June 18 2013
Vicki E. Alger
The analysis reviewed programs at more than 1,000 institutions nationwide that prepare virtually all (99 percent) of the country’s traditionally trained new teachers and rated them according to a four-star system. Here’s what NCTQ found:
As USNWR Editor Brian Kelly summarized, getting good information to the public is a first step to better trained teachers—but many institutions did not want information about their programs published:
The insular nature of some of the teacher prep world becomes apparent in the course of the Center’s research when many institutions, in an orchestrated fashion, declined to cooperate in providing data and allowing scrutiny of their programs. In several cases, the Center had to sue under public records law to acquire data that should have been freely available to the public. There seems to be a widely accepted view on the part of these institutions that they are doing a good job, when all other evidence points to the contrary.
Potential teachers have a right to know about the strength of their prospective training programs. Parents deserve to know how well their children’s teachers were trained. Taxpayers, who subsidize both the institutions offering teacher training programs and teaching candidates, also need to know whether their hard-earned money is being used effectively. If institutions want to keep mum, then maybe they don’t deserve our public support.