Here are Governor Markell’s words… and the embodiment behind SB 51, a flawed piece of legislation.

Too many new teachers are not prepared for their first day in the classroom. And few programs today effectively train them, a report released Tuesday by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) concludes.  Governor Jack Markell, Delaware.

Now here is what is being said of that report by the experts in education. You know, those people who train teachers?

“We are especially proud that in a recent survey of school superintendents conducted by U.S. News & World Report, they rated us 12th in the entire country for all university and college education programs….Syracuse University agreed to participate in the NCTQ study, but then was disappointed with NCTQ’s lack of follow-through. Dean Biklen was astonished that the NCTQ apparently scored programs based on a reading of a course syllabi, and did not conduct a more in-depth study, such as evaluating student performance in the field”…. Syracuse University….

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What makes the new NCTQ study inaccurate?  NCTQ uses an outdated model, which has been identified by The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) as ineffective.   “Report cards” such as those issued by NCTQ tend to focus on quantity—the number of inputs a program can document. Other national education organizations, which have years of assessment experience, focus on quality—what teacher-preparation candidates actually learn, how well they perform, and how well their students perform.  In similar studies by NCTQ in the past, the majority of universities they graded scored very low, because the focus of NCTQ has been on “inputs” (e.g. course syllabi) instead of “outputs” (e.g. how well our graduates perform).  NCTQ collects different data sets from different universities, which undermines its ability to make fair comparisons and construct reliable analyses.  Ohio University.

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Imagine an organization that decides to assess doctor preparation by establishing its own standards rather than those embraced by the American Medical Association. Or something similar for lawyers, engineers, nurses, police officers, etc. This is what NCTQ does. Whatever our own major professional associations subscribe to, or whatever the research shows, NCTQ assumes its own standards and then assesses our programs based on them. In addition, they do no direct observations of practice, no interviewing of students and school and community partners, and very little follow up of the factual errors that we call to their attention. They simply look at course syllabi,  University of Southern Illinois.

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The National Council on Teacher Quality, an organization that is funded by organizations that promote a corporate-influenced school reform agenda, just issued ratings of teacher preparation programs that is getting a lot of attention in the ed world. The ratings are seriously flawed.  Washington Post. (Same paper that published Jack Markell’s Op Ed Piece Lol. lol. lol)

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NCTQ’s methodology is a paper review of published course requirements and course syllabi against a check list that does not consider the actual quality of instruction that the programs offer, evidence of what their students learn, or whether graduates can actually teach. == California Commission on Teacher Credentialing

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The problem they are having has to do with their own credibility. If you are bent on releasing devastating critiques of an entire professional field, you should be at least as good or better than the people you criticize. And that is, alas, not the case. NCTQ’s standards are arbitrary; they simply made them up. And while some look sensible, other are absurd. — The Examiner

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NCTQ is a right of center think tank immersed in neoliberal policy promotion. While not as reactionary or as far to the right as say The Heritage Foundation, The Cato Institute, or the Manhattan Institute, they are nevertheless ideologically charged and strongly biased. NCTQ releasing an unreviewed paper like the one on LAUSD (Los Angeles Unified School District) has all the legitimacy of a policy analysis recommending the repeal of all civil rights legislation by The John Birch Society.–  Schools Matter.

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NCTQ was created by the Thomas B. Fordham (TBF) Foundation because  we thought (schools of education) were too touchy-feely, too concerned about self-esteem and social justice and not concerned enough with basic skills and academics. In 1997, we had commissioned a Public Agenda study called “Different Drummers”; this study chided professors of education because they didn’t care much about discipline and safety and were more concerned with how children learn rather than what they learned. TBF established NCTQ as a new entity to promote alternative certification and to break the power of the hated “ed” schools. Education Week.

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At the start of the national review, NCTQ said that institutions would immediately be given a  failing rating if they chose not to participate in the review. After being questioned by the profession and reporters, NCTQ changed this statement and said it would instead “estimate for remaining standards based on the material that we are able to assemble…. AACTE

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NCTQ rated a program at the University of Vermont (UVM) as “Poor.” This  rating contrasted with the fact that UVM is the only education school in the state that exceeds all state standards, is nationally accredited, and has the longest student teaching placements. When asked by a New York Times reporter why UVM was rated as “Poor,” the Council explained that “like many education schools, the University of  Vermont did not meet its standards because it left principals too big a role in choosing  cooperating teachers, and did not do enough to ensure that they are effective teachers who will be good mentors.” This NCTQ standard runs counter to today’s professional practice of emphasizing collaboration and the need for institutions and PK-12 partners to select cooperating teachers jointly.— NY Times

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NCTQ’s 2012 State Teacher Policy Yearbook: Improving Teacher Preparation National Summary  was vastly inconsistent with the results of the gold standard of student performance  measures, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Top-achieving states on  NAEP, such as Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Vermont, received  grades of “C” or “D” from NCTQ. Conversely, many states that performed toward the bottom  of NAEP received high ratings for state policy from NCTQ…..  NAEP

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Despite the top performance of Massachusetts fourth- and eighth-graders on NAEP, NCTQ says  the majority of teacher preparation programs in the state are not doing a good job. Within the 35 Massachusetts institutions included in the June 2013 NCTQ review of education schools,  only two programs received three stars. A similar pattern can be found for other states that perform well on NAEP, such as Minnesota and Connecticut.—- AACTE

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Two of the highest-profile teacher preparation programs in the state — Towson University and the Johns Hopkins University — received low rankings on a scale of one to four stars. Towson’s undergraduate program earned 11/2 stars and Hopkins’ graduate elementary and secondary education programs garnered two stars and 11/2 stars, respectively.== Baltimore Sun

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Done.

I’m getting overwhelmed reading the excessive volume of reports critical of the single, sole basis that was used to push SB 51 through a drunk-stupid legislature… (lol, how I love that adjective)…

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