Published: August 04, 2011
New teachers who graduated from The University of Tampa topped state rankings for teacher effectiveness, according to a recent study by the Florida Department of Education.
The data gauged FCAT performance in reading or math by students of new teachers who graduated from Florida institutions who were spending their first year teaching in Florida public schools. Their students' FCAT scores were measured against the previous years.
One hundred percent of the teachers with education degrees from UT saw at least half of their students improve on the FCAT, according to the study. The ranking topped other public and independent institutions that were included in the study, including such area institutions as Saint Leo University, St. Petersburg College and the University of South Florida, as well as the University of Florida, University of Miami and Florida State University.
Forty percent of those same teachers had 75 percent or more of their students making learning gains, which also tops the list.
“This is a credit to the curriculum of our department," said Pattie Johnston, chair of the UT Department of Education. “Teachers from UT thrive because they have been taught to create compelling and active learning environments that foster learning gains.”
According to Kathy Hebda, deputy chancellor for educator quality with the Florida Department of Education, the first year is a good measure, because it's the nearest to the training teachers are getting.
"This is one data point we can provide [the teaching programs] in a way that helps give them some comparison data to make programmatic decisions," said Hebda.