Report: Teacher preparation programs an ‘industry of mediocrity’

In a new report that’s already dividing the education community within hours of its release, findings based on eight years of research are supposedly able to rank U.S. teacher preparation programs in colleges and universities. According to the report, the country’s teacher training system is broken, directly affecting “America’s educational decline.”

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) says it went through 10 pilot studies to develop the standards used to rank the 1, 130 teacher preparation institutions that prepare 99 percent of the nation’s traditionally trained new teachers (around 170,000 novice teachers annually).

The reason behind the effort, explains NCTQ was inspired by a study conducted more than a century ago, the Flexner Report of 1910, which evaluated the nation’s medical schools and led to consolidations and upgrades that “transformed the system of training doctors into the world’s best,” states the report.

Apparently, the goal is the same for NCTQ’s review, which aims to use the data it collected—sometimes having to sue institutions to get access—to set in place “market forces that will spur underachieving [education] programs to recognize their shortcomings and adopt methods used by the high scorers.”

(Next page: Rankings and findings)

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