Report on Teacher Prep Programs: "Misleading, Confusing Analysis"
he National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) recently released its 2018 Teacher Prep Review.
The report examines whether U.S. teacher preparation programs are
aligned with NCTQ’s standards. This alignment, the report insists, will
produce teachers “not only ready to achieve individual successes, but
also [ready] to start a broader movement toward increased student
learning and proficiency.”
Cochran-Smith of Boston College, Elizabeth Stringer Keefe of Lesley
University, Wen-Chia Chang of Boston College, and Molly Cummings Carney
of Boston College reviewed
the report for NEPC.
The reviewers are all members of Project TEER
(Teacher Education and Education Reform), a group of teacher education
scholars and practitioners who have been studying U.S. teacher education
in the context of larger reform movements since 2014. Their review
found the report to have multiple logical, conceptual, and
report determines that most teacher preparation programs are
not aligned with the NCTQ standards. Accordingly, it finds “severe
structural problems with both graduate and alternative route programs
that should make anyone considering them cautious.”
the report’s rationale includes widely critiqued assumptions about the
nature of teaching, learning, and teacher credentials. Its methodology,
which employs a highly questionable documents-only evaluation system, is
a maze of inconsistencies, ambiguities, and contradictions. Further,
the report ignores accumulating evidence that there is little
relationship between the NCTQ’s ratings of a program and its graduates’
later classroom performance.
the report fails to substantively account for broad shifts in the field
of teacher education that are nuanced, hybridized, and dynamic. It also
exacerbates the dysfunctional dichotomy between university programs and
alternative routes. For years now, researchers and analysts have
pointed out that this distinction is not very useful, given that there
is as much or more variation within these categories as between
them. Ultimately, the report offers little guidance for policymakers,
practitioners, or the general public.
Find the review, by Marilyn Cochran-Smith, Elizabeth Stringer Keefe, Wen-Chia Chang, and Molly Cummings Carney, at: