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2014 NCTQ Teacher Prep Review: A Review of U.S. Teacher Preparation Programs

With support from the Kauffman Foundation and 53 other foundations across the nation, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) published the second edition of its annual assessment of the colleges and universities producing America’s traditionally prepared teachers.

The second edition of the NCTQ Teacher Prep Review was released in June 2014, and it examined 2,400 elementary, secondary, and special education programs housed in 1,127 institutions of higher education.

However, only the 1,668 programs evaluated on all of NCTQ’s “key standards” were ranked.

“Key standards” address the core components of teacher training:

  • Selection
  • Content preparation, and
  • Practice teaching

In the second edition, NCTQ was able to increase the number of institutions for which they were able to rank at least one program from 608 in 2013 to 836 in 2014.

Of the 1,668 programs (housed in 836 institutions) ranked in the Review, only 26 elementary programs and 81 secondary programs make NCTQ’s list of Top Ranked programs, and elementary programs were found to be far weaker than their secondary program counterparts. 

Also included in this year’s Review, NCTQ conducted a pilot review of 85 secondary alternative certification programs.

The Review uncovered early evidence that teacher preparation programs are beginning to make changes, and it arrived at a time of heightened, unprecedented activity across the nation—at both the state and federal levels—to improve teacher preparation.

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

NCTQ’s top priority in publishing its findings is to empower districts to use data from the Review around program quality to make better hires.