

Dr. Sharen Cypress, dean of the FHU School of Education, said, “Our students’ passion for teaching is driven by a highly qualified and talented faculty that places teacher effectiveness as its top priority. From pre-service teachers to practitioners in the field, the values, beliefs, and attitudes of our students exemplify Christianity and maintain that they are ‘Reflective Educators Seeking to Serve,’ as our motto says. It is an exciting time to be an educator and we are honored to be a part of teacher preparation in the state of Tennessee.”

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