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Those Nonsense Annual NCTQ Ratings Are Coming on June 17

June 16, 2014

On June 17, 2014, the so-called National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) will unleash upon the world its ratings of teacher training programs.

Here is part of an announcement sent on June 9, 2014, to members of the press:

Washington, DC – On Tuesday, June 17, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) will release the highly anticipated 2014 Teacher Prep Review – an annual evaluation of the nation’s teacher preparation programs. This year’s Review will include an expanded and more comprehensive evaluation of teacher preparation programs, which, for the first time, are ranked numerically. [Emphasis added.]

Grade ’em and rank ’em, because we can.

NCTQ is well funded. Of course Gates money is in there, as is Broad Foundation money (big supporters of Teach for America and promoters of its own brand of nonaccredited superintendent via its superintendents academy) and Arnold Foundation money (also huge supporters of TFA).

Surely NCTQ is not biased by its funders (tongue in cheek).

In yet another advertisement, this one dated June 10, 2014, NCTQ states,

This year’s edition repeats our analysis of elementary, secondary, special ed undergrad and grad programs but includes 38% more institutions with full ratings on 836. [Emphasis added.]

For NCTQ, getting “full ratings” is tough since they are a non-accredited, self-appointed, antagonistic rater of traditional teacher training programs.

NCTQ “rates” teacher training programs based upon artifacts. An NCTQ rating does not require a site visit.

NCTQ even hires students and others to gather the superficial information upon which it bases its ratings.

Shallow as it is, NCTQ feels the need to branch out, as noted in that June 10th advertisement:

In addition to analyzing colleges and universities providing traditional teacher preparation, NCTQ rated–for the first time–secondary alternative certification providers.

Now this is going to be interesting since for years the NCTQ advisory board has included TFA founder Wendy Kopp, whose organization supplants career teachers with five-week-trained, temporary labor also suited to support the burgeoning, under-regulated charter school industry.

Former TFAer-gone-state senator Michael Johnston also sits on the NCTQ advisory board, as does former TFAer-gone-KIPP-charter founder Michael Feinberg. There is also Michael Goldstein, founder of MATCH charter in Boston, which has its own “variant of Teach for America” called “MATCH corps.”

I wonder what rating TFA will receive. Hmmm….

Other notable corporate reform names sitting on the NCTQ advisory board include Bloomberg appointee, former New York City chancellor-gone-CEO for Rupert Murdoch’s News CorpJoel Klein; former Gates Foundation director of advocacy-gone-College Board chief of global policy advocacy Stefanie Sanford, and chief education advisor for Pearson, Sir Michael Barber.

So you can see, NCTQ ratings of programs training career public school teachers must be fair and competently executed, no?

But just to be certain they are fair, NCTQ now has two supplemental “advisory groups.” That’s right. As of 2013, NCTQ has a teacher advisory group. Though only one of the ten members has “TFA” as part of her bio, there are some education privatization hopefuls, with terms such as “Education Trust” and “Common Core and PARCC presenter” there to assure any wary NCTQ-er that this group is Serious About Reform.

The second newbie advisory group is the three-member teacher candidate advisory group. Two are from CUNY (New York) and one, from the University of Washington.

Now I can trust those NCTQ ranked grades since some *legit teacher frosting* has been added to the NCTQ cake, no?


NCTQ remains a well-funded, well-advertised, corporate-reform-promoting facade. Its bogus teacher training program ratings will appear in Mortimer Zuckerman’s US News and World Report, complete with search engine headed with this statement:

Becoming a successful teacher requires good training.

The height of hypocrisy for an organization replete with TFA influence.


  1. Hannah permalink

    Well… this ought to be enriching. Rank and sort, rank and sort… dehumanize, dehumanize, dehumanize.

  2. Got advanced warning of our “rankings”. Never mind the 100 plus page report I wrote for NCTE that was chock full of data, NCTQ can divine the quality of my work by sitting on their tushes and skimming a web site!

    Good grief.

  3. The NCTQ rating system is so efficient that last year they managed to rate a local university teacher program that doesn’t actually exist. Truly impressive.

  4. Thanks for your advocacy Mercedes. Here’s a collection I’ve gathered: NCTQ Discredited: Failure to Meet Basic Standards for Research:

  5. Cosmic Tinker permalink

    You could readily see the Gates influence last year, because NCTQ made a huge deal about infusion of the Common Core in teacher ed programs.

    Match has its own teacher training “school,” just like KIPP, Uncommon Schools and Achievement First, which partnered to establish Relay, in order to train drill sergeant teachers in their military style charters for mostly poor children of color. Their “faculty” and administrators are staff from their charter schools including TFAers, not PhD level Education experts, since they hold no regard for those with genuine expertise in Education.

    If those “schools” were rated too, virtually any college which scored lower than they did is probably a decent teacher ed program which likely prepares teachers to treat children with dignity and respect, not as if they are wild animals that need to be on a silent chain gang.

  6. I just met a young girl who talked about Teach for America, she told me how a friend of hers had joined and quit after a month of teaching. She was sent into a very rough neighborhood and was not prepared to deal with all the problems she encountered. This is called excellent training? I think not!l

  7. Reblogged this on Art of Teaching Science and commented:
    Dr. Schneider’s comments on NCTQ are important. This week I’ll be writing more about NCTQ, but her comments are a great way to get us started. In my previous post several charts were designed to expose the organization participating in their “review” and more importantly, who isn’t.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Mercedes Schneider: Get Ready for the NCTQ Ratings of Ed Schools | Diane Ravitch's blog
  2. NCTQ: “their remedies are part of the disease” | the becoming radical
  3. Educational Policy Information
  4. Ed News June 17, 2014 Edition | tigersteach
  5. AACTE State Chapter » Teacher Preparation: Giving a Better Accounting
  6. Resisting the National Council on Teacher Quality's Propaganda
  7. “Deans for Impact”: A Potential, “Teacher-prep Charter” Petri Dish? | deutsch29
  8. Look Out – Here Comes “Deans for Impact.” | EduBloggers

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