FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For interviews, contact: Lisa Johnson Kiefer
(January 25, 2013, Washington, D.C.) – Teacher preparation experts are dismissing the credibility of the latest National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) report, citing too many unanswered questions around its efficacy, methodology and accuracy.
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) finds the 2012 State Teacher Policy Yearbook: Improving Teacher Preparation National Summary, released January 23, to be vastly inconsistent with the gold-standard of student performance measures, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Top-achieving states on the NAEP, such as Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey and Vermont, received grades of "C" or "D" from NCTQ. Yet, there is no known research base linking NCTQ's criteria to improved teaching and learning outcomes, nor any cited in the report.
Further, the report lacks an explanation of how and from whom data was collected, offering only a general claim of having reviewed state policies. State officials, such as those in Louisiana and California, are already challenging the accuracy of NCTQ's results.
The NCTQ report also fails to acknowledge performance assessments as the essential element they are becoming in state policy for teacher preparation. AACTE has long called for programs and state policies to incorporate performance assessments, such as edTPA, to answer the key question, "Is this new teacher ready for the job?" Recent reports from reputable education stakeholder organizations, such as the American Federation of Teachers, Council of Chief State School Officers, National Association of State Boards of Education and National Education Association, have all called for continued expansion of this important accountability mechanism.
NCTQ's report also recommends holding alternative preparation routes to a different, lower set of standards than higher education providers should be held to, such as expectations regarding clinical experiences and content mastery requirements. This recommendation is not supported by analysis of data collected in this report or findings from other studies, and it gives rise to further questions regarding the NCTQ mission.
The professional educator preparation community continues to be committed to serving the nation's learners by preparing skilled educators for all PK-12 students. This year, AACTE will issue a new report that captures the status of educator preparation programs and provides reliable data to benchmark progress in addressing key challenges of the field. For more information on the educator preparation profession, visit www.aacte.org.
AACTE: Serving Learners
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education is a national alliance of educator preparation programs dedicated to the highest quality professional development of teachers and school leaders in order to enhance PK-12 student learning. The 800 institutions holding AACTE membership represent public and private colleges and universities in every state, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. AACTE's reach and influence fuel its mission of serving learners by providing all school personnel with superior training and continuing education. For more information, visit www.aacte.org.