Teacher Prep Review: A Review of the Nation's Teacher Preparation Programs
112 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2014
Date Written: June 1, 2013
Once the world leader in educational attainment, the United States has slipped well into the middle of the pack. Countries that were considered little more than educational backwaters just a few years ago have leapt to the forefront of student achievement.
There’s no shortage of factors for America’s educational decline: budget cutbacks, entrenched poverty, crowded classrooms, shorter school years, greater diversity of students than in other countries. The list seems endless.
NCTQ’s Teacher Prep Review has uncovered another cause, one that few would suspect: the colleges and universities producing America’s traditionally prepared teachers.
Through an exhaustive and unprecedented examination of how these schools operate, the Review finds they have become an industry of mediocrity, churning out first-year teachers with classroom management skills and content knowledge inadequate to thrive in classrooms with ever-increasing ethnic and socioeconomic student diversity.
We were able to determine overall ratings based on a set of key standards for 608 institutions. Those ratings can be found on the U.S. News & World Report website, www.usnews.com, as well as our own, www.nctq.org, where there is additional data on another 522 institutions. Altogether, the Review provides data on the 1,130 institutions that prepare 99 percent of the nation’s traditionally trained new teachers. No small feat.
As the product of eight years of development and 10 pilot studies, the standards applied here are derived from strong research, the practices of high-performing nations and states, consensus views of experts, the demands of the Common Core State Standards (and other standards for college and career readiness) and occasionally just common sense.
We strived to apply the standards uniformly to all the nation’s teacher preparation programs as part of our effort to bring as much transparency as possible to the way America’s teachers are prepared. In collecting information for this initial report, however, we encountered enormous resistance from leaders of many of the programs we sought to assess. In some cases, we sued for the public information they refused to provide. We anticipate greater cooperation for future editions of the Review, which will be published annually, resulting in more ratings for more programs.
Keywords: teacher preparation, student achievement, United States
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