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Posts Tagged ‘NCTQ’

NCTQ Offers Mixed Reviews of Undergraduate Secondary Teacher Prep

Today, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released the second installment of its now-segmented Teacher Prep Review, this time grading undergraduate programs preparing secondary teachers based on a document review of their admission standards, content requirements, and field experiences.

Out of the 717 programs reviewed across the country, the new report says “adequate” content knowledge requirements are in place in approximately 81% of programs for candidates in the sciences and in 65% of social studies programs, while nearly all programs provide adequate preparation for English and math teachers. About three quarters of the evaluated programs require subject-specific methods courses, and less than half of those require student teaching in connection with that course work.

NCTQ Teacher Prep Review Assesses ‘Landscape’ of Undergraduate Elementary Preparation

Today, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released its latest installment in the Teacher Prep Review, “Landscape in Teacher Preparation: Undergraduate Elementary.” To those familiar with previous versions of the Review, NCTQ is publishing with a noticeably different approach this time – instead of one all-encompassing review of programs, NCTQ has chosen to release reports in five segments:

NCTQ Criticizes Admissions Standards for Teacher Prep

A new report released this week by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) calls for stronger admissions standards for teacher preparation programs. Casting blame for “a low bar for entry” on states, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), and individual programs, NCTQ claims that raising admissions requirements (such as minimum GPA and ACT or SAT scores) would increase not only the quality but also the number of candidates entering the profession.

NCTQ–Brookings Report Offers Gloomy Outlook on Teacher Diversity

A new report from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) and the Brookings Institution explores the teacher diversity shortages that persist throughout the United States. To illustrate the current imbalance between teacher and student demographics, the report notes that in order to reach uniformity between the two populations, some 1 million White teachers currently in the profession would need to be replaced with approximately 300,000 African American teachers and over 600,000 Hispanic teachers.

Pointing to problems that exist throughout the teacher pipeline, the authors predict that resolving the imbalance in teacher demographics will continue to be challenging. As the nation’s diversity continues to grow, so too will the pressure and struggle to address teacher workforce diversity, they say, requiring a long-term approach to improving it.

NCTQ Criticizes Preschool Teacher Prep in New Report

Last week the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released a new report offering the council’s assessment of how well teacher preparation programs are preparing preschool educators. Again relying on course descriptions and syllabi for its evidence, NCTQ paints a predictably bleak picture, saying the “review of these programs shows little evidence of quality training focused on the needs of the preschool classroom.”

For this report, NCTQ reviewed 100 programs in 29 states and chose not to identify which programs were included in the review. Accompanying the report is a set of resources that include policy recommendations for states and school districts, outlining what NCTQ calls “essentials for a great preschool teacher prep program,” and a guide for would-be teachers, outlining what NCTQ believes they should look for in a teacher prep program.

Profession-Led Innovations Most Grounded in Evidence

It’s axiomatic that experts in a field are better equipped than outsiders to design interventions that will work. Yet in education, we face a constant barrage of external reform efforts that fail to incorporate professional knowledge and expertise—and they just don’t work.

This point is reinforced in recent research out of the National Education Policy Center. In this study, Marilyn Cochran-Smith and her colleagues at Boston College (MA) examine the evidentiary base underlying four national initiatives for teacher preparation program accountability and improvement. They find that only one of the initiatives—the beginning-teacher performance assessment edTPA, designed and managed by the profession—is founded on claims supported by research. With a measure that is valid, scoring that is reliable, and therefore results that are accurate, we have a serious tool for program improvement.

NCTQ Seeks to Identify ‘Great Districts for Great Teachers’

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) is reaching out to select large school districts throughout the country as it prepares to launch a new initiative, Great Districts for Great Teachers. This new initiative seeks to recognize between 10 and 20 districts for having strong practices on five indicators developed by NCTQ:

  • Rational compensation structure
  • Professional support
  • Effective management operations
  • Career pathways and leadership opportunities
  • Adequate support services for students

Study: Evidence ‘Thin’ for Key Accountability Efforts—Except for edTPA

A new policy brief out of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) reviews the evidentiary base underlying four national initiatives for teacher preparation program accountability and finds that only one of them—the beginning-teacher performance assessment edTPA—is founded on claims supported by research. The other three mechanisms included in the study are the state and institutional reporting requirements under the Higher Education Act (HEA), the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) standards and system, and the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) Teacher Prep Review.

Holding Teacher Preparation Accountable: A Review of Claims and Evidence, conducted by Marilyn Cochran-Smith and colleagues at Boston College (MA), investigated two primary questions: What claims does each initiative make about how it contributes to the preparation of high-quality teachers? And is there evidence that supports these claims? In addition, researchers looked at the initiatives’ potential to meet their shared goal of reducing educational inequity.

NCTQ Says Textbooks Neglect Student Learning Strategies, Adds Related Standard for 2016 ‘Review’

In a report released last week, Learning About Learning: What Every New Teacher Needs to Know, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) evaluates four dozen teacher preparation textbooks for their content of specific student learning strategies. As an offshoot of the exercise, NCTQ will include a new standard, “Fundamentals of Instruction,” for secondary programs in its 2016 Teacher Prep Review.

For Learning About Learning, NCTQ reviewed 48 “relevant textbooks” used at just 28 institutions of higher education to determine whether they include six of the strategies identified as effective by the Institute of Education Sciences’ Organizing Instruction and Study to Improve Student Learning: A Practice Guide (2007). Finding little of what NCTQ sought, the report contends that textbook authors and publishers (and the preparation programs that assign the texts) are “failing the teaching profession, students, and the public by neglecting to provide our next generation of teachers with the fundamental knowledge they need to make learning ‘stick.’” See also Education Week’s coverage of the new report.

NCTQ Releases 2015 State Teacher Policy Yearbook

On December 8, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released its 2015 State Teacher Policy Yearbook, offering the council’s annual assessment of various state policies related to teacher quality. While the report’s focus and conclusions might not be surprising, they offer what might be a preview of what to expect from NCTQ’s upcoming 2016 Teacher Prep Review.

One of the areas of focus in the yearbook, for example, is “delivering well-prepared teachers.” NCTQ outlines 13 goal topics in this area and assigns a letter grade to each state. An overview chart (see below) summarizes the results.

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