(December 10, 2013, Washington, D.C.) The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) today released the latest of its critiques of university-based teacher preparation. Training Our Future Teachers: Classroom Management follows the template we have come to expect from NCTQ, using document reviews of a small sample of programs to support the broad claim that teacher preparation is not getting the job done.
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) has several concerns with the report, many of which mirror those from past NCTQ reports, along with a few new issues.
Key concerns include:
- The report does not tell us whether teacher candidates are prepared to effectively manage classrooms.
- Instead, the report judges whether course materials for a small sample of programs meet some – not even all – of NCTQ’s rules for classroom management.
- No evidence supports the report’s conclusions about “the field” of teacher preparation.
- NCTQ started with a small sample of programs and then applied its “Big Five” standards to various subsets of them. For example, the first finding in the report is based on 73 of the 122 programs reviewed, while 25 programs were included in the fourth finding, and only nine programs were included in the analysis of how well classroom management preparation is integrated across an entire program.
- NCTQ claims that the teacher preparation profession as a whole uses “errant ideology espoused by many of the field’s leading thinkers,” “is reluctant to embrace scientifically based approaches” and “eschews responsibility for training teachers” – conclusions that cannot be determined by reviewing a small sample of course documents.
- Claims in the report about edTPA are incorrect.
- Candidates who complete edTPA are expected to demonstrate the ability to implement classroom management strategies that support students’ learning goals. Contrary to NCTQ’s misconceptions, edTPA candidates are discouraged from sustaining a learning environment that only controls student behavior with no corresponding attention to learning. Further, edTPA is intended to be part of a multiple-measure assessment system, not serve as the sole benchmark of candidates’ readiness to teach.
“Teacher preparation has come to consensus around effective classroom management strategies and other practices through the new edTPA assessment and support system, new national accreditation standards and several other research-based initiatives,” said Sharon P. Robinson, Ed.D., president and CEO of AACTE. “These efforts have gained significant traction throughout the education system, and they will be addressed with even greater rigor as we advance through implementation. Until NCTQ addresses the flaws in its work, the profession will not feel that it can use the reports constructively.”
For more information on the current status of teacher preparation and innovations underway, visit www.aacte.org or AACTE’s new blog, Ed Prep Matters, at www.edprepmatters.net.
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE)
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) 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.