Report: Teacher preparation programs an ‘industry of mediocrity’

New teachers “don’t know how to teach reading, don’t know how to master a classroom, and don’t know how to use data,” said Kate Walsh, NCTQ’s president in a statement. “The results were dismal.”

For example, NCTQ’s Teacher Prep Review found that:

  • Less than 10 percent of programs earn three stars or more on a four-star rating scale, many earning no stars at all.
  • A large majority of programs (71 percent) are not providing elementary teacher candidates with research-based training in reading instruction methods that could reduce the current rate of reading failure (30 percent) to less than 10 percent of the student population.
  • Just over a quarter of programs restrict admissions to students in the top half of their class, compared with the highest-performing education countries, which limit entry to the top third.
  • Fewer than one in nine elementary programs and just over one-third of high school programs are preparing candidates in content at the level necessary to teach the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
  • Almost all programs (93 percent) fail to ensure a high quality student teaching experience, where candidates are assigned only to highly skilled teachers and must receive frequent concrete feedback.
  • Only 23 percent of rated programs are doing enough to provide teacher candidates with concrete classroom management strategies to improve classroom behavior problems.
  • Only 11 percent of elementary programs and 47 percent of secondary programs are providing adequate content preparation for teachers in the subjects they will teach.

To see the ranking list, visit

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