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National Council on Teacher Quality publishes new report on teacher preparation programs

June 20, 2013 by Kerry Ann Moll

The Alliance to Reform Education Leadership (AREL) at the George W. Bush Institute would like to congratulate the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) on its new publication: the Teacher Prep Review 2013 Report.

The Teacher Prep Review spotlights the current state of teacher preparation and the higher education institutions charged with training future educators for the classroom.  This review provides data on 1,130 institutions – the colleges and universities that prepare 99% of America’s new teachers – and rates each institution based on information from syllabi, textbooks, student teaching handbooks, student teacher observation instruments and other materials.

The Teacher Prep Review has been criticized as controversial throughout the entire process, with many researchers and universities refusing to contribute to the process, and critiques that the rating of teacher preparation programs should be based on outcomes such as teacher readiness and not inputs such as course descriptions.  At AREL, we believe information that helps to shine a spotlight on the low bar we have across the country for preparing teachers and leaders is important to collect.  The fact that our new teachers aren’t well prepared to teach reading and math is important.  We would like to thank NCTQ for opening up the dialogue about the importance of properly equipping our Nation’s teachers with the skills they need to succeed in the classroom.  Improving student achievement starts with effectively recruiting, preparing and supporting the adults who teach children and lead their schools. 

The NCTQ report is a great first step.  The next step must be to focus on teacher readiness at graduation and the collection of meaningful outcome data.