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NCTQ Solicits School Districts to Partner on Student Teaching Agreements

In its latest effort to debase educator preparation programs, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) is reaching out to PK-12 school districts to develop an “Honors Student Teaching” program in partnership with NCTQ. The effort seeks to replace existing student teaching commitments the districts may have with their local institutions of higher education (IHEs) over the course of 2-3 years. See this document for the details of the proposal.

A recent NPR story quoted NCTQ President Kate Walsh as saying, “It’s time for school districts to be much more insistent on what the qualifications are of teachers who enter and try to get a new job with them.” The new partnership proposal demonstrates that NCTQ intends to take charge of defining those qualifications. The proposal offers districts a set of complimentary services that include developing the knowledge and skills requirements for teacher candidate selection, as well as identifying local teacher preparation programs that would best meet the needs of the district—presumably using NCTQ’s Teacher Prep Review as a guide.

For its efforts, NCTQ would gain access to a wide array of data such as surveys of principals and cooperating teachers, student test scores, and evaluations of cooperating teachers—and would be granted the right to hold focus groups with current and former cooperating teachers.

IHEs should assume that their partner school districts are being contacted by NCTQ to establish this “Honors Student Teaching” program. AACTE encourages you to discuss this development with your colleagues in the district and express any concerns you may have about NCTQ’s involvement.

AACTE will continue monitoring this development and share updates as they arise. For background on NCTQ’s focus on educator preparation programs, see AACTE’s resource page.

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Zachary VanHouten

Manager of Programs and Advocacy, AACTE