professornana (professornana) wrote,
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The Measure of Anything

Measure twice, cut once is an old saw (pun intended). If only some of the foundations that are ostensibly measuring quality would heed this advice. This week the NCTQ (National Council on Teacher Quality) issued their report. It should come as no surprise to anyone reading this blog that the foundation "discovered" that there are serious problems in teacher education programs. Here are some of their "findings."

"A large majority of programs (71 percent) are not providing elementary teacher candidates with practical, research-based training in reading instruction methods that could reduce the current rate of reading failure (30 percent) to less than 10 percent of the student population."

Some background here would be good. The analysis conducted by NCTQ basically was comprised of collecting syllabi and searching them for key words. So, when I turn to their assessment of my university, I see criticisms that we are not addressing CCSS. DUH, no kidding. We did not adopt CCSS. However, it goes further with low scores on how we address early reading (and make no mistake what they are looking for here: phonics, drill and kill, etc.) and low scores on lesson planning (our students will be dumbfounded to see this).
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Add in here the fact that alternative certification programs received a pass this time around. I can hear Ferdinand pawing the ground from here.

Here is the bottom line: universities, with their intellectual freedom, have been free to be critical of the idiocy in education "reform." In the preface to the report is a phrase that calls teacher education preparation programs an "industry of mediocrity." It decries the fact that there are more teacher with less experience in the classroom than ever before (which really is an indication that they are either clueless or being deliberately "naïve" as to why this might be the case).

The National Education Policy Center has this to say: http://nepc.colorado.edu/blog/central-hypocrisy-nctq-teacher-prep-institution-ratings. The title of the post is The Central Hypocrisy of the NCTQ Teacher Prep Institution Ratings. That about says it all.

NCTE's CEE prepared a statement on the NCTQ in 2011 (http://www.ncte.org/cee/positions/nctqanalysis). Aside from the fact that this document was not critical of CCSS (in 2011, NCTE and other organizations still held hope that maybe they would be invited to THAT table, too), this is another good resource for those seeking some explanation for the report from NCTQ.

As for me, the bottom line is this: if "reformers" cannot place a total stranglehold on those of us working with schools, they will dismantle us brick by ivy-covered brick. I fear for the future of education unless we all stick our heads out that window and shout, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!" Screaming is therapeutic in the face of this concerted effort to eradicate quality education except for the privileged few.
Tags: nctq
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