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29 March 2016 @ 04:56 pm
Reading the research  
NCTQ recently published its findings guaranteed to improve the quality of teaching and teacher education preparation. Of course, those who have been following this story, know that NCTQ (the National Council on Teacher Quality) has been hard at work assessing and evaluating teacher prep programs for some time. Their basis for evaluation: an examination of documents requested from the institutions including syllabi, reading lists, and the like. Using these documents, NCTQ issued ratings of programs across the country some time ago. You can view their report card here: http://www.nctq.org/siteHome.do. Click on your state to see how your teacher prep programs fared using the NCTQ's measurements.

Thankfully, there are other researchers who are assessing the assessors. Here is an analysis of the book NCTQ published: Learning about Learning: What every neW teacher needs to KnoW. I encourage everyone concerned about teacher education to be familiar with this review and its analysis. There will surely be the usual ensuing PR about how NCTQ has identified exactly what should be a part of all teacher prep programs in order to create "better" teachers.

From my perspective, here is the key paragraph: "Specifically, the NCTQ report is based on an analysis of 48 textbooks obtained from the course syllabi of 48 elementary and secondary teacher preparation programs at 28 institutions “randomly selected from approximately 490 institutions for which NCTQ had obtained full sets of syllabi for professional coursework and student teaching.”4 They evaluate the texts in terms of how well they address the six strategies and also base conclusions on analyses of the syllabi gathered. Conclusions and recommendations are drawn in order to inform textbook publishers, teacher education programs, and state departments of education."

In short, 48 whole textbooks, selected RANDOMLY, from nearly 500 institutions' syllabi were assessed as to whether or not they included six strategies identified by NCTQ as the pillars (does this sound like the reading wars or is it just me?). On the basis of this, NCTQ feels confident setting the course for all teacher ed prep programs. Wow. I wonder how this type of research analysis would stand up to scrutiny by other researchers. The review is here: http://nepc.colorado.edu/files/reviews/TTR%20Thomas-Goering%20Teacher%20Ed.pdf. See for yourself how we might respond to the criticisms sure to arise as NCTQ bashed teacher prep programs, textbooks, educators, and education in general.
 
 
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