Metro RESA scored a Level 4 rating on the Teacher Preparation Program Effectiveness Measures (PPEMs), achieving the highest possible rating given to a program provider.
Published by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC), PPEMs provide a tool for evaluating how well educator preparation programs are preparing teachers for Georgia classrooms. The scores are comprised of a combination of measures collected during teacher candidates’ time in the program as well as outcome measures collected in the classroom and school. The data is made available to the public to give insight into the effectiveness of programs across the state. In addition, the results help programs identify areas where they might need improvement.
Coordinator of the GaTAPP program, Dr. Mary Moseley brings 39 years of experience in education, where she has worked tirelessly for the past eight years to build a program of continued excellence at Metro RESA. “I believe that our score is an indication of all the hard work from this huge team as well as the steadfast dedication of our program candidates. I could not be prouder of this work!”
Metro RESA’s GaTAPP team includes 35 field supervisors and 24 instructors as well as hundreds of mentors and supporting supervisors. Each teacher candidate has their own support team that includes a Field Supervisor from Metro RESA, a building-level Administrator from their school, and a Mentor. “This partnership is something that is unique to GaTAPP programs, and the entire team helps to grow a teacher during the two years they are with us”.
Dr. Leigh Ann Putnam, Executive Director of Metro RESA since 2007, describes the high level of support received by each teacher candidate. “From the day the teacher sets foot on our campus, our team is preparing and equipping them with exactly what they need to be the best teacher for their students. A candidate’s entire support team is present and involved throughout the program to push, encourage, reassure, and give feedback. This extra level of support and encouragement our candidates receive is our magic sauce.”
GaTAPP differs from traditional institutions. Most of the candidates at Metro RESA are career changers. They have had a professional career in a different field before transitioning to education, and many have extensive experience in a corporate environment. Metro RESA’s GaTAPP attracts lawyers, doctors, professional athletes, actors, dentists, and various business professionals who want to make a career change. Candidates coming from Science and Math careers bring expert content-rich knowledge to the STEM areas.
Unlike most college and university programs, the average age of candidates at Metro RESA is 35-40, and the teacher pool is more diverse with higher rates of males and minorities. Dr. Moseley shares, “We are proud of the diversity of our candidate pool because we put more teachers in the classroom who match the diverse students they are serving.”
Along with the Level 4 rating, Metro RESA received a Total Score of 187 out of a possible 200 points, which not only exceeds the state average but also marks an increase of 6 points over last year’s total score. Moseley and her team utilized the data from previous years to identify areas for improvement within the program for the benefit of the teachers and the students they serve. “We focus heavily on the survey results and the TAPP data because those indicators assess achievement a year after program completion. We want to see that our teachers and their administrators are still satisfied and successful a year out.”
Sheree Altmann also focuses on the data as she structures course curriculum and works with instructors and candidates. “We are very good at listening, recognizing concerns, and adapting so we can better support candidates. This is really a strength for us, being reflective and making our program better.”
The GaPSC asks those with an exemplary score to share their best practices with other Georgia program providers. Metro RESA contributes heavily as they partner with the seven RESAs across the state of Georgia. They meet monthly, along with a representative from the Georgia PSC, to share ideas, share courses and share resources. Dr. Moseley explains, “Anything we develop, we share with the other providers. The collaboration between urban and rural districts has made the partnership rich and valuable for all of us.”
Candidate Brandon Render, AP History teacher at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School and recipient of the 2020 Valari Mathis Camp Award of Excellence appreciates his time with Metro RESA. “I use a lot of the strategies I learned in GaTAPP courses to this very day. The program was very helpful. Going into EdTPA, Metro RESA provided guidance throughout the process to break down the rubrics and help us focus on targeted areas. The review and feedback provided was extremely helpful.”
Matthew Karaglou, Multicultural Literature and Advanced Composition teacher at Etowah High School, is happy to sing the praises of Metro RESA. Matthew also won the Valari Mathis Camp Award and shares, “I am very glad I went this route because getting a year of experience in the classroom first was so helpful to truly get the most out of the classes and EdTPA. I had a very successful first year teaching, but I am so much more prepared now since going through the GaTAPP program.”
Another candidate, Audrey Waters, transitioned to education after enjoying a career as a ballet dancer. Ms. Waters now teaches Dance at Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy. “Metro RESA was really fantastic. The information they shared was so useful in the classroom, and everyone there was so caring. Each class was full of awesome information and was laid out in a great way. The coursework clicked for me because I could connect what I was learning with my classroom experience.”
Covering all of Metro Atlanta, Metro RESA serves schools and teachers from Rockdale County on the East to Douglas County on the West, and from Forsyth and Cobb in the North down to South Fulton. 47% of Georgia’s student population lives in our area. By preparing and equipping teachers, Metro RESA impacts thousands of students year after year. Their Level 4 rating on the PPEMs provides evidence that the way they have structured the program and the outputs the teachers demonstrate in the classroom are congruent with what the schools and students need.