All of our nation’s teachers were at one time—and continue to be throughout their professional lives—students. Just as teachers influence their students’ futures, their teachers have influenced them—their teaching styles and techniques.

So, the programs that shape our nation’s teachers are of critical importance and an ideal area for improvement, leveraging data interoperability. We’ve launched the Teacher Prep Data Model initiative to answer the question: How can we connect information about teacher performance in the classroom back to teacher preparation programs (TPPs), enabling continuous improvement of these programs and the teachers they graduate?

Enter: The Teacher Prep Data Model

We’ve recently launched the Teacher Preparation Data Model (TPDM) initiative to integrate data from TPPs, local education agencies (LEAs), and state education agencies (SEAs), leveraging the Ed-Fi Data Standard. For teacher prep programs, the Teacher Prep Data Model ODS provides a place for institutions to centralize data from several common higher education and TPP sources, including student information systems, learning management systems, assessment data, and faculty, staff, and student survey data.

TPDM is also designed to accommodate data from the K-12 sector about teachers’ employment and retention patterns, along with anonymized K-12 student demographic, achievement, and performance data. This level of interoperability can inform continuous improvement analysis and planning for teacher prep programs, many of which are currently making programmatic changes based primarily on anecdotal feedback.


“This is a game-changer for our program! We can use strong data and move away from anecdotal information. We can assess the quality of our graduates and the rigor of our work. There will be no more excuses; we’ll have the data necessary to accurately inform program improvements and ensure program quality.” 

– Patricia Alvarez McHatton, Ph.D. 
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Student Success, and P-16 Integration
University of Texas—Rio Grande Valley 



The Teacher Prep Data Model brings TPP, LEA, and SEA data together to provide a full picture of teacher success. The TPDM technology solution is valuable to TPPs, but it can also inform LEA talent management processes and SEA reporting and accountability processes. SEAs can provide valuable reporting and analysis tools for teacher prep programs as they gather data from these programs across their states and share aggregate information back to them.

The collaborative opportunities between TPPs, LEAs, and SEAs around teacher preparation data sharing and use are a strong lynchpin for improved teacher preparation programs and, ultimately, student outcomes.

Here’s a partial list of the source information that’s incorporated in the TPDM:

Teacher Prep Data Model data sources include assessment, surveys, observations, grades, and transcripts.

How Can Teacher Prep Programs Visualize These Insights?

While integrating the data to a common data standard and building a TPDM ODS is useful, teacher prep programs still need a way to use the data to inform program policies and practices. The Teacher Preparation Dashboards are powered by TPDM and make it easy for programs to access and synthesize information from multiple sources to improve their programs and develop more effective teachers.

The dashboards are based on use cases identified through extensive stakeholder engagement forums. These visualization tools will enable programs to use strong, real-time data to assess the rigor of their work and move away from anecdotal information.

Current Teacher Prep Data Model Implementation Efforts

Vendor Integration

Watermark LogoWatermark is leading the market by developing the first Ed-Fi-aligned API for TPDM. This API will enable the efficient and secure exchange of data from a TPP’s Tk20 system to the Ed-Fi TPDM ODS.

TPPs will use the Tk20 API with the Ed-Fi TPDM solution to support data interoperability, bringing more timely and actionable information to faculty and staff so that they can best support novice teachers’ learning. This will also allow TPPs to increase transparency and security when teacher candidate data is moved between internal applications.

Early Adopter Pilot Implementations

Three early adopter implementation projects are in process with expected deployment of the TPDM ODS and Teacher Preparation Dashboards in 2019-20:

Relay LogoRelay Graduate School of Education –18 campuses across 13 states serving 3,700 teacher candidates

US Prep logoUS Prep – Four of their 15 partner institutions – three in Texas and one in Mississippi – serving 1,200 teacher candidates

The University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley –Multiple UTRGV Logocampuses at one TPP serving 1,800 teacher candidates

Last week, we convened this wonderful group of pilot organizations at the Ed-Fi offices in Austin to discuss progress, goals, and our shared vision for each of their pilot programs.

A Gathering of Teacher Prep Data Model Pilot Organizations

We’re excited to track and share these organizations’ accomplishments as they leverage TPDM to improve their programs. We commend them on their commitment to graduating top-tier teachers. And ideally, these new teachers will champion the same commitment to data-driven teaching and learning!

For more information about our Teacher Prep Data Model initiative, contact:

Nancy Smith, TPDM Community Manager,

Steven Arnold, TPDM Development Lead,

You can also check out our TPDM Overview, Use Cases and Model details at


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