2014 Teacher Prep Review: A Review of the Nation’s Teacher Preparation Programs
<! -- /.resource-content -->
The United States is starting to examine its teacher preparation schools and how they can improve the quality of teachers they produce. In the second edition of the National Council on Teacher Quality’s annual assessment of the nation’s 1,668 teacher prep programs, this review shows that although far more needs to be done to prepare teachers for challenges of a 21st century classroom, there is early evidence that teacher prep programs are beginning to make changes.
The title of this resource clearly states its purpose and draws important attention to issues of teacher quality. However, the criteria used to evaluate state educational teacher policies and the report’s conclusions are largely set by the developing organization and may differ substantially from other national professional teacher associations. The methodology could be better described and comments from states that reviewed some of the information contained in the report would be helpful, thus increasing objectivity. While many of the recommendations appear sound, others are not necessarily backed by research or practice. For example, a common recommendation in the report is that “the state should limit admission to teacher preparation programs to candidates in the top half of the college-going population.” This sounds reasonable, but such a recommendation presumes accurate methods exist to identify the top half of college-going populations across thousands of different colleges and universities. Communications quality is excellent, including both easy to understand writing and graphics. However, the authors do not define their methodology for putting states into different categories that appear in the graphics. Despite these issues, this publication has the potential to push for important improvements in teacher quality and potentially for instruction and learning.