The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) recently issued a national ranking of teacher prep programs in which UNCG’s undergraduate elementary education program was listed in the lower half of the rankings without a numerical rating.
Improving teacher readiness is an important priority across our country. However, in our view, the NCTQ report does not properly assess graduates’ readiness to teach. NCTQ’s ranking methodology has been widely criticized by the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE) and its members. The NCTQ’s approach holds so little credibility among teacher prep programs that only 10% of the approximate 1,100 programs rated participated fully.
Although UNCG’s School of Education submitted information to NCTQ, their program definitions and terminology do not align with those of our programs, which follow state and national professional standards. We continuously monitor our programs to ensure the highest quality.
The real issue is that the NCTQ’s ranking methodology places a heavy emphasis on data that may or may not be directly related to teacher success. For example, UNCG’s School of Education received a “zero” rating for preparing its elementary education graduates to teach math. However, the most recent Teacher Preparation Program Effectiveness Report for the UNC system shows that North Carolina elementary school students taught math by UNCG graduates outperform students taught by teachers prepared at other UNC institutions.
The report does not represent a rigorous evaluation of teacher prep programs and it falls well short of reflecting the quality and success of institutions producing talented, effective teachers. U.S. News & World Report, for example, ranked UNCG’s Graduate School of Education as the third best in North Carolina.
For additional information, I would encourage you to review the following statement from AACTE President and CEO Sharon Robinson:
We would recommend that prospective teachers and K-12 school administrators be cautious in using the NCTQ report as a guide when evaluating teacher programs and their graduates.
I am always happy to respond to questions. Please feel free to contact me at 336-334-3403 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Dean, UNCG School of Education