Super interesting. I've really been enjoying your posts, Chad. Amazed to see multiple instances of data contradicting a prevailing narrative, e.g. teacher shortage, that young people don't want to teach, etc.

Question here — Are those taking the Praxis II test coming out of some education program prior? Or is it a substitute for a degree, like a bachelor's? (In other words, if I get my bachelor's in education, do I need to also take this test to qualify in a given state?) I ask, because I'd like to know what this reflects about teacher training programs more generally. Is this to say that you might as well skip them, because on average, they don't improve quality?

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Hi Sawyer, good question. There are exceptions, but to get a teacher's license you typically have to go through an approved program and pass a licensure test (like Praxis). When researchers have tried to look for differences in program quality, they really have not been able to find much of a program effect (other than a positive one for TFA).

There are some differences on the retention side, although it's hard to disentangle the program's effects versus the candidate-level differences. Aka, people who go through the traditional route to become a teacher tend to stay longer than those who come in through alternative (usually faster and cheaper) routes, but is that caused by the programs or the candidates? That's unclear.

But if you're interested in more on the quality question, here's an interview I did with one of the researchers: https://www.educationnext.org/teacher-preparation-programs-interchangeable-widgets-interview-paul-t-von-hippel/

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