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ERIC Number: ED543515
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 112
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Teacher Prep Review: A Review of the Nation's Teacher Preparation Programs
Greenberg, Julie; McKee, Arthur; Walsh, Kate
National Council on Teacher Quality
Once the world leader in educational attainment, the United States has slipped well into the middle of the pack. Countries that were considered little more than educational backwaters just a few years ago have leapt to the forefront of student achievement. There's no shortage of factors for America's educational decline: budget cutbacks, entrenched poverty, crowded classrooms, shorter school years, greater diversity of students than in other countries. The list seems endless. NCTQ's (National Council on Teacher Quality's) "Teacher Prep Review" has uncovered another cause, one that few would suspect: the colleges and universities producing America's traditionally prepared teachers. Through an exhaustive and unprecedented examination of how these schools operate, the "Review" finds they have become an industry of mediocrity, churning out first-year teachers with classroom management skills and content knowledge inadequate to thrive in classrooms with ever-increasing ethnic and socioeconomic student diversity. The authors were able to determine overall ratings based on a set of key standards for 608 institutions. Those ratings can be found on the "U.S. News & World Report" website,, as well as their own,, where there is additional data on another 522 institutions. Altogether, the "Review" provides data on the 1,130 institutions that prepare 99 percent of the nation's traditionally trained new teachers. No small feat. As the product of eight years of development and 10 pilot studies, the standards applied here are derived from strong research, the practices of high-performing nations and states, consensus views of experts, the demands of the Common Core State Standards (and other standards for college and career readiness) and occasionally just common sense. The authors strived to apply the standards uniformly to all the nation's teacher preparation programs as part of their effort to bring as much transparency as possible to the way America's teachers are prepared. For now, the evaluations provide clear and convincing evidence, based on a four-star rating system, that a vast majority of teacher preparation programs do not give aspiring teachers adequate return on their investment of time and tuition dollars. These are among the most alarming findings: (1) Less than 10 percent of rated programs earn three stars or more; (2) It is far too easy to get into a teacher preparation program; (3) Fewer than one in nine elementary programs and just over one-third of high school programs are preparing candidates in content at the level necessary to teach the new Common Core State Standards now being implemented in classrooms in 45 states and the District of Columbia; (4) The "reading wars" are far from over; and (5) Just 7 percent of programs ensure that their student teachers will have uniformly strong experiences, such as only allowing them to be placed in classrooms taught by teachers who are themselves effective, not just willing volunteers. (Contains 43 figures and 67 endnotes.)
National Council on Teacher Quality. 1420 New York Avenue NW Suite 800, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-393-0020; Fax: 202-393-0095; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Council on Teacher Quality
Identifiers - Location: United States
IES Cited: ED550491