WWU Education Graduates Top List Recent Study Shows WWU's Effectiveness

A recently released study has pointed to Walla Walla University's (WWU's) education alumni as the most effective reading teachers in the state of Washington. As a group, the students of WWU education graduates had the top scores in their state reading tests, as demonstrated in a study released by the Center for Education Data and Research (CEDR) at the University of Washington Bothell.

The study looked at the scores for public school students taught by teachers credentialed in the 20 programs offered in Washington State, including the University of Washington, which ranked second for reading scores.

In addition to having the highest reading scores, students taught by WWU alumni had strong math scores, ranking eighth in the state compared to students taught by teachers from other programs. A large majority of the teachers in the study had been teaching for six or more years.

The CEDR study was set up to examine the "impact that individual teacher training institutions in Washington state have on the effectiveness of teachers they train." Researchers Dan Goldhaber and Stephanie Liddle studied the reading and math scores from the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL), which until recently was the proficiency test used in Washington state public schools.

"Excellence in thought, generosity in service, beauty in expression, faith in God' — the mission statement of Walla Walla University consists of much more than just well-turned phrases," says Tammy Randolph, WWU education professor. "As the results of this recent research report testify, getting an education here really does make a positive difference in the lives of our graduates and their impact on society."

Randolph goes on to note that some of the effects seen in the CEDR study may be linked to the same factors seen in the CognitiveGenesis study, which has shown that students schooled in the Adventist K–8 education system outperform the national average across all demographics. These are the schools that have eventually fed into WWU's teacher education program.

"There are many factors affecting student academic achievement," states Julian Melgosa, WWU School of Education and Psychology dean, "and teacher effectiveness is one of them. In fact, Goldhaber's study estimates that having a teacher whose average effectiveness places him or her at the 84th percentile (as opposed to the 50th) adds equivalent value to reducing class size by five to 10 students. We are indebted to the quality of God-led present and past faculty, mentor teachers and supervisors who are instrumental in their students' success."

January 01, 2012 / Walla Walla University