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August 27, 2009

Analysis: ULM’s redesigned education program continues upward trend

Louisiana’s children are headed back to classrooms led by some of the best and brightest in the state: teachers trained at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

The Louisiana Board of Regents announced Thursday new results from the “Value Added Assessment of Teacher Preparation in Louisiana,” which again indicates an upward trend for graduates certified to teach through ULM’s College of Education and Human Development.

The analysis builds on prior assessments of the effect of post-redesign alternate teacher preparation programs offered by several universities and private providers in Louisiana, including ULM’s Master of Arts in Teaching program. The latest results stem from an in-depth analysis of fourth through ninth-grade student achievement spanning the academic years 2005-2006 through 2007-2008.

The report points to three programs, of which ULM is included, that “exhibited consistent performance” at high levels across five core content areas: mathematics, reading, English-Language Arts, Science and Social Studies.

New teachers in these programs positively impacted student achievement in such a way that student learning was better or comparable to the achievement of students taught by experienced teachers. In addition to student achievement, the study analyzed teacher and curriculum databases, to assess whether students have been performing at higher rates on standardized tests since 2005.

“All three of these programs are producing teachers who in aggregate appear to be making a positive contribution to student achievement from the point of entering the classroom,” according to the report.

“The study is indicative of the quality of our graduates and consistently confirms the quality of our redesigned program,” said Dr. Sandra Lemoine, Dean of the College of Education. “It once again validates that what we are doing, does indeed work.”

“This success speaks to the strength of ULM’s education program, and I applaud the work of Dr. Lemoine, as well as her outstanding staff and faculty,” said ULM President James E. Cofer Sr.

To be included in the study, the first or second year teachers must have completed their teacher preparation program leading to initial certification; received a standard teaching certificate; attained teaching positions in their areas of certification, and completed a teacher preparation program within five years.

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