AACTE Members Leading Efforts to Develop and Rigorously Assess Teacher Candidates
In its latest effort to cast the nation’s schools of education in a negative light, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) today released a report claiming that vague, “criterion-deficient” assignments in educator preparation programs result in too many high grades among teacher candidates, compared with students in other majors at the same institutions. The report, Training Our Future Teachers: Easy A’s and What’s Behind Them, rests on the same meager evidence—mere document reviews—as NCTQ has used in past reports. One of its underlying tenets, however, is important, if not new: that teacher candidates and their readiness to practice must be developed and assessed fully and accurately, an area that is already the subject of intense focus and innovation led by the educator preparation community.
As the National Council on Teaching Quality (NCTQ) steps up its document collection by communicating directly with teacher preparation programs’ PK-12 partners, AACTE encourages programs to reach out to their partner schools to raise awareness and build mutual understanding around the requests, including connecting legal counsel from both parties if appropriate.
Yesterday, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released its second annual Teacher Prep Review: A Review of the Nation’s Teacher Preparation Programs. Although parts of this report venture a conciliatory tone, as might be expected from NCTQ’s past reports, this review offers largely unhelpful recommendations that are based on questionable methodology.
Public Shaming—Over a Document Review
In an attempt to provide a consumer-friendly guide to teacher preparation programs, NCTQ has moved from rating institutions on a 4-star scale to ranking them numerically—a divisive tactic that mostly serves to pit institutions against one another. Notably, these rankings have as little to do with graduates’ readiness to teach as did last year’s star system.
The authors are members of AACTE’s topical action group on Teacher Education as a Moral Community. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
A recent National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) report evaluates teacher preparation programs for their attention to an important element of preparation: classroom management. Unfortunately, the report’s few helpful suggestions get lost in the slough of misguided assumptions and questionable claims by the report’s authors.
The January/February 2014 issue of the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) is now available online. See what Volume 65 Number 1 has to offer—without waiting for the mail delivery!
- In this month’s editorial, JTE‘s editors at Penn State University announce the 2014 Editorial Review Board and outline the highlights of this issue’s articles.
- “The Effects of Teacher Entry Portals on Student Achievement” classifies North Carolina public school teachers into 11 predominant “portals” of entry into the profession and estimates their effects on students’ test score gains. The gains are generally higher for students of teachers prepared through in-state, public undergraduate programs—but Teach for America corps members seem to be more effective in STEM subjects and at the secondary level.
On December 10, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) will release a report on how well educator preparation programs prepare teachers to effectively manage classrooms. The report will include an analysis of 122 programs, judging them based on what NCTQ has identified as the five most important classroom management strategies:
- “Rules: Establish and teach classroom rules to communicate expectations for behavior.
- Routines: Build structure and establish routines to help guide students in a wide variety of situations.
- Praise: Reinforce positive behavior, using praise and other means.
- Misbehavior: Consistently impose consequences for misbehavior.
- Engagement: Foster and maintain student engagement by teaching interesting lessons that include opportunities for active student participation.”
AACTE has no further information about the report at this time, but we’ll keep you posted as we learn more. Information on past NCTQ reviews is available here.
Last summer in its 2013 Teacher Prep Review, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) set forth recommendations for state and local policy makers who want to see the ratings increase for educator preparation programs in their jurisdictions. One of these recommendations was to “revamp current inspections of teacher preparation programs, performed as a condition of program approval.” Positing that neither state program approval site visits nor national accreditor site visits have proven to be meaningful, NCTQ recommended that states employ independent inspectors, along the lines of the British inspectorate model for preparation programs, to conduct program evaluation site visits and program evaluations.
In the last couple of weeks, many AACTE members have been contacted by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) inviting them to submit new materials by December 15 for the council’s 2014 review of education schools.
Of note in NCTQ’s communication with members is that the 2014 review will be a ranking, rather than a rating, of programs, and that programs that don’t set a minimum GPA entry requirement can meet the selectivity standard by showing that the average GPA of admitted candidates is a 3.3 or higher.
AACTE will continue to support members’ decision-making regarding their engagement with NCTQ and to represent members’ concerns about the organization and the work it produces. Members can find materials, including AACTE’s statement on the release of NCTQ’s 2013 review, in the NCTQ-U.S. News resource section of AACTE’s web site.