NCTQ Teacher Prep Review: A Review of U.S. Teacher Preparation Programs

With support from the Kauffman Foundation and 64 other foundation funders across the nation, the National Council on Teacher Quality undertook an exhaustive and unprecedented examination of the colleges and universities producing America's traditionally prepared teachers.

The inaugural edition of the NCTQ Teacher Prep Review was released in June 2013 in partnership with U.S. News & World Report.

The Review looked at 1,130 institutions that prepare 99 percent of the nation's traditionally trained teachers.

Overwhelmingly, it found that U.S. colleges and universities are turning out first-year teachers with inadequate knowledge and classroom management skills. On a four-star scale, less than 10 percent of rated programs earned three stars or more.

NCTQ's primary goal in publishing its findings is to give consumers better information to make more informed decisions.

The Review allows aspiring teachers, parents and school districts to compare programs and find which are doing the best — and worst — job of training new teachers.

NCTQ standards fall into four buckets:

  • Selection: The program screens for measurable attributes candidates bring to programs, principally academic aptitude
  • Content Preparation: Content preparation in the subject(s) the candidate intends to teach
  • Professional Skills: Acquisition and practice of skills in how to teach
  • Outcomes: The program's attention to outcomes and evidence of impact

NCTQ intends to publish the Review annually, and it anticipates greater cooperation from colleges and universities for future editions, resulting in more ratings for more U.S. teacher prep programs.