NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Quantity over Quality in Teacher Prep Study

June 28, 2013

The nation's teacher-training programs do not adequately prepare would-be educators for the classroom, even as they produce almost triple the number of graduates needed, according to a new report from the National Council on Teacher Quality, says the Christian Science Monitor. 

  • The report looked at 1,130 teacher preparation programs that represent 99 percent of traditionally trained teachers.
  • The council requested admission requirements, course syllabi, textbooks and graduate surveys to come to their conclusions.
  • Only 114 of the preparation programs chose to cooperate with the council's review.

Some of the council's findings:

  • Only a quarter of education programs limit admission to students in the top half of their high school class.
  • Three out of four training programs leave future teachers to develop their own teaching methods.
  • Less than one out of nine programs prepare future educators to teach Common Core Standards.
  • Only 7 percent of the programs ensure that student teachers are partnered up with effective classroom teachers.

The review identified 18 standards for teacher preparation programs, such as instructing future educators on how to implement Common Core State Standards, teach non-native English speakers and manage classrooms.  The council supports making it more difficult for students to get into teacher preparation programs and to be taught the most effective methods that would help students.  "A vast majority of teach preparation programs do not give aspiring teachers adequate return on their investment of time and tuition dollars," the report says.

Source: Phillip Elliott, "Teacher Training: 'Industry of Mediocrity,' Says Controversial Report," Christian Science Monitor, June 18, 2013.


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